Do animated Batman movies have a set runtime? Are all animated Batman films the same length?

In this post I am taking a look at the runtime of feature-length animated Batman films using 15 examples to determine the average length of the movies. The examples I am using include: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993), Batman: Subzero (1998), Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000), Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003), The Batman vs Dracula (2005), Justice League: The New Frontier (2008), Batman: Gotham Knight (2008), Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009), Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010), Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010), Under the Red Hood (2010), Batman: Year One (2011), Justice League: Doom (2012), The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1 (2012) and The Dark Knight Returns – Part 2 (2013).

There are more than 15 animated Batman movies in existence, but for the purpose of this exercise I have chosen the first 15 animated pictures, produced by Warner Bros. All of these movies star or feature Batman in some capacity.

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The DC Animated Universe

Image: ©Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

To begin, let’s take a look at the four films within the DC Animated Universe. This film series began with the first animated Batman movie, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.

The runtimes of the four movies are as follows:

  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) – 76 minutes
  • Batman: Subzero (1998) – 67 minutes
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) – 76 minutes
  • Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003) – 75 minutes

The majority of these films have a similar runtime, roughly around the 75/76-minute mark. Subzero is the shortest of the movies, clocking in at 67 minutes.

Collectively, the four films have an average runtime of 73.5 minutes.

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The Batman

Image: ©Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

The next animated feature is 2005’s The Batman vs Dracula, a spin-off of the 2004 animated show, The Batman. There is only one movie in this collection and its runtime is as follows.

  • The Batman vs Dracula (2005) – 84 minutes

At 84 minutes, The Batman vs Dracula is longer than the Batman movies above, and as you will see in a moment, it is also longer than any of the examples below.

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DC Universe Animated Original Movies

Image: ©Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

For this final collection, I’ve listed 10 films from the DC Universe Animated Original Movies collection. The movies featured below are the first ten Batman-related entries in the DCUAOM collection.

The runtime for each movie is as follows:

  • Justice League: The New Frontier (2008) – 75 minutes
  • Batman: Gotham Knight (2008) – 76 minutes
  • Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009) – 67 minutes
  • Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010) – 75 minutes
  • Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010) – 78 minutes
  • Under the Red Hood (2010) – 75 minutes
  • Batman: Year One (2011)64 minutes
  • Justice League: Doom (2012)77 minutes
  • The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1 (2012) – 76 minutes
  • The Dark Knight Returns – Part 2 (2013) – 76 minutes

As with the four films in the DCAU, the majority of these ten films from the DCUAOM collection run to around 76 minutes. This suggests this is a runtime that Warner Bros. favours.

Collectively, the ten movies listed above have an average runtime of 73.9 minutes. This is almost the same as the average runtime for the DCAU movies.

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Combining the movies

Image: ©Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

So those are the run times for the different categories, but what about all 15 movies combined? Well, when combined the average runtime across all 15 movies equates to 74.46 minutes.

So, what does this all mean?

The average length of an animated Batman movie falls around the 75-minute mark. Occasionally it will be a little above or below, but for the most part this is what Warner Bros. prefers for the Caped Crusader’s animated adventures.

Even when the studio has a project like The Dark Knight Returns (see above), which is split into two parts, it still keeps each part to around that 75-minute timeframe. This is clearly a good time for each feature and its something which the studio tries to adhere to.

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Thanks for taking the time to drop into I’ll Get Drive-Thru to read this post. Should you want to know more about animated Batman movies, then be sure to check out my post: ‘The best order for Animated Batman movies’.

You may also with to read additional posts around this subject. Feel free to take a look at one of the recommended reads below.

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