TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES, from directors Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michail, takes the beloved Teen Titans Go! TV series and gives it the animated cinematic experience fans have been waiting for. The film stars the original cast from the TV series which includes Scott Menville as Robin, Khary Payton as Cyborg, Tara Strong as Raven, Hynden Walch as Starfire, and Greg Cipes as Beast Boy. Additionally, Will Arnett, Kristen Bell, and Nicolas Cage lend their voices to this superhero infused animated film.
It’s 2018 and we are living in the day-and-age of Super Heroes, with big budget movies coming out left and right featuring some of our favorite caped crusaders. However, not everyone is getting a slice of the big pie, and Robin vows to change that for himself and the rest of the Teen Titans. When he meets Jade Wilson (voiced by Kristen Bell), a big time Hollywood director, he tries everything in his power - including musical numbers - to win her over in hopes that she’ll give the Teen Titans their shot at the Hollywood dream. However, they have one major roadblock when they find themselves up against a new super-villain named Slade (voiced by Will Arnett), who will stop at nothing to thwart their plans of fame and fortune. It’s up to the Teen Titans to band together as one so as to defeat their nemesis and save the world.
I should start by saying that up until the other day I had never seen an episode of Teen Titans so I literally had no frame of reference. With that said, I went into this film with a relatively neutral stance and very little expectations. For the most part, I really enjoyed what I watched, but there were a few moments that had me rolling my eyes. I understand that this is a show directed towards a much younger audience which may be why some of the jokes just didn’t stick with me. What I did love was the moments of cheeky humor and pop culture references that snaked their way throughout the film - most notably those directed at Batman vs. Superman. I will admit that I audibly laughed out loud when cartoon Batman (voiced by Jimmy Kimmel) and cartoon Superman (voiced by Nicolas Cage - which is hilarious if you are familiar with the infamous Superman movie that never got made) were reenacting the notorious “Martha” moment. What I am not a fan of, though, is bathroom humor, which was something that was prevalent throughout the film. How many times do I have to hear an animated character in this film repeat the words “poop”,“diarrhea” or “fart”? Sorry folks, that type of humor does nothing for me.
Regardless of that, I did like a lot of the underlying themes at play - especially that of friendship and sticking by those who celebrate you. Early on it’s apparent that Robin wants to relish in the spotlight of that which he believes that he deserves and through the course of the film we watch as he becomes more and more desperate to achieve that. However, what he doesn’t realize at the time, is that he is doing all of this at the expense of his friends and the close relationship he has with the other Teen Titans. Through a series of actions, Robin because so self-involved that once the golden apple is within reach, he’s unaware all the warning signs around him. I realize this is some deep thinking for a kids animated film, but I think it’s important to discuss because we live in a society that thrives off of social media likes and the number of followers that we have. It’s important to remember that it’s the ones that are there for us during the most mundane of times, the ones that celebrate your friendship and stand by you through thick and thin, they are the ones that we should cherish. It doesn’t matter if you have a big budget movie about your life as Batman’s sidekick or if you are fighting the ultimate super villains, it’s paramount to remember those who consistently, and lovingly, stay by your side.
Overall, TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES is a heartfelt and endearing animated film that many adults and children will enjoy. Though some of the comedy wasn’t my cup of tea, I can see why younger audiences would get a kick out of it. I appreciated all the nods to DC superheroes as well as the fact that the movie didn’t take itself too seriously and was able to crack jokes at its, and other big budget features, expenses. With the holidays coming up, TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES is just the kind of film that the whole family can watch and enjoy together.
TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES is now available to own on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, and Digital.