Spoiler Free TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES Review: You Don’t Need to be Super to be a Super Hero

It’s another case of small screen to big screen in the most-meta-ever way.  Teen Titans Go!, a Warner Brothers’ Animation television cartoon, is going to the movies, literally. TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES was my introduction to the characters, because (disclaimer!) I’ve never seen the television show.  Before the #Mamarazzi screening (thank you, The Moms!), we were treated to a conversation with Will Arnett and a candy bar (as in a selection of popcorn and candies for movie snacks), so I’ll be sprinkling in some of his comments throughout the review.  Finally, we have a FLASH ticket giveaway – use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win a “Family Four Pack” of tickets to see TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES opening weekend.

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First things first.  You do not have to have any experience with the cartoon to be able to enjoy the movie.  Trust me!

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES is about Robin’s (Batman’s Robin, for you other TEEN TITANS GO! newbies) inflated sense of his impact on the super hero world and his jealous desire to have all of the trappings of super herodom without earning them.  Sadly for him, his fellow Titans are super supportive and stand behind him all the way, enabling his belief that he deserves more.  Happily, though, they continue to stand by him, helping him on his quest to have his story join the pantheon of super hero movies.

(L-R) Cyborg voiced by KHARY PAYTON, Raven voiced by TARA STRONG, Robin voiced by SCOTT MENVILLE, Beast Boy voiced by GREG CIPES and Starfire voiced by HYNDEN WALCH in Warner Bros. Animation’s Animated Adventure “TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures © 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The opening scene brings uninformed viewers up to speed about the Teen Titans, with a battle against an inflated (literally) villain who rampages through the town to rob the bank.  An impressive song and dance sequence (Arnett was right about how great the music is) details the Teen Titans and their talents as the day is saved.

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES is a satirical take on the super hero movie industry, from the view of the super hero wanna-be.  Following the Teen Titans (r)ejection from the super-hero-only premiere of a new super hero movie, Robin has decided that he won’t be seen as anything more than a sidekick (always said with the inflection that makes it clear this is a four-letter word) until a movie is made about him.  And it must be directed by Jade, the leading super hero movie director.  The other Teen Titans support him in his quest and suggest he cultivate an arch nemesis in Slade (voiced by Arnett, not so much because he chose that character, but because he was told that was who he’d be playing).  The rest of the movie is a campaign to get Robin’s super hero movie made.

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES

(L-R) Robin voiced by SCOTT MENVILLE and Cyborg voiced by KHARY PAYTON in Warner Bros. Animation’s Animated Adventure “TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures © 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Slade is a wonderful villain (and, truly, fun to say).  I’ll reveal as much about him to you as Arnett did to us, when he told us that he liked that Slade wasn’t very confident and experienced moments of doubt.  I liked that, as a villain, Slade used his nemeses’ weaknesses (mostly Robin’s vanity) against them to get them to help him in his own quest.

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES

Slade voiced by WILL ARNETT in Warner Bros. Animation’s Animated Adventure “TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures © 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

There are plenty of themes (see my comment above about Robin’s self-centeredness and his team’s enabling). TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES, on the highest level, seems to be about the transition from teenhood to adulthood and all of the high emotional drama that marks that transition.  Kids will certainly recognize the yearning for recognition that Robin expresses.  The need for good friends (even the enabling kind) to help us achieve our goals, sometimes in spite of ourselves, and the value of being a good friend are shown in the clear devotion of the Teen Titans to Robin and each other.

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES

(L-R) Green Lantern voiced by LIL YACHTY, Wonder Woman as HALSEY, Superman voiced by NICOLAS CAGE, Batman voiced by JIMMY KIMMEL and Flash voiced by WIL WHEATON in Warner Bros. Animation’s Animated Adventure “TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures © 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The entire audience, including me, laughed their way through the movie.  It is deliciously funny, sarcastic and charming as it pokes fun at super hero tropes.  It’s no wonder Arnett’s attention was caught when he overheard his children watching the television show.  I loved hearing the voice cameos (can you guess who plays Superman, just from hearing his voice?).  My favorite Teen Titan has to be Raven, both because of her darkness and power, but also because she rises above (no pun intended) even though she is underestimated by her team, every time.  Arnett’s favorite Teen Titan is Cyborg, for the simple, but elegant, reason that he shoots meatballs and has a party horn.

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES

WILL ARNETT as the voice of Slade in Warner Bros. Animation’s Animated Adventure “TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures © 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES is fun and funny and good for families with teens and tweens and fans of the show of any age. In the same way that Will Arnett’s children loved watching the television show with him, families will love watching this movie together. As a newcomer to the Teen Titans world, I was pleasantly surprised by both the movie and the fact that I could come into it knowing nothing and enjoy it nearly as much as the fans getting the inside jokes. Don’t be late!  Before TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES, there’s also a cute short about the DC Super Hero Girls (soon to be a television series).

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES

At the end of the chat with Will Arnett, the Moms (Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein) fired questions at him about his favorites for A Minute with the Moms segment.  It went really fast, so I’ll share as much as I was able to capture.

Movie: “Withnail and I” – excellent choice!

Dream Collaboration: Meryl Streep

Musician: Led Zeppelin

Concert: U2

Date night:  he goes to bed at 9:30

Food: chocolate ice-cream

If he weren’t an actor, he’d love to be a hockey player.

Will Arnett was a really fun interview and I think my favorite response was to a question about whether he uses his movie voices at home.  He said he doesn’t believe in yelling at his kids, so when they aren’t listening, he’ll sometimes use his Batman voice.  Adorable and effective!

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES opens in theaters this Friday, July 27, 2018.

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES

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About George Gensler

George Gensler is a copyrights specialist during the week and a runner on the weekends. She lives in New York City now, but has lived in five countries on three continents. She grew up traveling the world, but her official residence was in Southern California and every visit home included a trip to Disneyland. She has also visited every Disney Park around the world and sailed on board two Disney cruises. She threw in a visit to the Disney Family museum in San Francisco for good measure, and has had the Premier Disney Park Pass since its inception.