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.

Many 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/JusticeLeagueWar'', a significant number of films have shared continuity, adapting material from DC's ComicBook/New52 universe.[[note]]The end of the previous film ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueTheFlashpointParadox'' is supposed to be the reason why, like in [[ComicBook/{{Flashpoint}} its comics source]]. But ''Flashpoint Paradox'' barely hints at it, and the New 52-based films have their own different character designs.[[/note]]

Another notable aspect of the films is many of them are DarkerAndEdgier than the television cartoons. PG-13 ratings for violence are common and sensuality is ramped up as well. Several films have come close to being rated R before edits, but [[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheKillingJoke only]] [[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueDark three]] [[WesternAnimation/BatmanGothamByGaslight films]] have gotten the R rating so far.

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.

Several of these animated works more or less reflect the individual artists of their comic book sources, like Darwyn Cooke for ''The New Frontier'' and Creator/FrankMiller for ''The Dark Knight Returns'', and an AnthologyFilm, ''Batman: Gotham Knight'', was even made by multiple anime studios for DC. Many other works show strong [[TimmStyle influence]] from Creator/BruceTimm, the main artist behind the DCAU who maintains a supervisor/producer role and returns to art duties for a few of them. The New 52-based ones in particular have a consistent blend of TimmStyle and {{Animesque}} mainly from artist Phil Bourassa, who also did the DC TV series ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice''.
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): Amid the political backdrop of the RedScare, Korean War veteran Hal Jordan becomes the superhero Green Lantern and cooperates with several other heroes to take down a colossal monster. An adaptation of ''[[Comicbook/DCTheNewFrontier DC: The New Frontier]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanGothamKnight'' (2008): Batman takes on several supervillains in a series of vignettes based on the [[Film/TheDarkKnightTrilogy 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 alternative 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 the stories of various notable Lanterns across time and space as a series of vignettes. Much like ''All-Star Superman'', it is rated PG.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanYearOne'' (2011): Bruce Wayne returns from his training abroad 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, are stolen and given fatal twists 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 alternative 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]]'' and the beginning of a new shared continuity.
* ''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]]'' and the second movie in the New 52 AU.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanAssaultOnArkham'' (2014): A film based on the ''[[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries Batman: Arkham]]'' universe. Several incarcerated supervillains are recruited into a unit named [[ComicBook/SuicideSquad Task Force X]] by Amanda Waller and ordered to retrieve 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'', making it the third movie in the New 52 AU.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanVsRobin'': (2015) Sequel to ''WesternAnimation/SonOfBatman''. While investigating a crime, Robin runs into a mysterious figure, Talon, who takes him down a rabbithole leading to a secret society known as the Court of Owls. An adaptation of ''ComicBook/NightOfTheOwls''. The fourth movie in the New 52 AU.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueGodsAndMonsters'' (2015): An original {{Elseworlds}}-style story by Creator/BruceTimm. 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.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBadBlood'' (2016): Sequel to ''WesternAnimation/BatmanVsRobin'', featuring Kate Kane’s Batwoman and Luke Fox's Batwing in their first animated appearances. ComicBook/{{Nightwing}} must become Batman and discover what happened to Bruce Wayne while dealing with a growing and dysfunctional Bat-Family. The fifth movie in the New 52 AU.
* ''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 a team of young heroes mentored by ComicBook/{{Starfire}}. When teammate ComicBook/{{Raven}}'s demonic father Trigon possesses the League, it's up to the Teen Titans to save them. The sixth movie in the New 52 AU.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheKillingJoke'' (2016): An adaptation of [[ComicBook/TheKillingJoke the acclaimed comic book]] by Creator/AlanMoore. The first installment to be rated R.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanReturnOfTheCapedCrusaders'' (2016): 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'' (2017): An adaptation of [[ComicBook/JusticeLeagueDark the comic of the same name]], It is the seventh movie of the New 52 AU. Like ''The Killing Joke'', it's rated R.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansTheJudasContract'' (2017): An adaptation of the [[ComicBook/TheJudasContract comic of the same name]]. After languishing in DevelopmentHell, it has been reworked into the New 52 AU coninuity, making it the eighth movie of the line.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanAndHarleyQuinn'' (2017): An original film starring Batman and ComicBook/HarleyQuinn, who are forced to work together to stop a plot by Poison Ivy and the Floronic Man. Notably, this is the first film in the line to bring back Creator/BruceTimm's [[Franchise/DCAnimatedUniverse DCAU]] character designs.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanVsTwoFace'' (2017): A sequel to ''Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders'', it's ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Batman versus ComicBook/TwoFace (voiced by Creator/WilliamShatner), who never appeared in the Adam West show. This film is the final appearance of Adam West as Batman.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanGothamByGaslight'' (2018): An adaptation of [[ComicBook/GothamByGaslight the comic of the same name]], an {{Elseworlds}} story where a Victorian-era Batman deals with UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper. Fittingly, it's the third movie to be rated R.
* ''WesternAnimation/SuicideSquadHellToPay'' (2018): An original story set in the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueWar'' continuity featuring the ComicBook/SuicideSquad. The fourth movie to be rated R, and the ninth movie of the New 52 AU.
* ''Anime/BatmanNinja'' (2018): An original story about a time displaced Batman and co in feudal japan. First movie to be animated in CGI and made specifically for the Japanese audience.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheDeathOfSuperman'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheReignOfTheSupermen'' ([[MovieMultipack 2018, 2019]]): A new, more faithful adaptation of ''ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman'' told in two parts. Like the Judas Contract adaptation, it takes the original story and works it into the New 52 AU as its tenth movie.

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.