Teen Titans GO! to the Movies Film Review: Deadpool For Kids

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
July 28th, 2018

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast


Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On July 28, 2018
Last modified:August 6, 2018

Summary:

Will Teen Titans Go! To the Movies change the DC world going forward? Probably not. But the positive change in tone should be a commended and seen on the biggest screen.


Reviewed by:
Rating:

3
On July 28, 2018
Last modified:August 6, 2018

Summary:

Will Teen Titans Go! To the Movies change the DC world going forward? Probably not. But the positive change in tone should be a commended and seen on the biggest screen.

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Teen Titans GO! to the Movies Film Review

It seems that all the significant superheroes out there are starring in their movies -- all but the Teen Titans. Robin is bound and determined to remedy that situation by becoming a star instead of a sidekick. With a few stupid ideas and a song in their hearts, the Teen Titans head to Hollywood to fulfil their dreams. Things soon go awry, however, when a supervillain plans to take over the planet -- putting the very fate of the young heroes on the line.

For millennials who grew up in the early 2000s, Cartoon Network’s animated superhero show Teen Titans was an essential part of their lives - something the entire school class was talking about at lunch. It was light enough for children but delved into genuine teenage issues including forms of madness, depression and heartbreak. Paying respect to the rich history of Titans comics, while introducing a new generation of kids to superheroes. It was one of my first introductions into DC and their famous league of powered heroes, taking me on the geek journey.

The original weekday cartoon ended after a five-season run into 2016, leaving the Teen Titans - Robin, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire and Raven dormant for several years. Before, returning in 2013 as Teen Titans went! To Cartoon Network with the original voice actors and drawn in a different art style. It was lower stakes and more focused on comedy, these changes upset older fans but allowed for new generations to get into comics. The reboot was cutesy, with characters drawn in chibi styles which made them look more teenage that before. It was a brilliant change of tone when compared to the darker TV shows on CW and Netflix.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

These dynamics continue with the shows first full-length animated movie. Teen Titans GO! to the Movies (or  Teen Titans GO! to the Cinema in some countries) keeping things light, even poking fun at the current state of DC films and trends in superhero blockbusters. It feels like a hybrid between The LEGO Batman Movie and recent adventures with Deadpool: at points even putting the mercenary with a mouth to shame with quippy fourth-wall breaks. Also making jokes about the fact Slade aka Deathstroke, looks like Deadpool, with one of the characters telling him to “say something to the camera.”

The story is hilariously simple. Every superhero on the planet seems to have their movies. That is, except, the Teen Titans. This crew that would rather eat sandwiches than conquer evil doesn't think they'll be considered real superheroes until their adventures are immortalised on the big screen. And how can you blame them? Even Aquaman is getting a movie.

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We quickly learn, though, thanks to a Hollywood director Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell), the movie industry doesn’t feel like the Titans are ready for their solo film. Audiences are explained this in some in-movie trailers for everything in DC Comics history including a standalone Alfred Pennyworth film to Batman's utility belt. That's when they realise the only way to become the stars they dream of being is to find a nemesis. In this case, that's Slade (Will Arnett).

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Slade Wilson is never called Deathstroke throughout the 95-minute run-time, instead is repeatedly referred to as the Marvel Comics mercenary Deadpool (Mainly because the film is for kids and the funny name is quite violent).

These running jokes are incredibly smart, given Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is essentially a Deadpool movie aimed at a much younger audience. The film is just 90 minutes of glee and charm, poking fun at the superhero genre including both MCU and X-Men universes. Including funny jokes at DC failures including Batman v Joker: Yawn of Justice to the appalling Green Lantern flick. It captures the comedic nature of the show while attempting to hit older audiences with smart references to the genre.

Another running joke in the film that might be lost on younger audiences is the fact that Nicolas Cage is the voice of Superman. As many knows, Cage nearly played a live-action Superman on the big screen, thanks to Tim Burton's proposed Superman Lives film. While that project never ended up happening, Cage's performance as this world's Superman is perfect, as is Halsey's Wonder Woman. There's also a pretty incredible cameo that most fans won't see coming.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is a fun adventure, but it's not perfect with jokes about farting and pooping feeling poorly written even for younger viewers. I hated these moments as they never propel us forward instead holds back from a classic animated family flick. The final act also drags, lacking the smart writing seen in the earlier opening minutes. But in the end, this is a superhero film for everyone including adults and small children. Including gags which will melt your heart and refreshing changes of pace which feels heartfelt and allows for more fun fewer CGI abominations.

Will Teen Titans Go! To the Movies change the DC world going forward? Probably not. But the positive change in tone should be a commended and seen on the biggest screen. Also stay behind for a shocking post-credit scene, which should impress fans nostalgic with the original Teen Titans show.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

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Will Teen Titans Go! To the Movies change the DC world going forward? Probably not. But the positive change in tone should be a commended and seen on the biggest screen.

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