By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
For someone who barely watched the original Teen Titans animated series and never once watched the Teen Titans Go! series which inspired this movie, I found this animated film to be a joyfully fun experience. Filled with intelligently written and executed hilarity, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies had me laughing to the point of tears more than once. One doesn’t have to be well acquainted with the series’s style or tone to find much enjoyment in this vibrant and colorful movie. Those knowing what to expect will be just as pleased with the wild and highly energetic antics of their beloved characters.
After getting way too caught up in having fun, the youthful superhero team named the Teen Titans fail to foil the ridiculous viliainous plot of the Balloon Man (Greg Cipes). As a result, the adult heroes of the Justice League are forced to intervene to defuse the situation. Because of their penchant for juvenile silliness, the Titans, which consists of Robin (Scott Menville), Cyborg (Khary Payton) Beast Boy (Greg Cipes), Raven (Tara Strong), and Starfire (Hynden Walch), can’t seem to earn the respect of other superheroes, villains, or even Hollywood. After Robin and the others realize that just about every hero has been honored with their own movie treatment, the Titans attempt to woo Hollywood with their own brand of heroism. While they and other heroes dedicate their time and efforts to the Hollywood movie machine, a sly villain named Slade (Will Arnett) strikes while all the heroes of the world are way too involved in their movie projects.
Written and directed by Aaron Hovarth, who co-directed with Peter Rida Michall, and co-wrote with Michael Jelenic (based on their TV series). Teen Titans Go! To the Movies offers audiences of various ages a riotously funny and joyful time at the cinema. Kids of younger ages probably won’t understand all of the jokes and pop culture references often dished out frenetically with tongues fused to cheeks. However, adults down to young teens (particularly those familiar with superhero lore and the many recent movies inspired by this mythology) are sure to enjoy the witty and razor sharp skewering of comic book characters and the Hollywood movies they inspire.
The film starts off strongly, delivering hilarious and hearty comedy for the entire first half, but seems to lose some steam and punch in the last half. The film overall is a laudable accomplishment in comedic superhero cinema. The colorful cartoonish animation is an effervescent feast for the eyes and enhances the energy and excitement of the story and characters.
The filmmakers have assembled a wonderful assortment of acting talents to voice these often larger-than-life characters. Series regulars Greg Cipes, Scott Menville, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, and Hynden Walch seem to know their characters all too well and work their magic for the big screen. The movie also features superb voicework by Will Arnett, Kristen Bell, Eric Bauza, Nicolas Cage, Greg Davies, Halsey, Jimmy Kimmel, Patton Oswalt, Wil Wheaton, and several others. I’d prefer not to reveal everyone’s role or the entirety of the cast, because I feel this will take away the fun of discovering this information either while watching the film or during its end credits.
And though this type of television inspired movie might not initially inspire one to cough up serious money to see it, I feel that pure enjoyment it offers will make the trip to the theater and the ticket prices totally worth it. I think it is worth at least the price of matinee tickets and is deserving of much love and appreciation by critics, fans, and all other kinds of movie audiences. It gave me much joy and happiness to review it and give it an enthusiastically positive rating.