Teen Titans Go! to the Movies is scheduled for release on July 27, 2018 and is directed by Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michail. The film stars Will Arnett, Kristen Bell, Greg Cipes, Scott Menville, Khary Payton, Tara Strong and Hynden Walch.
It seems that all the major superheroes out there are starring in their own movies — all but the Teen Titans. Robin is bound and determined to remedy that situation by becoming a star instead of a sidekick. With a few madcap ideas and a song in their hearts, the Teen Titans head to Hollywood to fulfill their dreams. Things soon go awry, however, when a supervillain plans to take over the planet — putting the very fate of the young heroes on the line.
Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is a movie I never expected to see. Being a fan of DC Comics and their animated movies means you become accustomed to their direct-to-video release model.
Animated movies based on TV cartoons are just not big box office hitters. So it was a genuine surprise when DC and Warner Bros. announced not only this movie but its theatrical release.
At this stage of proceedings I have to add a caveat: I have only seen sporadic episodes of Teen Titans Go! I was a huge fan of the original cartoon but so far have no sat down to watch the new one in great detail. It’s not because I’m not interested. There are just SO many episodes!
With that in mind I had an idea what to expect with this movie. I also had a lot of questions about how the format of the series would translate to a ninety minute movie. Those were answered pretty quickly when the film sets up its overall story.
Teen Titans Go! To The Movies follows a very simple story. Robin becomes fixated with all the A-list superheroes getting their own movies – a parody of Warner Bros. perceived development of the DC Films Universe? – and decides he needs to get an arch nemesis in order to become important enough to have his own movie.
What follows is a series of sketches which could each be its own episode of the TV series. Whilst they remain connected by the thread of the overall plot each sequence could easily be an episode of the TV series.
The film is at its best when it puts the focus on the fun. The writers understand their audience well enough to know that nobody went in to watching this movie thinking they were seeing Batman v Superman: Part 2. That doesn’t stop them from having some fun at its expense.
Scenes like the Titans inability to be allowed in to movie premieres, or studios play on a level of humour slightly above that of the fart jokes seen in the trailer. Tactfully playing on the audiences sense of humour also helps soften the introduction of Deathstroke… sorry Slade. His continued cries of “SLAAAAAAAAAAAAADE” become a running joke throughout the movie and stop the film from relying on the hero vs. villain tropes.
As an aside: the toilet humour is not as pronounced as some would have you believe. Bar a couple of scenes.
In fact the whole idea of a story is secondary to what makes Teen Titans Go! To The Movies a great movie. It takes everything which works about Deadpool and makes it applicable to audiences of all ages. Not only is it hugely self referential but it also understands the entire comic book universe at large. Jokes are thrown at the live action DC films throughout and Marvel do not get off lightly either. Kudos to the producers for getting Stan Lee to make a cameo.
When all is said and done the film has a beginning, a middle and an end. The bit in the middle might be a selection of different sketches but it does eventually move the film towards a conclusion.
That conclusion isn’t as much satisfying as it is an end to what came before. It’s a happily-ever-after of the comic book variety but one which comes loaded with a mid-credits scene we definitely don’t want to spoil for those of you who haven’t seen the movie.
But my point here is that you won’t care. Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is just too much fun for its drawbacks to be a problem.
The animated is in line with the TV series. City scapes are littered with references in the background. From billboards to company names there is just so much to see. Multiple watches still wouldn’t be enough to see everything.
A particular highlight is the movie posters. There are tonnes of mock DC movies posters to look out far. Another chance for Warner Bros. and DC Films to poke fun at itself. They heard you, you didn’t like Justice League and they are going to mock themselves for it.
If I had to grasp at a negative there are perhaps one too many musical moments. Whilst the spoof aesthetic means these are poking fun at other animated movies it’s still a little annoying. It’s worth noting the songs themselves aren’t bad, just repetitive and often appear more than once throughout the movie.
Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is just a ridiculously good time at the movies. There’s plenty of laughs for kids as well as grown ups. But there’s also a fair amount of heart and a butt load of DC Comics lore for any comics fan to enjoy.