Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is the next in the series of films my kid is forcing me to see with her. Unlike Hotel Transylvania 3, this one is actually fun to watch. I’m a passive viewer of the Teen Titans Go! television show, meaning my kid watches, while I do something else. But personally, I was a Marvel kid 40 years ago; I did not read DC at all…except Teen Titans. I still have the Teen Titans/X-Men crossover.
Batman sidekick, Robin (Scott Menville), is jealous that every DC superhero has his or her own movie except him…oh and his fellow Teen Titans too. The Titans include Beast Boy (Greg Cipes), Cyborg (Khary Payton), Raven (Tara Strong), and Starfire (Hynden Walch).
Marketing research shows that no one thinks of the Titans as heroes. They’re basically teenagers hanging out every day causing trouble in part because of their superpowers. Starring in a superhero film has been Robin’s dream for a long time and his fellow Titans rally by him to make that dream come true.
“To be a hero, you need an arch-nemesis and comes in the form of Slade…masked villain with guns and swords… real power comes in the form of mind manipulation…”
To be a hero, you need an arch-nemesis and comes in the form of Slade (Will Arnett). Slade is a masked villain with guns and swords. The Titans constantly confuse him with Deadpool. Slade real power comes in the form of mind manipulation and without spoiling Slade’s initial use of this power on the Titans is one of the funniest moments of the film.
The goal now is for Robin and the Teen Titans to defeat Slade’s plan to control the minds of everyone in the world and finally earn that movie deal Robin has dreamed of for a long time. But buried down deep in this thick plot is the lesson of teamwork and accepting yourself for who you are. This is a common lesson in children’s stories. These lessons are often either tossed out with no impact or laid out heavy-handed, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies actually succeeds in teaching that lesson. Slade’s plan to split the team apart is just beautiful when it happens.
The Teen Titans Go! television show packs a great deal of energy and silliness into 11-15 minutes an episode. Directors Adam Horvath and Peter Rida Michall maintain that energy over 90 minutes without inducing parents into states of hypertension. It masterfully juggles its elements of kid and adult humor, a kid’s story, and superhero action to produce a film that could rival a Disney film, while not being a Disney film.
“…a fantastic fart joke…and a poop joke that made me cry. You just can’t lose with potty humor.”
Essentially Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is the kid’s version of a Deadpool movie. It constantly breaks the fourth wall making jokey, edgy comments and minimal no swearing. It makes fun of itself, the big studio movie machine, and even the Marvel/DC rivalry including a cameo you won’t believe. And yes, it’s him.
Ultimately, this is a film for kids with really cool moments, evenly spread throughout to keep the adult interested. Grown-up Easter eggs, if you will. Nicholas Cage is the voice of Superman, which delighted the Film Threat family and along with an Animaniacs reference. There’s a fantastic fart joke, while spoiled in the trailer, still makes me laugh. And a poop joke that made me cry. You just can’t lose with potty humor.
Teen Titans Go! To The Movies (2018) Directed by Aaron Horvath, Peter Rida Michal. Written by Michael Jelenic, Aaron Horvath. Starring Scott Menville, Bill Arnett, Greg Cipes, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Hynden Walch, Kristen Bell, Michael Bolton, Nicholas Cage, Kal-El Cage.
7 out of 10 stars