Switch on most streaming services, flick on the TV, or walk into an entertainment retail store, and you’ll find yourself coming across at least one animated Batman movie. The reason for this is because there are so many animated Batman movies available, that you can’t help but come across one at every turn.
In fact, since the release of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm in 1993, there has been a steady stream of animated films about the Caped Crusader. In recent years, the gap between the release of these films has also shortened, and as a result there is approximately one new animated Batman movie released every year – sometimes more!
But with so many Batman movies available, often at the click of a button, it can be difficult to work out what is suitable viewing. And if you’re a parent, with children who adore Batman, you probably have one very important question on your mind: Are the Batman animated movies suitable for *my* children?
The short answer is no. Not all of the Batman movies are suitable for children.
The Batman animated movies present an eclectic mix of stories. Some of the films are spin-offs of TV shows, some are original tales, and many are loose adaptations of classic comic books.
A large number of these movies, carry either a 12 certificate or a 15 certificate in the UK, meaning audiences need to be either 12 or 15 to view the films. Examples of this include Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (12), Batman: Soul of the Dragon (15), and Batman: The Killing Joke (15).
In the case of The Killing Joke, this is a movie based on the graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. Both the graphic novel and the animated movie contain content which is not suitable for young children.
With some of the Batman movies rated 12 or 15 (including The Killing Joke), not only is the content not appropriate for younger audiences, the storylines will not be that appealing either. Bear in mind, the movies that carry these certificates are written to appeal to teen-to-adult audiences, so they will feature storylines and situations specifically for older viewers.
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), rates movies based on their content. This covers the subject matter, tone, language, use of violence, and any sexual references. If a movie is awarded a 12, 15, or 18, then this is the audience the BBFC believes should be watching the movies – and this means it won’t be appropriate for anyone below that age.
But where does that leave you as a parent, if you have young Batman fans in your house, who are begging to watch some animated Batman movies? Well, the simple answer is that you direct them towards more age-appropriate movies – and the good news is that there are plenty of animated Batman movies that are suitable for children!
One such child-friendly Batman movie is Scooby-Doo and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. This movie carries a PG certificate, and is a spin-off from the hugely popular cartoon series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Other examples of children-friendly films include Batman: Subzero, which also carries a PG certificate, or The Lego Batman Movie, which is a certificate U. A U means the film is Universal, so it can be watched by everyone.
And don’t just think that because a movie carries a certificate U that it will be boring for adults – The Lego Batman Movie is a blast for all ages! And heck, the original Star Wars trilogy – A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi – all carried the U certificate upon release, and those films are loved by audiences of every generation too!
If you’re a parent and you’re trying to work out what animated Batman movies are appropriate for your children (especially if your children are very young), it can be a bit of a minefield, especially with so many Batman movies available. So, first and foremost, check the certificate, this is always your first port of call.
If you’re still unsure, then maybe give a couple of the movies a test screening before letting your children watch them. You know your children better than anyone, so you will know if the subject matter/content is something they will be comfortable with.
And finally, if you are still getting a little stressed about finding the right Batman movies, I suggest asking other (older) Bat-fans for recommendations. Experienced Bat-fans will be able to point you in the right direction of all the movies that are suitable for children.
I hope this post about Batman animated movies has proved useful. For more Batman content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.