Movie Review: Justice League vs. Teen Titans

Justice_League_vs._Teen_TitansThe demonic forces of Trigon infiltrate the minds and bodies of the Justice League, turning the veteran super heroes against their youthful counterparts in the all-new DC Universe Original Movie, Justice League vs. Teen Titans.

When Damian’s over-aggressive tendencies almost destroy a Justice League mission, he is sent to learn teamwork by training alongside the Teen Titans. However, adjusting Damian’s attitude turns out to be the least of the Teen Titans’ troubles as Raven’s satanic, world-conquering father Trigon begins an escape from his inter-dimensional prison. To complete his return, Trigon must have Raven’s assistance – and to accomplish his goal, he spreads his demonic forces across the globe, infiltrating the minds and bodies of the Justice League to do his bidding. To save the universe and prevent a literal hell on Earth, the Teen Titans must rescue – or defeat – the Justice League, and intern Trigon for all eternity.

With this new film the Teen Titans are brought into the ever-expanding canon of the DC Animated Universe. Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Blue Beetle are now part of the same universe as Damian Wayne/Robin, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Nightwing, and Cyborg. More characters, more diversity, is beyond welcome, and the new additions add a lot to tone and vibe of the animated film.

The movie at times feels like two films, and that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s clear the writers and director are aware of the tonal difference you’d expect from a group of kids versus that more experienced Justice League. Up until this point the animated films have had some humor, but primarily its been a serious action packed tone. The Teen Titans lighten things up, especially as Damian learns his place in the group and world.

I think the greatest tonal shift is when we focus just on the Titans themselves as Starfire realizes there’s a need to get the kids out so that they can be exactly that. It’s a different film in many ways, and one I want to see. I think that’s the biggest take away here, that this has made me want to see Teen Titan films added to the regular releases, the team worked so well.

And what works is the diversity. I’m not just talking race or gender, but attitude and power sets are across the board varied it’s fun to watch the interaction. Of course there’s fights and disagreements, but they all feel age appropriate, not just adults duking it out in the bodies of teenagers. The comments, the jokes, the actions, they all work well.

New additions like Beast Boy, Raven, Blue Beetle, and Starfire are solid adds, they add so much and fill slots that have been missing in the world in many ways. Their having to stand up to help the Justice League doesn’t feel forced at all, but a natural progression of the storyline.

What’s great too is the movie’s recognition of what’s come before. A scene between Nightwing and Starfire hints at past relationship. There’s comments about Cyborg joining the team too, a nod to the popular animated series featuring the characters. There’s small nods and hints throughout that’ll make long time fans pleased.

As usual the animation looks crisp and the voice acting is solid. Though some characters feel a bit short shrifted when it comes to dialogue, when it comes to the action, they all get to shine. Really, every character gets their moment here. Damian particularly stands out when it comes to his growth as the character has seen an interesting story arc for the films he’s been in.

This is a another solid addition to the DC animated world, and as I said before, I want more… specifically more Teen Titans. And judging by that extra teaser ending, looks like we just might!

Overall Rating: 7.7

Warner Bros. provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for a review