Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is a surprisingly insightful examination of the current obsession with superhero movie franchises.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies Synopsis
Robin is convinced that without a movie made about them, neither he nor the Teen Titans would ever be recognised as true superheroes. After much passionate discussion, the team concludes the first step to becoming marketable to Hollywood is to have an arch-nemesis with a catchy persona and name. For that purpose, they confront Slade, who impatiently dismisses them as sidekicks unworthy of attention. However, the perceptive Slade does not fail to notice the potential in Robin’s desperation for recognition too. Preying on that weakness, Slade swiftly isolates Robin from the rest of the Titans.
Beneath all the wacky jokes and humorous caricaturing, I think Teen Titans Go! To the Movies poses a truly difficult question. Why in Jupiter has there never been a Robin movie?
Robin, the Dick Grayson version, has been around since 1940. He’s also one of the most well-known and recognisable faces of the DC universe today. True, earlier portrayals of Robin tend to depict him as no more than an enthusiastic sidekick. In the Adam West and Superfriends series, he was often comedic too.
Still, extensive efforts by DC writers since the 80s have since vastly expand the character. Not only are there now several different “Robins,” two have led their own teams and have in various ways, exceeded their mentor i.e. Batman. With their respective origin stories equally as rich as any other DC superhero, why then has there not been any Robin movie? Or at least a Robin TV series?
Is it because, as Teen Titans Go! To the Movies suggests, Robin lacks a memorable arch-nemesis? Bats has the Joker. Clark has Lex. Robin, err, has whoever Batman leaves to him?
What exactly do TV producers and movie studios, and the audience at large, look for in a hero?
For a light-hearted, zany adventure to weave in such complex social and marketing questions, and without the story becoming preachy, I’d say Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is a true animated masterpiece. A storytelling gem that appeals to kids and older viewers alike with its many layers.
The repeating gags and abrupt songs might drag down the viewing experience a little for adults. But considering the sort of dreary storytelling we’ve been getting from the DC Cinematic Universe, this is at the very least, a refreshing change. In some ways, the movie also feels to be the unapologetic response of DC writers toward broadcast media’s unwillingness to sample the different and the untested.
Check out my other snappy movie reviews.