STARRING: Greg Cipes, Scott Menville, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Hynden Walch, Will Arnett, Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Jimmy Kimmel, Halsey and Lil Yachty
A villain’s maniacal plan for world domination sidetracks five teenage superheroes who dream of Hollywood stardom.
It appears that all the major superheroes are starring in their own films….everyone but the Teen Titans. Their leader Robin is determined to rectify the situation as he wants to be seen as a superhero instead of a sidekick. The Titans make their way to Hollywood to pull of their dream and get Hollywood’s hottest film director to notice them. The Teen Titans are distracted from their original plan however as they come across and attempt to foil supervillain Slade’s maniacal plan to take over the world.
Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is the feature outing for the Teen Titans Go! animated series from Cartoon Network that has been airing since 2013. Here, Robin dreams one of day coming out from underneath Batman’s shadow and getting a solo film where he’s no longer seen as a sidekick, but a superhero in his own right. Unfortunately for him and the rest of the Teen Titans, everyone and their vehicles are getting films but them, they’re not even of worthy of attending superhero premieres more so than the Challengers of the Unknown. When they decide to make their way to Hollywood to convince one of the hottest film directors to make a film about them, they get sidetracked by the villainous Slade, who plots for world domination and he may be actually what the Teen Titans need in order to get their own film.
I wasn’t too sure what to expect going into Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, but I didn’t expect it to be so much of a meta comedy. While the characters and the animations are aimed primarily at the kids, there’s plenty of references for the adults to pick up on, from the Teen Titans having their own Back To The Future spoof that leads to one of the funniest montages in the film, to even Starfire making a reference when looking at the Warner Bros. tower “that’s where the Animaniacs live”. From the opening sequence, we see how easily distracted and not respected in the same way as their peers the Teen Titans are, as Balloon Man has no idea who they are, even guessing they’re the “Guardians of the Galaxy”, and resumes to robbing the bank when they decide to introduce themselves via rap, causing the Justice League to intervene. The film is pretty much like the Warner Bros. Animation features as of late, it’s hyperactive, yet colourful and the 2D animation on the big screen is a pleasant surprise in this day and age. The film is very self-aware, not afraid to take jabs at its previous DC films (one scene involving Batman and Superman redoing that ‘Martha’ moment as it were), include cameos that are nice nods to failed attempts (Nicolas Cage as Superman) and some that are too good to spoil. The voice cast is really solid here, especially from original voice cast of Greg Cipes, Scott Menville, Khary Payton, Tara Strong and Hynden Walch. Will Arnett is also really good at voicing this particular version of Slade (which sounds cool to say slowly and in a deep voice).
In terms of negatives, the film goes for the toilet humour to make the children laugh, ranging from fart to poop jokes, to even that quick glimpse of a twerking baby. For some this may be expected, while for others it may just be too much. While the jokes come fast and plenty, there are a few that don’t quite land that well and in terms of plot, it’s paper-thin but with the film coming in at roughly ninety minutes, it feels like it overstays its welcome slightly.
If you’re a fan of all things DC Comics and their feature films, then there’s plenty of Easter eggs and laughs to be had watching Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, with great voice work from the original cast and Will Arnett. The childish humour may be too much for some, but there’s plenty of humour for the adults to pick up on, the animation is solid and the songs are incredibly catchy, particularly Michael Bolton’s ‘Upbeat’. 6/10