‘Teen Titans GO! To The Movies’ (2018)
Directed by: Aaron Horvath & Peter Rida Michail
Written by: Aaron Horvath & Michael Jelenic
Starring: Scott Menville, Hynden Walch, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Greg Cipes, Nicolas Cage, Will Arnett, Kristen Bell, Stan Lee, Jimmy Kimmel
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am a huge fan of DC Comics. I religiously watch their shows on The CW and I love their animated features and series. Their movies, however, are very, very hit or miss (with most of them falling in the “miss” category). Luckily, a new DC Comics film will be released this coming Friday (7/27) that falls into their animated category and it is just plain, outright fun! ‘Teen Titans GO! To The Movies‘ is the first theatrical release of a DC Animated Film since 1993’s ‘Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm‘. I was a little hesitant going in because the cartoon series on which this film is based (‘Teen Titans GO!‘) isn’t high on my list. I’m more of a ‘Young Justice‘ guy, but I certainly understand the appeal of ‘GO!’ for younger audiences and I can appreciate it for what it is. This film features the same core voice cast as the Cartoon Network show with Scott Menville as Robin, Hynden Walch as Starfire, Khary Payton as Cyborg, Tara Strong as Raven and Greg Cipes as Beast Boy. On top of that, we get treated to the adult heroes such as Superman (Nicolas Cage), Wonder Woman (Halsey), Batman (Jimmy Kimmel) and Green Lantern (Lil Yachty) among nearly every other DC Hero of which you can think right down to The Challengers of the Unknown and Detective Chimp.
The plot centers around the adult heroes viewing the Teen Titans as a joke and not worthy of getting their own movie (a feat every other super hero has accomplished recently, including Batman’s butler, Alfred). Robin attempts to prove that his team is not a joke by confronting Slade Wilson (played gleefully by Will Arnett) as he attempts to steal a special jewel the absorbs energy. The group is victorious and movie mogul Jade Wilson agrees to make a movie about the Teen Titans. Both danger and hilarity ensue as the team realizes that they are the only ones who can stop a farther reaching and sinister scheme that even the Justice League can’t handle. There are musical numbers, there are inside jokes, there are brightly splashed animated effects, there’s even a fantastic cameo by Stan Lee (and, yes, that really IS him lending his voice to his animated avatar). Overall, this is a great movie for the whole family. Adults will enjoy it for the comic references and self-deprecating humor, kids will enjoy it for the zany animation, and movie goers in general should enjoy it as a different type of film from the current slate of movies currently in theaters.
The film works because it never takes itself seriously – at all! It’s meant to be tongue-in-cheek as it recognizes it’s own absurdity and points a finger at DC’s own place in the currently superhero-heavy film landscape. Fans of the series will be satisfied and people who have never seen the series will enjoy the style of this film and it’s humor. For me, it doesn’t stack up to the aforementioned ‘Mask Of The Phantasm’ nor even to current releases like ‘Incredibles 2’, but it’s not trying to do so either and that’s part of the film’s charm. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give ‘Teen Titans GO! To The Movies’ a solid 7. Bring YOUR team out to see it next weekend at a theater near you AND make sure to stay for a post credits scene!!!