Teen Titans Go! is a television show that has divided the Teen Titans fan base. Half accept it as it is: a light-hearted take on the superhero genre aimed at kids. The other half are rabid haters who are upset that the old show they liked better was cancelled. Obviously I’m firmly in the first camp! This version of the superteam features Robin, Cyborg, Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy as they go about their lives when not crimefighting — debating the best foods, getting stuck in an elevator, conquering a fear of the dark, learning about 401k’s, pretending to be a cat to impress a girl, dealing with being turned into an old person — just regular everyday stuff!

Teen Titans Go! is a perfect fit for the newly revitalized Warner Animation. Both the show and the studio have made madcap humor their forte. And from the production logos to the final sentence of the film, wackiness is what you get! This is the kind of film where the plot is driven by the jokes. So, yes, it may feel a bit episodic, but each episode is a setup for something hilarious. One of the great things about the movie is it can be enjoyed by everyone. Kids will love the bright, colorful animation and funny characters. Adults will love the general mockery of DC and Marvel and the satire on the glut of the superhero genre in pop culture today.

If you’re a fan of the show you’re going to find the movie to be somewhat different. The biggest positive change? There’s a lot more action. Unlike the series, we actually find the Titans in several epic fight scenes. It’s really cool to get to see these characters at their best working together. The biggest negative change? The jokes aren’t as over the top zany and they don’t come as fast and furiously as on the small screen. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very funny film. But the humor is more in line with the plot. So, yes, an extremely clever bit with superhero origin stories. But, no, no learning about real estate equity. And while the jokes are definitely not non-stop (not a surprise in the jump from 11 minutes to 88), they are all almost on-target with very few duds.

While not really a musical, just like on the tv show, music is a big part of Teen Titans Go! To The Movies. The film features five original songs, one of which gets a full remix during the running time. Since several of the songs feature in the plot or have fun surprises I don’t want to spoil, I’ll just say that all are winners and all are extremely funny in the context the story.

The animation is very much in line with the original program, but the increased budget is obvious with some new “camera” angles and effects we never see on tv.

The voice acting from the regulars is top notch, as they have been doing these characters since 2003. To their credit, they sound just as into these voices as they probably were at the beginning — they’re definitely not just phoning it in after 15 years! I love Will Arnett in just about every role I’ve ever seen him in! Here, as the villain Slade, he’s good, but it might have been more interesting if he’d gone with a different voice since his own is so distinctive, especially with his Lego Batman and Bojack Horseman characters already being so popular. Kristen Bell does a fine job with her role as a movie producer, though she doesn’t get much room to stretch with it.

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is a very fun film that families will be able to enjoy together. It’s for kids and adults. It’s for people who love superheros and people who are tired of superheros. It’s for those who love burritos and those who prefer burgers. It’s for fans of the the League of Legs and fans of B.E.R. Waffles waffles waffles waffles waffles waffles. It’s for people who like bland and people who’d rather have spice. It’s for secret leprechauns and super fans like Wally T. WALLY T! And overall it’s for people who just like to laugh. Which I guess leaves out those surly original Teen Titans fans!

Animated Classic or Back To The Drawing Board?

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies
Warner Animation Group
July 27, 2018
88 minutes
Rated PG
directed by Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath