Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Updated: Feb 7
Superheroes have completely taken over multiplexes in this decade. If you are a fan, I suppose that is great news. However, even devotees of this type of film have to be feeling some burnout. As of today, there have already been six this year (counting Incredibles 2), with at least three more still to come. That is a lot of super-powered heroes fighting bad guys. Thankfully, the animated comedy Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is the superhero movie for people tired of superhero movies. It is a silly adventure poking fun at the very idea of the genre and the crazy amount of films it has produced. It works as an amusing little diversion from all the super serious summer action flicks.
This DC entry (based on the Cartoon Network series Teen Titans Go!) follows the Teen Titans (alien Starfire, robotic Cyborg, half human/half demon Raven, shape-shifting Beast Boy and, their leader, Batman’s sidekick Robin) as they search for an arch-nemesis so they can get their own movie. But the plot is mainly a clothesline for lots of self-referencing and tons of comic book in-jokes. It is like those moments in Deadpool where he breaks the fourth wall were made into their own movie. While that could become exhausting, in this case it is kind of charming.
Teen Titans Go! is unrelated to the ongoing DC cinematic universe. You do not have to have seen Batman vs Superman or Wonder Woman to follow the action here. This may as well take place in a different galaxy. They and many other DC heroes (both popular and far less well-known) pop-in for cameos. I recognized a few of them and got some of the references, though I am sure I missed many, many more. That did not hurt my enjoyment, but it might annoy those with little knowledge of this world. If you are not into superheroes or comic books, this would probably be a bad place to start. Unless you are into wacky shenanigans involving poop and fart jokes because there are plenty of those too.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies has a goofy, anarchic, high-energy spirit. The animation is no better than on the tv show (though it definitely fits the tone of the production) and the story and characters are developed as much as they are in the average Looney Tunes cartoon (which is to say, just enough to set up the gags). However, the non-stop silliness is fun for the most part and it does not overstay its welcome (Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is only 77 minutes, although it does have the requisite post-credits scenes).
I enjoyed it for what it is: a parody where part of the joke is its own existence. If any of this concept sounds dumb to you then let me do you a favor and suggest that you stay far away from this movie. But if any of this sounds appealing and you are in the mood for some family friendly absurdity, well, it is better than Hotel Transylvania 3.
3¼ out of 5
Scott Menville as Robin
Greg Cipes as Beast Boy
Khary Payton as Cyborg
Tara Strong as Raven
Hynden Walch as Starfire
Will Arnett as Slade
Kristen Bell as Jade Wilson
Directed by Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michail
Written by Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath