Teen Titans Go! To The Movies Theatrical Release: July 27, 2018
Home Media Release: Digital HD - October 10, 2018; Blu-ray/DVD - October 31, 2018 Studios: Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Directors: Aaron Horvath, Peter Rida Michail
Screenwriters: Michael Jelenic, Aaron Horvath
Starring: Will Arnett, Kristen Bell, Greg Cipes, Scott Menville, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Hynden Walch, Lil Yachty, Nicolas Cage
Plot Summary: When the Teen Titans go to the big screen, they go big! Teen Titans Go! To The Movies finds our egocentric, wildly satirical Super Heroes in their first feature film extravaganza - a fresh, gleefully clever, kid-appropriately crass and tongue-in-cheek play on the superhero genre, complete with musical numbers. It seems to the Teens that all the major superheroes out there are starring in their own movies - everyone but the Teen Titans, that is! But de facto leader Robin is determined to remedy the situation, and be seen as a star instead of a sidekick. If only they could get the hottest Hollywood film director to notice them. With a few madcap ideas and a song in their heart, the Teen Titans head to Tinsel Town, certain to pull off their dream. But when the group is radically misdirected by a seriously super villain and his maniacal plan to take over the Earth, things really go awry. The team finds their friendship and their fighting spirit failing, putting the very fate of the Teen Titans themselves on the line!
Blu-ray, Digital HD Special Features:
-Lil Yachty Music Video: "Teen Titans GO! Rap"
-Sing-a-long with Silkie "DC Super Hero Girls: The Late Batsby" Mini-Movie
-Red Carpet Mayhem
-Teen Titans Go! To The Movie: WB Lot Shenanigans
-"Everything is Fake": Exclusive song not in the movie
-"Teen Titans GO!: Translated"
o Time Cycles
o The Final Battle
Based on the Teen Titan Go! animated series, currently in its fifth season on Cartoon Network, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies may have a fairly straightforward plot, but it's full of surprises and has so much going for it. From cameos by a host of DC Comics characters to parodies of Disney songs, along with the movie changing art styles on more than a couple occasions, there's no shortage on meta-humor and pop culture references. It's a fun movie that, despite a couple shortcomings, it's well worth checking out.
Please note there will be spoilers in this review.
To give a little background on Teen Titans Go!, it's an animated comedy series inspired by the 2003 Teen Titans animated series, and includes the same main voice actors reprising their roles. Teen Titans Go! is more of a parody of superhero tropes in general, though it usually dips into meta-humor in regards to its own quality and how it is inferior to the previous version. The series jumps around from topic to topic, sometimes offering up educational episodes on real estate or pyramid schemes. It's mainly a comedy show, and apart from some of the lessons offered in the odd educational episode, I don't think the show ever wants to be taken seriously.
The plot for Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, released theatrically during Summer 2018, sees Robin and his team of Titans traveling to Hollywood in an attempt to get their own movie - something Robin has always wanted, and thinks this would be the way he would finally be taken seriously by his fellow superheroes. There's a bunch of gags poking fun at how over-exposed Batman has become in recent times, with his supporting cast and even utility belt getting their own big-screen movies before Robin. Naturally, this does not sit well with the Boy Wonder.
When director Jade Wilson - who, spoilers, is really Slade in disguise - mentions she would only make a movie about the Teen Titans if there were no other heroes in the world, the team decides to travel back in time and mess with the origins of every other hero to ensure they would never exist today. As such we get a pretty hilarious montage of the Titans visiting and saving Krypton, convincing the Wayne's to take another route not through Crime Alley, or throwing a plastic six-pack ring into the sea in which a young Aquaman gets trapped and apparently sinks. It's all in vain though, since once they return to the present they find the world in ruins thanks to all the super-villains left. Everything gets solved quickly enough with another montage of the Titans setting things right, making sure the tragedies in the heroes' pasts remain intact.
The sequence with Robin making sure Batman's origin comes to pass is such a darkly comic scene that I can't believe it got approved.
There is some drama to be found among all the laughs, though. Robin thinks the rest of the team is holding him back, so he decided to quit and star in a solo Robin movie. It's all handled well enough, and is followed up with the surprise twist about Slade's big plan to broadcast his mind-controlling message around the world. And, of course, he's already got some of DC Comics' biggest superheroes under his mind control. But we do get a cool fight scene with the Teen Titans facing off against the other heroes. Fittingly enough, the final battle sees the Titans go up against their arch-enemy Slade, accompanied by his giant robot. Admittedly, I wasn't expecting Slade to be Jade Wilson in disguise. I figured there was a connection between the two given the names - perhaps Jade was Slade's daughter - but it actually caught me by surprise. It's a silly twist but it just adds to the overall fun tone of the movie.
As you can expect, the main cast from the last two Teen Titans animated series reprise their roles - Scott Menville voices Robin, Tara Strong voices Raven, Khary Payton voices Cyborg, Hynden Walch voices Starfire and Greg Cipes voices Beast Boy. The interactions between the characters are genuinely funny, with the actors clearly having fun playing off each other, as they have been for years. It's infectious and you can even get a sense of just how much fun they're having in these roles.
The list of guest actors in Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is pretty impressive, too. Will Arnett is great as Slade (not Deadpool!), bringing the same type of jerk-ish buffoonery he brought to Batman in the excellent The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie. He's a worthy successor, though brings something completely different, to Ron Perlman's iconic take in the 2003 Teen Titans cartoon. We got to finally hear Nicolas Cage as Superman, which is one of the most interesting casting stunts in the movie. To provide some context, Cage was set to play Superman in the early 1990s for a live-action moviethat ultimately was never produced. As a bonus of sorts, Cage's son Kal-El gets a small voice role in the movie as well, voicing young Bruce Wayne. Kristen Bell is fun as filmmaker Jade Wilson and most of her scenes are entertaining enough. There are several other small roles in there, with folks like Halsey (as Wonder Woman), Lil Yachty (Green Lantern John Stewart) or Patton Oswalt (Atom). They did great in their respective small turns, and it's worth noting Lil Yachty also contributed to the movie's soundtrack.
Also noteworthy is Stan "the Man" Lee's subtle cameo in the movie. He plays an animated version of himself, in a parody of sorts to his many, many cameos in most of Marvel's big-screen live-action movies. It is a little bittersweet now, since he passed away a few months after the movie was released. It's a testament to his character (and to just how cool he was) that he was willing to participate in this fun project, disregarding the DC Comics/Marvel Comics rivalry that often divides fans.
There's also a brief teaser during the film's end credit featuring the 2003 version of the Teen Titans trying to find their way home. This gets expanded on a little on the Teen Titans Go! To The Movies home video rlease, which included an announcement trailer for a Teen Titans vs Teen Titans Go! animated movie where the two versions of the team will clash. I am definitely looking forward to that!
Taking a look at the film's Blu-ray release, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies gets a really, really nice 1080p encode. It's a little diappointing that there's no Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray release, as it would have been neat to see those ultra bight and shiny colors get a boost from the HDR, but the Blu-ray is nothing to scoff at.
The film is literally resplendent with bright primary colors everywhere, and while the 2D animation isn't overly detailed, every line and digital marker looks nearly picture perfect. Unlike the DC Universe Movie released put out by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, there is no massive color banding backed into the source material. The digitally created film is clean and clear of most artifacts. The shiny colors really pop off the screen, even if there are a few flickers of banding, but nothing like the baked in stuff seen in other animated DC Comics titles released by Warner Bros. The film isn't overly dark, but those dark-ish sequences look great, showing just as much detail, and being just as artifact free, as the daylight shots.
In terms of bonus content, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies has a nice helping of extras. The Blu-ray release includes a music video, animatics, a sing-along, a deleted song and a host of short-form content. Nothing really dives into the film's production or the history of the source material. Nothing substantial, but worth a look.
Overall, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is a fun, enjoyable movie, even with it's few shortcomings. The pacing is a little off, with some sections of the movie dragging and the ending coming a little too fast. Still, it's certainly a fun, worthwhile movie worth checking out. The humor works most of the time, although there are a bunch of gags I didn't feel were all that amusing, and some of the gross gags don't really land. For example, there's one gag where the Titans use a prop toilet on a movie set, and it's harmless enough, but the gag lasts a bit too long. That said, the pros far outweigh the cons here. Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is a legitimately great animated movie, and a fun super-hero adventure that's a breath of fresh air among the usual heroic fare out there. If you're a fan of the show, this movie will definitely hit all the right spots, but if you're looking for something new and different, you get that here. Teen Titans Go! To The Movies comes Recommended!