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Batman: 6 Most Emotional Scenes From The DCAU | ScreenRant

The start of the DCAU served as a vital point in the Dark Knight's mythos, as it helped set the standard for storytelling with this character. Batman: The Animated Series is one of the most acclaimed works across anything the superhero's starred in, along with its direct sequel shows.

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In addition to The New Batman Adventures and Batman Beyond, the Justice League animated shows unsurprisingly featured some pivotal Batman moments as well. Across all of these classic DCAU endeavors and more, there have been plenty of Batman-related emotional scenes that deeply resonated with fans.

6 Confronting His Fears - "Nothing To Fear" (Batman: The Animated Series)

In "Nothing to Fear," one of Batman's best villains, Scarecrow, made his BTAS debut. It touched on the origin of former Dr. Jonathan Crane and his transformation into the famed supervillain, using his trademark fear gas to get inside of Batman's head. This makes this episode another good case of diving into the superhero's psyche, showing fans what fears a master of fear like Batman has.

The scene where the Caped Crusader is in Scarecrow's clutches, confronting his fear of being deemed a failure in his father's eyes, elicited a profound feeling of triumph and catharsis in the normally emotionally stunted Dark Knight. Hearing Kevin Conroy's iconic Batman line declaring himself as the embodiment of vengeance and the night is a scene long-time fans will never forget.

5 Batman's Childhood Trauma - "Appointment In Crime Alley" (BTAS)

A much more somber note was hit in the same season of Batman: The Animated Series during the episode "Appointment in Crime Alley." The episode is an adaptation of a classic comic story by the late Dennis O'Neil from the early '70s, taking Batman and audiences to the most impactful moment in Bruce Wayne's life. Roland Daggett attempts to gentrify a part of Gotham City dubbed "Crime Alley" by staging explosions--knowing that would also kill many people on top of displacing others.

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Batman saves people in Daggett's line of fire, but can't expose his culpability. It highlights the theme of corporate corruption but truly brings that emotional weight in Crime Alley itself. It's also the animated debut of Dr. Leslie Thompkins, and this episode delivers an emotional scene with Batman paying his respects at the site of his parents' murder with Leslie consoling him. Leslie is one of the few people Batman shows his vulnerable side to and this scene shows the normally inscrutable superhero at his most vulnerable.

4 Bruce's Guilt Over Being Happy (Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm)

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, although with some admitted continuity questions, is by and large considered a canonical DCAU movie. It's also regarded by many fans as the best animated Batman movie. A tragic love story, Phantasm shows a younger Bruce grappling with his guilt of being happy long after his parents' murders.

He falls in love with Andrea Beaumont and contemplates proposing to her, but is conflicted between his life of crimefighting and her. On a rainy night, Bruce goes to his parent's graves, begging them to release him from his vow and let things finally be different; to be happy. The best Batman tales delve into the mind of the titular hero, and this does so as being a compelling, heart-wrenching character study. It shows Bruce struggling to come to terms with the past trauma that made him Batman and his ill-fated attempts to overcome his need for vengeance by getting married and settling down.

3 Mr. Freeze's Origins - "Heart of Ice" (Batman: The Animated Series)

Mr. Freeze is one of the villains that was treated as a joke in the comics prior to The Animated Series, with the show completely reinventing him in the best possible ways. He was a comedic character before, but the series is what gave Mr. Freeze the tragic, sympathetic villain origin story. The general consensus is the "Heart of Ice" is the best episode out of the series, and takes fans through Victor Fries' life before being shackled to his cryogenic suit.

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There's actually a couple of key scenes that strike the biggest chord, with the first being the flashback of Victor working for the greedy Ferris Boyle and forcing him to stop the research that would save his terminally ill wife and the tragic accident that followed. Then, the climactic scene with Mr. Freeze giving a "closing monologue" while somberly looking at his figurine of a woman in a snow globe, an obvious parallel to his beloved spouse. This was another example of a children's show displaying incredible nuance in character writing.

2 Annie's Death To Clayface - "Growing Pains" (The New Batman Adventures)

It's certainly one of the most heartbreaking and overall best episodes of The New Batman Adventures, as Annie, her death, and Tim/Robin's spotlight in the story add different narrative elements. "Growing Pains" is a solid balance of romance and coming-of-age story for the current Boy Wonder all at once. At the same time, it teaches a dark - but very real - life lesson. Annie was technically a clone made from Clayface's clay, but seeing her "die" at the hands of the supervillain was crushing to see, as well as the following scene with Batman and Tim at the end.

As Clayface is brought into custody, Tim mourns her loss while Batman consoles him. He tells him that happy endings are never guaranteed, with Robin believing that Clayface deserves punishment for murder. "Growing Pains"  touches on the question of what it means to be human--especially driving it home with that final line of dialogue by Robin.

1 Comforting Ace In Her Final Moments - "Epilogue" (Justice League Unlimited)

The exchange between Ace of the Royal Flush Gang and Batman during "Epilogue" is frequently cited as one of the most tragically beautiful scenes in the DCAU. It's also a scene that gives audiences a prime example of Batman's great capacity for empathy and compassion that more movies and other projects should take a page from. Ace was manipulated and abused since childhood by the government to train as a telepathic weapon, eventually being sucked into a life of crime.

She needed to be stopped and was doomed to suffer a fatal brain aneurism that could kill others for miles. Amanda Waller gives Batman a device to kill her, but instead, just sits with her to comfort and console her in her final moments, knowing that killing her was both cruel and unnecessary. Ace knew the Dark Knight had no intention to harm her and saw in him someone who she could relate to. He showed her one last piece of genuine kindness before she was taken by the world that robbed her childhood.

NEXT: 10 Best Episodes of Justice League Unlimited, According To IMDb

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