Teen Titans Go to the Movies (Movie Review)
--- 8.6/10 - Fantastic -
You know what’s crazy? This is the first 2D animated film I have ever seen in a movie theater. Isn’t that wild?
And what a dizzying blast of fun this film is.
Let me start with the bad because I know most people will dislike this film for some obvious reasons.
The main one being that this film is elementary in humor, taste, style, and execution. What I mean is fart jokes are aplenty. If you don’t like PG films that rely heavily on childlike humor, then you probably won’t enjoy this movie as much as I did. I don’t mind child humor because I didn’t watch children films growing up. If anything, I have an odd fondness for childish humor. It fuels my now adult ‘kid-heart’. I laughed at the fart jokes and at the completely dumb jokes that any adult would be annoyed by. Unfortunately, this elementariness also extends to the execution of the film. What I mean exactly is that the story and plot of this film is very basic and childlike. This film has a very simple, one-note plot that revolves around the Teen Titans, specifically Robin, trying to get a film made about them and the ‘shenanigans’ that ensue. The simplicity of the plot isn’t the issue. The issue is how simply its told, executed and wrapped up. There are no real stakes, emotions, drama, suspense, or conflict. I know it’s a kid’s movie, but I wish the film would’ve pushed this plot harder and dug deeper for some depth or heart. They seemingly hint at it by having Robin being such an egocentric character but they resolve and wrap it up too simply. I only say this because the writers of this film are insanely creative and I know they could’ve pulled this off if they had set their mind to it. The other disappointment is the Villain ‘Slade’ he is a pretty flat and uninteresting villain. He has some humorous scenes but there’s nothing more to latch onto.
Okay, that’s the bad now let’s get on to the good stuff!
The 2D animation is gorgeous. The colors are beautiful and they pop on the big screen. I love the child-friendly art style. I loved how so many of the jokes and gags play out visually in such creative and unexpected ways. I love the breaks of reality that come with the musical pieces. I love how the art style changes adapting to characters imagination. Some gags and jokes even adopt a new art style just to push the jokes harder. Two specifically come to mind. One being an elongated sequence of how Robin’s Hollywood film would look like if it came to fruition. It is brilliant in how it laughs and pokes fun of Hollywood superhero flicks that are now drowning cinema and "special effects!". The other is a genius play at a 'Disney' classic that literally had me gagging in laughter.
There are even more ingenious jokes that are all references to comics and Hollywood. There’s this entire subplot which looking back on I wish we had gotten an entire film for. Where they poke fun at superhero origins in a very creative way. I found myself constantly giggling and smiling at so many of this team’s shenanigans. It's pure childlike fun. This film does for me what no other superhero film has managed to do, which is being irreverent and self-referential in a fantastic way.
With that being said this self-referential and pun-based humor could also be seen as a negative to some filmgoers who don’t care or know little about comics. I can see how someone could view this film as unoriginal for riding on the back of presupposed knowledge and references. But,for me, it all worked to a hilarious tee.
A few other elements worth mentioning. The entire voice cast of this film is great and you can hear them all having fun with their roles. The actual score of this film is pretty standard and mediocre. The editing and animation quality is smooth. The shot design and composition is nice all around.
So in Ending
Teen Titans is a surprisingly clever kids flick. It looks great and pops with its childlike visuals. The humor is at times hilarious and ingenious, but at others elementary. Nearly all the jokes are references so if your not a general fan of comics your enjoyment may vary. If you can stand watching cartoon network for an hour and a half then you will love this film if not... Well, maybe you can bear it for the great jokes and animation?