In the beginning, there were Creator/DCComics heroes, and it was good. Then there were the ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'' and [[WesternAnimation/DCComicsAnimated similar shows]], and the public was exposed to some of their favorite heroes in animation for the first time. In TheNineties we were introduced to them all over again with the Franchise/DCAnimatedUniverse. Now we have the next era of animated excitement for Batman, Superman, and company, going DirectToVideo -- though the consistently high production values make them akin to OriginalVideoAnimation in the {{anime}} field instead of what "direct-to-video" [[SturgeonsLaw usually implies]] in the West.

Most of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies have the advantage of having [[AlternateContinuity independent continuities,]] allowing the creative team of each to experiment with new voice actors, art styles, and so forth. This approach has been criticized, particularly if a certain portrayal of a character is popular with viewers, only for it never to be seen again. Considering most of the films are based upon standalone graphic novels and miniseries like ''ComicBook/DCTheNewFrontier'' and ''ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' - which themselves often existed in independent continuities - this is perhaps unavoidable. However, starting with ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueTheFlashpointParadox'', most of the films do take place after each other.

Another notable aspect of the films is many of them are DarkerAndEdgier than the television cartoons. PG-13 ratings for violence are common (several have come close to being rated R before edits) and sensuality is ramped up as well.

DC has also produced ''DC Showcase'', a companion series of shorts featuring often lesser-known characters such as ComicBook/TheSpectre, ComicBook/GreenArrow, and ComicBook/JonahHex, as well as some better-known characters like ComicBook/{{Catwoman}}. The shorts are usually included as bonus items on the DVD and Blu-ray releases.

The DC Universe Animated Original Movies are:

* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanDoomsday'' (2007): Superman has a fatal encounter with a mysterious monster known as Doomsday. An adaptation of ''[[ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman The Death and Return of Superman]]''.
* ''[[ComicBook/DCTheNewFrontier Justice League: The New Frontier]]'' (2008): Test pilot and Korean War veteran Hal Jordan becomes the superhero Green Lantern and cooperates with several other heroes to take down a colossal monster amid the political backdrop of the RedScare. An adaptation of ''[[Comicbook/DCTheNewFrontier DC: The New Frontier]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanGothamKnight'' (2008): Batman takes on several supervillains in a series of vignettes set in the [[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga Nolan film universe]].
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wonder Woman|2009}}'' (2009): Wonder Woman must venture into man's world with Air Force pilot Steve Trevor in tow to prevent Ares from taking over the world.
* ''WesternAnimation/GreenLanternFirstFlight'' (2009): An alternate telling of Hal Jordan's origin as Green Lantern, depicting his induction into the Corps as he and his mentor Sinestro are embroiled in a conspiracy to take down Oa using the Yellow Element.
* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanBatmanPublicEnemies'' (2009): Lex Luthor becomes President of the United States and puts a bounty on Superman's head after framing him for the murder of Secret Service agent Metallo. An adaptation of ''[[ComicBook/SupermanBatman Superman/Batman: Public Enemies]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueCrisisOnTwoEarths'' (2010): Upon the discovery of a MirrorUniverse where Lex Luthor leads a band of freedom fighters and the world cowers in fear of the superpowered Crime Syndicate, the Justice League of America must venture across the dimensional barrier to save both worlds from the Crime Syndicate's machinations.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanUnderTheRedHood'' (2010): A mysterious figure claiming the Joker's original ''nom de guerre'' from before his chemical bath emerges in Gotham and attempts to take down the city's underworld from the inside out, taunting Batman all the while. An adaptation of ''[[Franchise/{{Batman}} Batman: Under the Hood]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanBatmanApocalypse'' (2010): Superman's teenage cousin from Krypton arrives and is taught the ways of Earth by Superman. Darkseid, seeing an opportunity, attempts to acquire her as a pawn. The sequel to ''Public Enemies'' and an adaptation of ''[[Comicbook/SupermanBatman Superman/Batman: Supergirl]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/AllStarSuperman'' (2011): When overexposure to the sun spells Superman's imminent death, he takes time to set his affairs in order while Luthor continues to scheme. An adaptation of ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman''. The first in the line to not get a PG-13, instead getting a PG.
* ''WesternAnimation/GreenLanternEmeraldKnights'' (2011): A new recruit to the Green Lantern Corps is told of the history of the Corps through a series of vignettes telling the tales of various notable Green Lanterns across time and space. Much like ''All-Star Superman'', it is rated PG.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanYearOne'' (2011): Bruce Wayne returns from his life of training to attempt to solve the problem of crime in Gotham while Jim Gordon contends with deep corruption in the police department. An adaptation of ''Comicbook/BatmanYearOne''.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueDoom'' (2012): Contingency plans developed by Batman, designed to disable every member of the Justice League of America, are stolen and given a fatal twist by a cabal of supervillains. An adaptation of ''[[Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica JLA: Tower of Babel]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanVsTheElite'' (2012): Superman is forced to question his methods when a team of superheroes who are willing to kill makes their debut to worldwide approval. An adaptation of ''[[Franchise/{{Superman}} Superman: What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?]]''
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' ([[MovieMultipack 2012, 2013]]): An elderly Batman must come out of retirement when an enormous street gang threatens to tear Gotham apart. A two-part adaptation of ''[[Comicbook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns Batman: The Dark Knight Returns]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanUnbound'' (2013): An alien cyborg known as Brainiac appears and attempts to shrink and steal the entire city of Metropolis in a repeat of what occurred to Kandor on Krypton. An adaptation of ''[[Franchise/{{Superman}} Superman: Brainiac]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueTheFlashpointParadox'' (2013): One morning, the Flash wakes up to find himself in an alternate timeline where he is powerless, Batman freely uses lethal force, Superman is nowhere to be found, and Wonder Woman and Aquaman threaten the world with an all-out war between their nations. An adaptation of ''Comicbook/{{Flashpoint}}''.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueWar'' (2014): Batman and Green Lantern discover an impending invasion of Earth by Apokolips and put together a team of superheroes to stop it. An adaptation of ''[[Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica Justice League]]: [[ComicBook/{{New 52}} Origin]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/SonOfBatman'' (2014): Ra's al Ghul's daughter, Talia, appears to Batman to reveal that she and Batman have had a child named Damian, and leaves him in his care. An adaptation of ''[[ComicBook/GrantMorrisonsBatman Batman & Son]]'', but also shares continuity with ''Justice League: War''.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanAssaultOnArkham'' (2014): A film set in the ''[[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries Batman: Arkham]]'' universe. Several incarcerated supervillains are recruited into a unit named [[ComicBook/SuicideSquad Task Force X]] by Amanda Waller and tasked with retrieving information stolen by the Riddler, only for things to go downhill when the Joker escapes the asylum and gets his hands on a dirty bomb.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueThroneOfAtlantis'' (2015): The Justice League must contend with an invasion led by Ocean Master, and get help from Aquaman and Mera. An adaptation of ''Comicbook/ThroneOfAtlantis'' and sequel to ''Justice League: War''.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanVsRobin'': (2015) Sequel to ''WesternAnimation/SonOfBatman''. While investigating a crime, Robin runs into a mysterious figure, Talon, who takes him out on a course that leads to a secret society known as [[ComicBook/NightOfTheOwls The Court of Owls]].
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueGodsAndMonsters'' (2015). An original story by Creator/BruceTimm, which is more of an {{Elseworld}}s tale than anything resembling the regular DCU. In this take, we have General Zod's son as Superman, a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampiric]] Kirk Langstrom as Batman, and Bekka of the New Gods as Wonder Woman. Now has [[Characters/JusticeLeagueGodsAndMonsters a character sheet]].
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBadBlood'' (2016): Sequel to ''WesternAnimation/BatmanVsRobin'', featuring Kate Kane’s Batwoman and Luke Fox's Batwing in their first animated appearance. ComicBook/{{Nightwing}} must become Batman and discover what happened to Bruce Wayne while dealing with a growing and disfunctional Bat-Family.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueVsTeenTitans'' (2016): [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin A movie featuring both the Justice League and the Teen Titans]] and a sequel to ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBadBlood''. After Robin compromises a Justice League mission, he's sent off to improve his people skills as part of a team of young heroes mentored by ComicBook/{{Starfire}} (with help from Nightwing and League member ComicBook/{{Cyborg}}). When his teammate ComicBook/{{Raven}}'s father the demon Trigon possesses the League, it's up to the young heroes to save them.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheKillingJoke'' (2016): An adaptation of [[ComicBook/TheKillingJoke the acclaimed comic book]] by Creator/AlanMoore. The first installment to be rated R.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanReturnOfTheCapedCrusaders'': A [[MilestoneCelebration 50th anniversary homage]] to the [[Series/{{Batman}} 1960s series]] starring Creator/AdamWest, with some of its cast reprising their roles, West included.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueDark'': An adaptation of [[ComicBook/JusticeLeagueDark the comic of the same name]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansTheJudasContract'': An adaptation of the [[ComicBook/TheJudasContract comic of the same name]]. This was originally intended to be among the early films of the line before being shelved for a long time. It's now being dusted off as a sequel to ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueVsTeenTitans''.
* ''Batman and Harley Quinn: A Bruce Timm Original'': A movie featuring ComicBook/HarleyQuinn.
* ''Batman Vs. Two-Face'': A sequel to ''Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders'', it's ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Batman vs. ComicBook/TwoFace, who never appeared in the Adam West show. Creator/WilliamShatner is set to voice him.

The ''DC Showcase Shorts'' are:

* ''WesternAnimation/DCShowcaseTheSpectre'' (included with ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueCrisisOnTwoEarths Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths]]''): Police detective Jim Corrigan investigates a mysterious murder in the '70s, intervening as the Spectre when the legal system fails.
* ''WesternAnimation/DCShowcaseJonahHex'' (included with ''[[WesternAnimation/BatmanUnderTheRedHood Batman: Under the Red Hood]]''): Wild West bounty hunter Jonah Hex investigates a potential bounty and contends with a murderous madame instead.
* ''WesternAnimation/DCShowcaseGreenArrow'' (included with ''[[WesternAnimation/SupermanBatmanApocalypse Superman/Batman: Apocalypse]]''): Green Arrow defends Perdita, the child queen of Vlatava, from his rival Merlyn and hopeful usurper Count Vertigo.
* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanShazamTheReturnOfBlackAdam'' (released as its own DVD along with extended versions of the above): Plucky orphan Billy Batson becomes Captain Marvel, champion of the wizard Shazam, just in time to team up with Superman to stop the previous champion turned evil, Black Adam.
* ''WesternAnimation/DCShowcaseCatwoman'' (included with ''[[ComicBook/BatmanYearOne Batman: Year One]]''): Catwoman cruises around Gotham and takes down a diamond smuggling ring, but not before taking a detour to impersonate a stripper.