Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

(Michail & Horvath, 2018)

With an effortlessly catchy soundtrack and enough meta jokes to tickle your funny bone, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is a super good time, even if you haven’t seen the show it’s based on. Poking fun at everything Marvel and DC, Teen Titans is a stress-free, tongue-in-cheek ode to the superhero saturation that consumes us in 2018.

While live-action DC movies are known for their brooding aesthetic, DC’s theatrical animated fare is predictably lighter. Last year’s The LEGO Batman Movie was the first to take on this trend and Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is following suit. Featuring the classic Teen Titans crew from the tv series (Robin, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy), Go! To the Movies follows the group as they try to persuade a snobby movie producer to make a movie about them. The only problem is, everyone from Superman to Green Lantern think the Titans are a joke, and they can’t be real heroes until they have an arch nemesis. When ensues is an endless slew of meta-jabs, kitschy musical numbers, and colorful action sequences. It feels like an extended episode of the Cartoon Network series— fast fun with little interest in character development or building stakes. For the most part, that’s okay.

Not every joke lands and it would probably be just as good if it were only an hour long, but Teen Titans Go! To the Movies a breath of fresh air. Yes, superhero movies are commonplace right now, especially meta ones with dudes that just quip back and forth. But that’s usually Marvel territory. It seems as if DC is starting to find their sense of humor, if only in their animated ventures. At the end of the day, Go! To the Movies is as laid back as it gets, with some laugh-out-loud, dark comedic moments and a moral that will— wait that’s it? That’s all the time I get? Wait, no, I have more to say! Hey, reader! Ask your parents what happens when you die! ★★★★

David Merkle