Every Batfan has an opinion about what are the greatest Batman films of all time, and those same people tend to agree on what the worst Batman movies are, as well. However, there are a few films (many of which are also among the finest animated DC movies) that aren't considered as highly as they should be, or that barely receive attention at all.
Batman Day is a national holiday commemorating the death of Gotham City's protector. This year, I am going to use the Batsignal on some of the lesser-known Batman films, starting with a few classics with Kevin Conroy.
Desperate to find a terminally ill wife, Mr. Freeze (Michael Ansara) kidnaps Barbara Gordon (Mary Kay Bergman) after discovering she is a match, leaving Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Robin (Loren Lester, who gives one of the best performances as the Boy Wonder) in search of her.
Why is SubZero an underrated Batman film worth seeing: It isn't the most popular feature-length Batman spin-off (i.e. 1992s Batman: Mask of the Phantasm) or the most iconic animated Mr. Freeze story (the Emmy-winning BTAS episode, Heart of Ice), but it is easily the best film featuring the cold-hearted DC character as the main antagonist, considering the only other option is Batman & Robin.
SubZero is available for HBO Max on a new tab; Amazon allows you to rent/buy SubZero.
Batman: Mystery Of The Batwoman (2003)
Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy) is attempting to decipher the identity of a new female vigilante who is also dressed as a bat by night.
Why is Batman an underrated film worth checking out: Years before Kate Kane got her own television show, and even before she was introduced in DC Comics, another superhero bearing her alter ego name was introduced into the DC Animated Universe in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, a thrilling cat-and-mouse story (or should I say bat-and-bat" story?) in which Conroy returns to voice the Dark Knight alongside a star-studded cast, including Kyra Sedgwick and Kelly
Watch Batman: Mystery Of The Batwoman on HBO Max (opens in new tab) or Rent/Buy Batman: Mystery Of The Batwoman on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
This DC Comics-inspired collection features a group of young skaters who discuss when they claim to have seen Batman, a local Cardinal being kidnapped Killer Croc, and a confrontation against an infamous assassin who threatens Jim Gordon's life.
Why is this underrated Batman film worth watching: While marketed as a bridge between the events of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan's Batman: Gotham Knight is really a collection of (very) loosely connected stories presented in beautiful Japanese anime-style that all feature Kevin Conroy in the title role.
Watch Batman: Gotham Knight on HBO Max (opens in new tab) or Rent/Buy Batman: Gotham Knight on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Batman Ninja (2018)
Bruce Wayne (Roger Craig Smith, in the English-language dub) must rely on his most basic skills and adopt a different combat style in order to save a local village and return the present.
Why is Batman Ninja a top-rated Batman film? It's a film that depicts the Dark Knight in an even more striking Japanese anime style that might be off-putting to some die-hard fans due to the irreverent portrayal of some DC's characters (including Harley Quinn), but it's still a wonderful breath of fresh air unlike any other Batman movie you've ever seen.
Watch Batman Ninja on HBO Max (opens in new tab) or Rent/Buy Batman Ninja on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Batman: Soul Of The Dragon (2021)
Bruce Wayne (David Guintoli), Richard Dragon (Mark Decascos), Lady Shiva (X2 star Kelly Hu) and Ben Bronze Tiger Turner (Michael Jae White) combine to solve the mystery.
Why is it an underrated Batman film worth seeing? Batman: Soul of the Dragon is another recent animated Batman film inspired by Asian culture (specifically kung fu films from the 1970s) and is also another incredible Batman film, despite the fact that it actually takes place in the 1970s.
Watch Batman: Soul Of The Dragon on HBO Max (opens in new tab) or rent/buy Batman: Soul Of The Dragon on Amazon (opens in new tab).
The Batman Vs.Dracula (2005)
In Gotham City, strange things are happening, and Bruce Wayne (Rino Romano) suspects that it has something to do with a culturalanthropologist who claims himself Dr. Alucard (Peter Stormare).
Why is this underrated Batman film worth a look: While the Dark Knight had previously faced off against Bram Stokers' iconic bloodsucker in the comics, this spin-off of one of the lesser-known Batman TV series sounds too on-the-nose and ridiculous to work, The Batman vs. Dracula is a surprising and thoroughly enjoyable horror story, especially with Day Shift cast member Stormares's shocking performance as the Count.
The Batman Vs. Dracula is available on HBO Max (opens in new tab) or rent/buy The Batman Vs. Dracula on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
After Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy) discovers a powerful teenage girl (Summer Glau) with familial connections to his friend, Clark Kent (Tim Daly), the two team up and call upon the help of Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg) to protect her from the extra-dimensional tyrant, Darkseid (Andre Braugher).
Why is Superman/Batman: Apocalypse a decent DC crossover film with some truly epic action sequences, like the one set in Themyscira that I personally prefer over its 2009 sequel, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is now available on HBO Max (opens in new tab) and Amazon (rent/buy Superman/Batman: Apocalypse).
Batman: Assault On Arkham (2014)
When The Riddler (Matthew Gray Gubler) conceals important information somewhere in Arkham Asylum, a group of bad people (including Neal McDonough and Hynden Walch as Harley Quinn) meet the Caped Crusader (Kevin Conroy) as he searches for a Joker (Troy Baker).
Why is Batman an underrated film worth checking out: A DC film that complements the Suicide Squad movies is Batman: Assault on Arkham, because while Bruce Wayne's alter ego may play the title role, this is actually a story about Task Force X, and a really fun one at that.
Stream Batman: Assault On Arkham on HBO Max (opens in new tab) or rent/buy Batman: Assault On Arkham on Amazon (opens in new tab).
If any of these titles have gone under your radar, you are in for one wonderful day, as a true Batfan.