31% Think This Is The Best Batman Animated Series – Here's Our Pick

Batman is one of the most popular superheroes ever — an icon of both page and screen. While his live-action movies have left their mark at the box office and our cultural landscape, it is in animation that the character truly thrives.

Whether it's in LEGO form or in one of his multiple animated films or series, the Caped Crusader translates incredibly well to animation, where the grittiness of Gotham City and the silliness of Batman's rogues' gallery fit like a glove. 

With many, many shows to choose from (and that's not counting those where Batman is just part of a team ensemble), it's hard to pick just one Batman series above the rest — or at least that's what you'd think. In reality, when we ran a Bat-poll and asked 619 Bat-fans in the United States about their favorite Bat-cartoon, the results were ... well, exactly as Bat-expected.

A Bat-classic

When polled, a whopping 31.02% of fans pointed to "Batman: The Animated Series" as the best, uh, Batman animated series. And you know what? It's easy to see why. 

This show remains a gold standard for superhero storytelling — not just in animation, but in any medium. With astonishing visuals that brought the darkness and the noir look of Gotham to a new level, to defining turns for Mark Hamill as the Joker and Kevin Conroy as Batman, this show redefined what Batman could be to a whole generation of fans.

It also gave us some big contributions to the Batman mythos that continue to be highly influential, like tragic backstories for villains like Mr. Freeze or Clayface, or the debut of one Harley Quinn. No longer just zany and colorful characters, the series' take on the classic rogues' gallery is full of nuance and tragedy, challenging the viewer to sympathize with classic villains.

"Batman: The Animated Series" could be funny when it needed to, while maintaining a dark tone that was in line with the Tim Burton films and being informed by the 1940s noir root of the original Detective Comics series. Three decades later, it's clear why the show continues to be popular.

A Bat-team up

While it is quite easy to agree with picking "Batman: The Animated Series" as the best Bat-cartoon, it is absolutely egregious that the cartoon with the least votes in our poll, receiving just 7.75%, is "Batman: The Brave and the Bold."

Inspired by "The Brave and the Bold" comic series that ran from 1955 to 1983, this animated series takes a more comedic and slightly younger approach to the character. Like the comic, each episode shows Batman teaming up with a different DC hero, and herein lies the strength of the cartoon. We've seen Batman fight alongside Superman and Aquaman dozens of times before, but "The Brave and the Bold" gives audiences more than that. It also shows Batman teaming up with the likes of Detective Chimp, Etrigan, and even the Challengers of the Unknown, as they fight DC villains both obscure and more known.

Though inspired by the Silver Age of the comics, "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" is not as campy as the 1966 "Batman" series, but it retains the same joyful spirit of celebrating the silliness of comics and superheroes, as the episodes explore different genres and sides of Batman, no matter how weird. Yet it is also unafraid to get serious, like an episode where Batman meets his parents' killer, or an episode where the Doom Patrol dies saving the world.

The point here is there are multiple sides of Batman, and they are all valid. But letting the Bat be silly leads to especially delightful results.