Whilst the eyes of all comic book fans were fixed firmly on Avengers Infinity War this summer, DC managed to sneak in their own little gem into the summer mix and it was one that I had honestly not seen coming but was so happy to see that I legitimately had goose bumps waiting for it to start at my local cinema. Now that TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES is set to arrive on DVD & Digital Download from November 26, and will be available on Blu-ray exclusively at HMV, it is a great time to revisit this film and spread the word about why this deserves to be on your film watching plan for the festive holidays.
Teen Titans Go! Is quite simply one of the best DC comics animated series they have done and was the kind of intelligent humour that was side hurting funny that respected an older and younger DC Comics fan without becoming too much of a parody. It was so ahead of its time that it was breaking the 4th wall and celebrating its own self awareness way before Ryan Reynolds took Deadpool to big screen heights using those tools. How it took this long for the show to get its own feature film will remain a mystery to many but I will say that the wait was completely worth it as this film came at the right time and for the right reasons and not only celebrates everything that is just so fantastic about DC Animated films and TV shows but also a really good look at comic book films as they are now in 2018.
The film sees our favourite Teen Titans in Raven, Starfire, Cyborg and Beast Boy still being captained by Robin still seeking recognition from the main DC Superhero’s like the Justice League members Batman, Superman, Flash, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern by fighting crime on their own. The film opens with a brilliant set piece as they attempt to take down the Balloon Man but are shocked when he declares he has no idea who they are which then prompts the Titans to bust out their own rap song which only allows Balloon Man to escape. Before they know it, the Justice League arrives to save the day but stop to criticise the young heroes for basically being far too childish to be real heroes and that until they get their own super hero film, would never be taken seriously as a team. Whilst at the premier for the new Batman film, Robin is taken back as he watches the trailers for upcoming DC super hero films with the false hope that he will be getting his own only to see everyone, including Alfred, getting a film next summer. Humiliated, Robin decides that they must go to Hollywood and convince the big bosses that they are deserving of their own film leading to many shenanigans and trouble for the Titans.
I can honestly say that even on watching this film for the second time for this review, I started off smiling from the very start right to the very end with the jokes still having the same impact on me as they had back in the summer sitting in a dark cinema screening. The writing is just so strong for this feature that at no time does it feel like one of the original TV series that ran from 2003 to 2006 but over stretched to be a feature length episode. It feels and is presented like a full animated feature and the sheer amounts of jokes from beginning to the end of the actual credits is staggering. What makes it so good is that the writers have clearly gone to the trouble of wanting to please fans like me of the original series to keep what made it so much fun to watch but smart enough to realise that so much time has passed that these characters and the style of their animated series would need to be introduced to a brand new 2018 audience.
The silliness will work for a younger audience and that is where Beast Boy and Cyborg come into their strengths but then you have the 4th wall breaking in the references to other DC characters but especially in how they acknowledge the MARVEL cinematic universe and as seen in trailers, they mentioned Deadpool in how they mistake Slade as Deadpool leading to a wonderful and genuinely funny exchange which is a friendly recognition of how popular Deadpool is right now but at no time does it feel or actually comes across that they are mocking MARVEL or its fans but instead remains friendly banter.
That same humour comes across in how they reference comic book films as well with so many being released such as the hint at an Alfred film which is also ironic because there is actually a TV series being developed right now that is based on Alfred’s life before he became the Wayne family butler. But again, all of this is good humoured poking of fun for which the audience will absolutely get and understand and can laugh with but not at which is the important thing. What helps is that the original animated series voice cast are back to reprise their roles which thanks to the animated show, their voices will always be the ones I hear in my mind for their characters not to mention the guest stars playing the parts of the other characters such as Nicholas Cage, who at one point was actually going to play Superman on the big screen until the film production was cancelled, finally gets to voice Superman in this film, and though it is a little strange to hear as a DC fan, for this film it works so brilliantly.
As funny as this film is, the story is actually a really good one as well with Robin so desperate to be seen as much of a hero as anyone in the Justice League including Batman, that he is blinded by the need to have a film based on him to the point where he falls out with his fellow Titans who do not share the same need to be recognised and they are just perfectly happy fighting crime and having fun. That story is never buried under all the comedy but enriched by it which is a very delicate balance to keep for a feature length animated film and again, this manages it really well. It felt like a celebration of the original series and when I first watched this in the cinema it made me seek out the original series on Bluray to enjoy it al the more and what struck me is just how timeless the show still is and the boxset is super cheap to find out there now which compliments the film so well
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is just a joyful film to watch and best watched with friends or as a family making the timing of this release just before Christmas is perfect. With the big screen DC universe stumbling at the moment, the DC Animated Universe has never been stronger both with serious story releases such as the recent Death of Superman Trilogy, and by bringing the Teen Titans back in 2018 but doing the sensible thing in embracing what made the animated series so fantastic, this film is a must watch for any DC comic fan and with the post credit scenes hinting at more awesome to come, there is no better time to get to know these heroic Teen Titans then right now.
Just be prepared to have their amazing rap song stuck in your head!! TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES will be coming to DVD & Digital Download from Monday 26th November, and will be available on Blu-ray exclusively at HMV.