The DC Animated Movie Universe is a Shared Universe that exists as part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line starting in 2014. All movies in the line, which itself started in 2007, originally existed in their own continuity. But due to a desire to create a shared setting that mirrors the comics, movies set in this universe have become increasingly common.
This continuity has yet to receive an official name, so we're giving it one for convenience. The first few films were often called the "Animated New 52 Universe" or something similar because of the heavy influence from said comics. But as further films were made, they were allowed greater freedom to adapt other DC eras like Post-Crisis and DC Rebirth, as well as add original ideas. This has allowed the films to avoid being an Unintentional Period Piece for the now-superseded New 52, and to create a unique mythos of their own.
In many ways, it's the Darker and Edgier Spiritual Successor to the DC Animated Universe, being that it's also a shared universe with a colorful art style, epic plots, top of the line voice talent, and a mix of both comic accuracy with original storytelling. That said, because it's direct-to-video, it doesn't have to cater to basic cable or network television standards. This means, like many other titles in the wider Animated Original Movies line, the films feature intense and graphic violence, frequent uses of swearing, an increased focus on sensuality, and the exploration of themes darker than what could ever be done on children's television or even some of DC's general audience works.
Works set in the DC Animated Movie Universe include:
- Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013) (A prologue of sorts. This is what is considered to have started the universe, though it is only teased at the end.)
- Justice League: War (2014) (At the time of its release it was the first movie in this continuity, however, Suicide Squad Hell to Pay would later establish the earlier Flashpoint Paradox as being in the first movie set within this universe.)
- Son of Batman (2014)
- Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
- Nightwing & Robin (2015) (An animated short that takes place during Throne of Atlantis, acting as a teaser for Batman vs Robin)
- Batman vs. Robin (2015)
- Batman: Bad Blood (2016)
- Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016)
- Justice League Dark (2017)
- Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)
- Constantine: City of Demons (2018) (A webseries for CW Seed spun-off from Justice League Dark.)
- Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018)
- The Death of Superman (2018)
- Reign of the Supermen (2019)
- Batman: Hush (2019)
- The Death and Return of Superman (2019). (The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen released as a Compilation Movie.)
- Wonder Woman: Bloodlines (2019)
- Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020): The Grand Finale of this continuity
The DC Animated Movie Universe provides example of:
- Aborted Arc: Due to the universe ending with Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, many Post-Credits scenes never led to anything.
- Teen Titans: The Judas Contract has a post-credits scene promising some kind of role for Jericho.
- The post-credits scene of Justice League: Throne of Atlantis with Lex Luthor meeting Orm at Belle Reve hasn't been followed up on. Specially jarring since Luthor's Legion of Doom appeared in Justice League vs. Teen Titans and Orm was nowhere to be seen.
- Wonder Woman: Bloodlines ended with Veronica Cale promising further villainy.
- Adapted Out:
- Green Arrow is noticeably absent, despite his sidekick Speedy being presented as a former member of the Teen Titans.
- The writers confirmed that the Robin identity went from Dick directly to Damian, meaning the likes of Jason Todd and Tim Drake do not exist in this continuity.
- Ambiguous Ending: Almost bordering on Downer Ending. In the Grand Finale, most of the heroes are dead or crippled and Earth was left near-inhospitable during the Apokolips invasion and later occupation. Because of this, Constantine tells Flash to go back in time and prevent the entire tragedy from ever happening. However, they know that this will reboot the entire timeline, just like what happened in The Flashpoint Paradox, meaning that the resulting reality will be completely different from the one they remember. The movie ends with Flash entering the Speed Force once again, with the surviving heroes watching on as everything fades to white.
- Animated Adaptation: The earlier films were mainly based on the New 52. War is an adaptation of the Justice League arc "Origins"; Throne of Atlantis and Justice League Dark served as inspiration for the eponymous movies; and Batman Vs. Robin is loosely based on Night of the Owls.
- Bookends: This continuity began and ended with The Flash going back in time to create a new timeline, albeit at first for selfish reasons, and the second time for noble ones. Likewise, this universe's version of the League first and final adventures involved Darkseid.
- Broad Strokes: Flashpoint Paradox was always considered to be the prologue to this line of films despite having little in common with animation, story and voice actors, but the timing of the release plus the Cosmic Retcon that was hinted at made it feel natural. It wasn't until Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay that made this official (four years later) with a returning character, and a subplot discussing Flash having created the Flashpoint universe in later movies.
- Darker and Edgier: The DCAMU is what happens when the DCAU isn't held back by censors and the creators take full advantage of that. Three of the franchise's movies (Dark, Hell to Pay, and Apokolips War) are "R"-rated and are far more violent and gory than any previous DC animation. In fact, this series took and managed to ensure it'd keep the crown as this from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (which itself took the crown from Batman: Under the Red Hood).
- Grand Finale: Apokolips War is the final film in the franchise. It reunites almost every character from across all films in a final battle against Darkseid's forces.
- Growing with the Audience: The films are popular with fans of the DCAU, who've now grown as adults, given it's a similar universe with mature themes to match.
- Hotter and Sexier: Not that the DCAU didn't have its moments, but when there's no censors... it leads to female characters being bustier and curvier, and more Fanservice scenes that wouldn't had never been allowed in the DCAU.
- The Multiverse: Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans reveals the DCAMU exists in one largely populated by variations of the Teen Titans such as both animated versions, the Tiny Titans comics and The New Teen Titans comics.
- Shared Universe: These films are all in-continuity with each other.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The entire story ends with Flash going back in time to prevent Darkseid's second invasion and the decimation of Earth. However, this will inevitably cause the entire timeline to change just like what happened after the Flashpoint Paradox. The only light at the end of the tunnel is the fresh start this DC Universe will receive once the timeline resets.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Earlier movies placed a huge focus on Batman, and often Damian. This is lessened in later movies, which branched out to other characters once proven successful.
- The Stinger: As is customary for shared superhero movie universes, some of these films have a post-credits scene which floats a possibility for a future film or briefly expands on the consequences of this film's conclusion. The Flashpoint Paradox's show Parademons flying out of a Boom Tube, leading into War; War seeing Ocean Master declaring war against the "surface dwellers", leading into Throne of Atlantis; JLvTT seeing Terra arrive at Titans Tower, setting up The Judas Contract; and Reign seeing the League plan to fight Darkseid, leading into Apokolips War.