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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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
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.