Parent’s Guide to Batman Screening Order


In discussing the seven “adult” Batman movies recently, I was asked how I would introduce those films to my son. I didn’t know, but I promised an answer.

There’s a couple ways to look at it: age appropriateness and continuity. It seems like it would be weird to see the Nolan films before the Burton/Schumacher films. At the same time, why would anyone really care that much, if they like the movie or character? Only the Nolan films rely on continuity.

So it seems like the way to go, then is age appropriateness, which would probably be the most important aspect for me to consider, being a parent and all. Y’know…

Here are our subjects: seven films and a couple TV series:

Batman (1989)

Batman Returns (1992)

Batman: The Animated Series

Batman Forever (1995)

Batman & Robin (1997)

Batman Beyond 

Batman Begins (2005)

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) 

Henry’s very familiar with the Adam West MOVIE (not so much with the show yet), but the rest is tricky. If I had to pick (which I do), the first thing to see would be a few choice episodes of the Animated Series, starting around age 5 or 6, then getting into the more mature episodes around ages 10. So I’d start with some from the second season (like “Time Out of Joint,” the Riddler episodes, “Make ‘Em Laugh,” etc.) and then build up to “Heart of Ice,” “Second Chance” and “The Laughing Fish.”

After that, we could see some Schumacher action, particularly “Batman Forever.” Really, there’s no reason for any of us to ever watch “Batman & Robin” again, but if he wanted to watch it, I wouldn’t be against it around age 10.

1989’s “Batman” could come next, with “Batman Returns” coming later, like 13. Depends on what he’s like at that age, but right now it feels like Henry is on a “sensitive kid” trajectory, so bleeding mutant Penguin man gets a push.

The Nolan films could be screened around this same time in order of release, along with “Batman Beyond,” for being two of the darker takes on the character.

So there you are: Animated Series, Schumacher’s, Burton’s, Nolan’s and “Beyond.” That’s parenting.


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