REVIEW: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
I will admit that I skipped Teen Titans Go! since I was far beyond their target audience, I was happy to see a scaled down, entry-level animated series succeed so well on cable. It honored its Marv Wolfman/George Pérez roots and had a nice run. What I never expected was to see it make the leap to the big screen and succeed as well as it did.
Back in the spring, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies was among the least anticipated summer films by theater owners at Movie Con but then arrived to superlative reviews (91% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes) and stronger than anticipated box office with $51.8 million earned worldwide against a $10 million budget.
On the five season series, the young heroes were seen having ordinary every day adventures, focusing more on pizza than the Fearsome Five. One recurring theme seems to be that the adult heroes looked down on them as being far from ready. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, out on disc now from Warner Home Entertainment, goes meta as the kids worry about their shot at a feature film. They’re told they’re just too goofy to be taken seriously enough for a film so Robin (Scott Menville) leads the team — Cyborg (Khary Payton), Beast Boy (Greg Cipes), Raven (Tara Strong), and Starfire (Hynden Walch) — to Hollywood to prove them all wrong. Hilarity ensures for the next 84 minutes.
Taking a cue more from 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool than any heroic film Warner has released, the movie is a rapid-fire collection of wit, comical asides, and recurring gags including, yes, mistaking Deathstroke (called Slade here given the target audience) as Deadpool. Writers Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath clearly had a lot of fun with this and were well-served by director Aaron Horvath. For knowing adults in the room, you can appreciate that Superman is voiced by Nicholas Cage (fulfilling his dream). There is additional fine voice work from Will Arnett and the ubiquitous Kristen Bell. Nothing is sacred, notably the flawed DCEU films.
The transfer to Blu-ray is just fine, with strong visuals and audio. The simple style is deceptive and the colors pop here. Being a kids film, the special features appear more geared to them than the parents buying the disc. There’s a Lil Yachty Music Video (2:09) and three Sing-A-Long songs — Rap (1:56), Inspirational Song (2:41), My Super Hero Movie (2:23) — featuring Starfire’s pet Silkie, who was left out of the film proper. WB Lot Shenanigans (3:56) features costumed adults as the Titans making noise around the film studio. Red Carpet Mayhem (2:10) has some of the cast have fun at the premiere. We also have a DC Super Hero Girls Short: The Late Batsby (4:14). Interestingly, Teen Titans GO!: Translated (2:18) shows scenes translated for international audiences. We have two Storyboard Animatics: Time Cycles (1:07) and The Final Battle (1:34). Finally, there’s a one-minute deleted scene.