‘Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans:’ Movie Review

This movie is completely ridiculous—and I loved every minute of it. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Not that I was expecting to dislike it, but I figured it would be the type of movie I’d watch and then largely forget about. I can’t stop thinking about it, though. It’s tons of fun, and the kind of movie I can see myself watching regularly.

As its name implies, Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans is a crossover between the 2003 show, Teen Titans, and the 2013 show, Teen Titans Go! I’m familiar with the basic premise of Teen Titans, but I’d never seen either show before. Fortunately, it’s not necessary. The film is entirely self-contained, and any important backstory or self-reference is entirely evident from context.

After doing battle with the Gentleman Ghost (Weird Al Yankovic), Raven (Tara Strong) finds that the gem that keeps her inner demon at bay is cracking. Continuing to use her powers could destroy the gem completely, setting an unbridled demon upon the world. Unfortunately, a new villain may force her to do just that. The Master of Games (Rhys Darby) kidnaps the Teen Titans and forces them to compete in a tournament against their most dangerous opponents yet: themselves from another universe.

These alternate Teen Titans are much more serious than the silly, cartoonish team from Teen Titans Go! They’re also more skilled, better trained, and, most importantly, a lot taller. Which team will prevail? And can they put aside their differences to fight the real enemy? Who IS the real enemy?

The original cast of both shows return to lend their voices to this film. Of course, those familiar with the two shows may note that they both had the same voice cast, which means many of the actors have to do double duty as the Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go! versions of their characters. Fortunately, the characterizations are different enough that it doesn’t get confusing.

Movies like this tend to be hit or miss for me. The particular brand of crazy, nonsensical, over-the-top humor that Teen Titans Go! hinges on can come off as pandering and juvenile, if it’s not done right. This movie definitely does it right. Writers Jeremy Adams and Marly Halpern-Graser deliver a script that’s brimming with insanity but never feels forced. The worlds of the two different shows are brought together seamlessly—along with glimpses at several other universes and the Teen Titans that inhabit them. There’s also just the right amount of self-referential humor, without going overboard.

I’m honestly not sure how this movie is able to work as well as it does. For example: In the middle of the movie, they stop everything so that Starfire and Starfire (Hynden Walch) can lead the teams in a '90s hip hop number about the importance of teamwork. Then, just a few minutes later, they stop to do another '90s pop number for no reason at all. It should be overkill, right? But it’s not. Somehow, it works in this crazy, ridiculous movie, and both songs are glorious.

As I said, you don’t need any prior knowledge of either show to enjoy this movie, but now I kind of want to check out more of Teen Titans and particularly Teen Titans Go! Fortunately, there are several episodes of both series included on the Blu-ray as a special feature (along with, among other things, sing-along versions of both of the aforementioned songs).

All in all, this is a great movie that both kids and adults alike will love. Don’t worry about it making sense. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.


Creative Team: Jeff Mednikow (director), Jeremy Adams and Marly Halpern-Graser (writers), Greg Cipes (Beast Boy), Scott Menville (Robin), Khary Payton (Cyborg), Tara Strong (Raven), Hynden Walch (Starfire), Kevin Michael Richardson (Trigon), and Weird Al Yankovic (Gentleman Ghost)
Released By: Warner Brothers/DC
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