Over the years, Teen Titans Go has received a lot of attention. Most of the vocal attention has been negative, but for those who know what to look for and can take it with a grain of salt, it can be a very enjoyable show. While there are some episodes, such as “Waffles”, that should be thrown into a deep, deep hole, there are others that shine as being uniquely genre-savvy.
It is this genre-savviness that makes this new trailer worth a watch! Clearly, those who wrote the trailer were well aware of the state of the DCEU, and wanted to take full advantage of its less-than-stellar track record.
In the opening of the trailer, the Titans, aside from Robin, are dressed as Wonder Woman. When Robin demands to know why they tell him they’re “just giving the people what they want”. Wonder Woman is as of this time, the most successful feature in the DCEU. Take a look at the critical scores from Rotten Tomatoes;
Wonder Woman 96%
Man of Steel 55%
Batman v Superman 27%
Justice League 40%
Suicide Squad 26%
So, to say that the people want Wonder Woman is almost an understatement. There are quite a few more jabs at the DCEU, including the obligatory Aquaman joke, but the rest of the trailer is used to make fun of themselves.
Normally, if there’s a fart joke in a trailer, I am outta there! It’s the laziest form of comedy and I can’t stand it. However, as unflattering as fart jokes still are, the narration stops to recognize that it’s dumb with the line, “It’s the Superhero movie to end all superhero movies…hopefully.” Perhaps it’s me reading too much into a little joke, but to me, this is really a commentary on the current state of the Superhero industry. And yes, it is an industry. Not just DC, not just Marvel, but all the up-and-coming franchises spawned from classic comics.
Studios just want to make money, and to do that they want to follow the will of the people, but only a small number of them. If that pool thinks a movie is too serious, they’ll over-correct and make the next one twice as silly. And visa versa. They never stick to the original flavor or intent of the original comic anymore. Fortunately, we still have great things coming out of the Marvel animated universe and the DCAU. And while Teen Titans Go is not recognized as being part of that universe, it integrates itself in and around that space, leaving it open to parody anything and everything it can get its hands on. It sounds irrational on paper, but a Teen Titans Oregon Trail hybrid is beautiful in practice.
I’ve been putting off negative thoughts toward the end of the article to focus on the positive aspects and give this show a chance in the eyes of its critics. But there are some things that concern that I have. First, the animation quality is not at all movie-worthy. It’s true that the TV series is done in an incredibly simplistic style as well, but those are fifteen-minute episodes as opposed to a feature-length film.
Which brings me to my second gripe. I don’t know if a show that speeds through erratic plots in fifteen minutes can adequately hold a feature-length runtime. There have been half-hour specials, but those are usually broken into two, distinguishable parts. For this format to work in a 92 min film, there would need to be a subject change every fifteen minutes. In 92 minutes, that means there would have to be six acts for them to continue doing things the way they have been. As much as I like TTG, it’s not Hamlet and probably can’t support a six-act structure. Knowing this, I’m hoping the writers will look at the film as a bigger picture instead of multiple episodes.
The film premieres July, 27, 2018. Go see it with an open mind.