Child Abuse Has Never Been This Cool – Justice League vs. Teen Titans Review
Justice League vs. Teen Titans premiered at Wonder Con, 4 days before its retail release. Fans in attendance got the chance to witness the super friends go head to head against their progenies. I want to formally apologize for any offense my review title may cause; child abuse is a serious matter that I do not take lightly. However, it seemed like the appropriate title so I went with it.
Justice League vs. Teen Titans starts with a bang, quite literally. At the ceremonial opening of the league’s new headquarters, a group of super villains calling themselves the “Legion of Doom” launched a sneak attack on the league. The league members are taking them on head on, while Robin is hilariously performing crowd control duties. The league takes down the legion and begins rounding them up when Weather Wizard attempts to run away, only to become possessed by a demon. The possessed Weather Wizard then begins taking on the league single handedly. Growing impatient, Damien crashes the Batwing into the possessed Weather Wizard knocking him out and subsequently expelling the demon. Batman then lectures Damien realizing a key component Damien lacks in his character. The opening title sequence then rolls, returning to Nightwing driving Damien to Titan’s Tower so that he can join the Teen Titans. The film goes on to show Damien’s acclamation into a team in some beautifully rendered art and masterfully concocted situations, while the league uncovers the mysteries of the demon possession. The demons reveal to be part of Trigon’s minions as part of Trigon’s plan to use Raven to take over the world. Members of the league become possessed and controlled by Trigon and the titans are forced to take on the possessed league members in order to save them and defeat Trigon.
DC has produced yet another masterful animated film. Beautifully rendered, brilliantly cast, and respectfully executed, Justice League vs. Teen Titans continues to really drive what can be done in an animated feature, and sets benchmarks of what comic book adapted movies should reach. The film is a unique take on a popular take on the revival of the Teen Titans. They feature the prominent members of Raven, Beas Boy, and Starfire, though it is a unique take that isn’t exactly a direct adaption from the comics. Starfire is older and leads the team, and Raven, Beast Boy, Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) and Robin compose the “teens” of the Teen Titans. The universe of the DC Animated Films is a unique story, taking inspiration from the comic sources, but creates their own unique universe. They pay true homage to the characters fans have come to know and love, while still being original in their stories; a trait that many in the live-action world are not as in-tune with.
The production value of the film is easily overlooked by the engaging story. The animation is vivid and fluid, it is unlikely for someone to find a ridiculous frame, as those who pause a Disney movie are known to find. The action is beautifully choreographed to the point you almost believe it is possible to perform in reality. The character designs are intriguing, representing not only practicality and functionality, but also personality. But even more impressive than the visuals is the sound experience. Watching the film in the Microsoft Theater, the audience got to truly feel every impact. Animation often has their sound overlooked, but the sounds and impacts in Justice League vs. Teen Titans rival that of Batman v. Superman. Watch this movie with a sound system to get the full experience.
What I believe the animated films do much better than live action films is grounding the characters. This is accomplished through development of story. Little moment like Superman carrying his laundry while balancing a phone or Dick Grayson sneaking a peak at Starfire’s body really helps give the movie a quality of realism. The film still has a dark tone overall, but doesn’t feel like it is forcibly bleak.
The only downside to the film that I could find is it doesn’t quite feel complete. There was a lot going on in the film with a double digit number of characters to put in, everyone doesn’t quite get their due. Damian being forced to join the Teen Titans doesn’t have the strong impact because the Teen Titans aren’t very well established as an entity before he gets there. There seems to be a history of the Teen Titans, as Nightwing and Starfire seem to have an existing relationship (mostly platonic), but the team’s history doesn’t quite make sense.
Justice League vs. Teen Titans is another great addition to the DC Animated Universe. It is a must see for any fans of the animated films, comic books, action, good animation, etc. It is a great movie that has something for everyone.
DC Does it Again
DC Continues to expand their animated cinematic universe pleasing any who watch it.