Part of being a parent means I get to watch kids movies. Sometimes this is great when it’s something like The Incredibles II. It’s a great excuse and keeps you from looking weird at the theater buying tickets to a kids movie without a kid with you.
Other times though it means I end up watching movies like The Emoji Movie and The Nut Job 2. This time I got to watch Teen Titans GO! to the Movies. Let me preface this right away that I was not looking forward to this. I had watched the excellent Teen Titans series that had been on Cartoon Network and really enjoyed it, even if the anime-inspired art style was annoying (this is a personal peeve of mine, I know I’m likely in a minority on this). I’ve also watched the terrible Teen Titans GO! cartoon also on Cartoon Network. About the best thing I could ever say about it is at least the people making it still have jobs.
Spoilers contained below:
If you’ve watched Teen Titans Go! at all, then you already know what you’re in for. A lot of fart and poop jokes, including one fart joke right at the start of the movie that goes on for entirely too long. Close-ups of the Titans, and Robin in particular, waving his butt around. This includes a baby Superman that takes his diaper off and waves his butt around too. Though the music he’s dancing to is pretty amazing.
Actually the soundtrack is a standout on this movie. They manage to get the old Superman theme in it. It’s actually done in a pretty funny way. Krypton gets saved via Rave, there’s an entire music video sequence I can only imagine is what you see during a strange acid trip performed by a singing white tiger, a drum-playing dolphin, and a unicorn, because why not. Fortunately, they run over the tiger and end it. They even manage to get in the theme for Back to the Future, and it’s done in a way that makes sense, for a movie that doesn’t really make sense.
Which is what brings me to my next point and something that made this movie much better for me. For all intents and purposes, this is not your typical cartoon movie. It’s not even exactly what you see on TV with Teen Titans GO! This is a parody movie. There’s a brief plot point of time travel. They accomplish this with their Time Travel Bikes! (Tricycles) They wonder how they’ll power the bikes up enough to travel through time and Raven asks where they would find Libyan Terrorists to get them the plutonium they would need. This prompts Robin to tell them the bikes are powered on RAD energy and tells everyone they need to go back, to the FUTURE! All while that theme plays. Then they perform some tricks while now playing Ah Ha’s Take on Me. These are jokes that I found funny and sailed right over my sons head. But that’s ok he was about to laugh at the dancing baby Superman.
My absolute favorite thing is that somehow Stan Lee manages to show up not once, but twice in this movie. First as someone sweeping the WB backlot in the background behind the Titans, who moves up to the forefront and tells him he’s ready for his cameo. They inform him that this is a DC movie and he’s in the wrong universe. Stan Lee shows up again later during a chase scene telling them he doesn’t care its a DC movie and that he just loves doing cameos. He also manages to get in his Excelsior! Catchphrase. Ah, I love Stan Lee.
Stan Lee isn’t the only superhero sendup here. Really the entire movie is, but I really enjoyed their meeting with Slade (Who should be referred to as Deathstroke, but apparently that name isn’t ok for cartoons so it’s just Slade). During the meeting they keep referring to Slade as Deadpool. (Quick comic lesson: Deadpool was originally made as a parody for Deathstroke aka Slade Wilson. Deadpool is Wade Wilson, and they use similar weapons swords and guns) Though if you know Slade’s full name it makes part of the ending pretty obvious. So there you go, I’ve now spoiled that for you if you watch it. Slade is also played here by Wil Arnett, which seems a little strange as Deathstroke can be a Batman villain, and Wil Arnett also voiced Batman for the Lego Movies. Man of many talents I suppose.
I’ll also point out that yes, this does have end credit scenes. Two of them. One in the mid-credits, which made me happy actually. And another at the very end which is a continuation of a joke from the movie. You aren’t missing anything if you stay till the very end of the credits, but you might get another laugh from it.
So final verdict. This was surprisingly much better then I had expected. It has enough jokes for the adults to keep it entertaining and enough of the Teen Titans GO! your kids know to keep them laughing at poop, fart and butt jokes. I wouldn’t normally go out of my way to see this, and I’m not going to see it a second time at the theater. But I wouldn’t have a problem watching it again on Bluray when it comes out.
So, I’d place this I suppose at a 3.5/5. Just catch it as a matinee, it’s not worth paying full price for, but it’s not necessarily a complete waste of time and money either.