Monday, 22 October 2018

‘Teen Titans Go!’ misses what made the TV show funny

‘Teen Titans Go!’ misses what made the TV show funny
27 Jul

“Teen Titans Go!” is a fifteen-minute cartoon that plays over and over on Cartoon Network. My kids have watched every episode a dozen times. They love it. It’s zany and meta and weird. It’s perfect in 15-minute chunks of insanity. As a full-length movie? No.

If there’s one thing the “Teen Titans Go!” team doesn’t do, it’s conventual storytelling. In the TV show the Teen Titans fight evil Santa Claus; they tussle with a weirdo tooth fairy who literally eats teeth; one time they had an episode where bees — yes, the insects — suddenly became currency. See, weird, right?

In the movie they attempt to create a real story — by “Teen Titans Go!” standards — by giving it a normal plot and following through with it.


It’s readily apparent that the writers are stretching trying to fill up the time. Hamstrung by the length of full-length movies they push in filler scene after filler scene until the irreverent idiocy that is “Teen Titans Go!” is so spread out that the end product feels watered down and useless.

Robin, the leader of the group, wants a movie because all superheroes have movies and how can he be a superhero if they haven’t made a movie about him yet? His only superpower is being super insecure about his standing within the superhero community. His team of plucky friends — who all have real superpowers — try to help him out. They try to make things not appear as bleak as they might.

There are a lot of jokes here about superhero culture and Hollywood’s obsession with the genre. Perhaps the best joke of the whole movie is having Nicolas Cage voice Superman. Oh, and there’s a pretty morbid visual gag involving Bruce Wayne’s parents that was hilarious and gob-smacking all at the same time.

With that said, this movie is missing what makes “Teen Titans Go!” such a fun show to binge watch. It is wildly different every episode. The plots bounce around like toddlers on speed. Many times, the episodes don’t really have “plots,” but instead are a bunch of weird jokes and sight gags strung together like a modern day “Looney Tunes.”

Trying to apply the standard movie-making handbook to this type of material seems wrong. The results speak for themselves. The movie feels like it’s spinning its wheels so much that getting to the end is kind of a chore. With the real funny gags spread out over an hour and a half there isn’t much comedic flow. It starts and stops in fits as it finally reaches a conclusion. And then we’re left wondering why did it even need a conclusion? Most episodes of the TV show don’t have one.



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