Justice League vs. Teen Titans is the latest of the DC Universe original animated movies, and the new Blu-Ray and DVD sets hit stores today.
Before we cut into a review, here’s a press release with more details about what the set includes:
The 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. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the film will be available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on April 12, 2016 on Blu-Ray™ Deluxe Edition, Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack and DVD. Order due date is March 8, 2016.
Justice League vs. Teen Titans will be available on Blu-rayTM Deluxe Edition for $29.96 SRP, Blu-rayTM Combo Pack for $24.98 SRP, and DVD for $19.98 SRP. The Blu-rayTM Combo Pack includes a digital version of the movie on Digital HD with UltraViolet. The Blu-ray™ Deluxe Edition will include all components of the Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack, along with an exclusive Robin figurine in a numbered, limited edition gift set. Fans can also own Justice League vs. Teen Titans in Digital HD on March 29, 2016 via purchase from digital retailers.
Justice League vs. Teen Titans welcomes the Teen Titans to the ever-expanding canon of classic DC Comics characters within the DC Universe Original Movies. 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.
The voice cast for Justice League vs. Teen Titans includes several actors reprising their recent Justice League roles – Jason O’Mara (Complications, Terra Nova) as Batman, Jerry O’Connell (Crossing Jordan, Stand By Me) as Superman, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Rent) as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds) as Cyborg and Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs, Ugly Betty) as Flash. Sean Maher (Firefly/Serenity, Batman: Bad Blood) also returns as Nightwing, as does Stuart Allan (Batman vs. Robin) as Robin/Damian. Making their Teen Titans voiceover debuts are Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story, Wicked City) as Raven, Jake T. Austin (Wizards of Waverly Place, The Fosters) as Blue Beetle, Brandon Soo Hoo (Tropic Thunder, From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series) as Beast Boy and Kari Wahlgren (Phineas and Ferb, Legion of Superheroes) as Starfire. Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, Daredevil) takes the villainous center stage as Trigon.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, Justice League vs. Teen Titans is directed by Sam Liu from a screenplay by Bryan Q. Miller and Alan Burnett based on a story by Miller. James Tucker is Supervising Producer. Burnett is also co-Producer. Sam Register is Executive Producer.
“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is thrilled to bring the Teen Titans into the fold of amazing characters within the DC Universe Original Movies,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, WBHE Vice President, TV Family, Animation Marketing. “This all-new film provides the Teen Titans with the perfect stage – alongside and against the Justice League – for a thrilling adventure that fans will truly enjoy.”
Justice League vs. Teen Titans – Enhanced Content
- An exclusive sneak peek at the next DC Universe Original Movie.
Blu-ray™ Combo Pack
- An exclusive sneak peek at the next DC Universe Original Movie.
- Featurette – “Growing Up Titan” – The Teen Titans have fascinated readers for over 50 years due in part to their stories of valor, as well as earning empathy with comic book readers during their own trials growing up into adulthood. This documentary spotlights the importance of young voices in the DC Comics mythology, giving generations of readers a team of heroes that mirror their own life experiences.
- Featurette – “Heroes and Villains – Raven” – She is the daughter of one of DC Comics’ greatest villains, the demon Trigon. Raven is a powerful telepath who uses her soul-self as a means for astral projection. She is integral to the Teen Titans. This documentary is her story.
- Featurette – “Heroes and Villains – Trigon – The most fearsome and evil opponent the Teen Titans have encountered is this inter-dimensional demon. Trigon uses his immortality to shape worlds and exact his control. This documentary introduces the character and how he raises the stakes for the Teen Titans.
- From the DC Comics Vault– Two Classic Episodes of DC Comics cartoons
So, let’s get into the review, shall we?
The Movie: First off, I’ll leave some of my biases at the door. Bryan Q. Miller, who wrote the story and co-wrote the screenplay, has always been a favorite. He was one of the best writers in the final seasons of Smallville, he wrote that excellent Stephanie Brown Batgirl comic book series, and he also happens to be one of only about a half-dozen DC Comics writers aside from Grant Morrison who can write a Damian Wayne that I can enjoy. Bryan also briefly wrote the Teen Titans comic book about two years before the New 52 went and screwed things up. So, of course I’ll go into a story written by him expecting to like it.
I also have a bias in that I really, really loved Young Justice and think it was the best animated adaptation of young DC characters done so far. The ghost of Young Justice loomed heavily when watching this.
So what did I think?
For starters, the series of DC Universe original movies and the continuity within are a great, coherent, connected world, and after watching Bad Blood a few weeks ago, it’s nice to see more greatness. I really like how this stuff is connected, and I think the voice actors chosen are all top-notch. While I haven’t flat-out said that I’m not a big fan of Damian Wayne, he works in this “world,” and so far, his story has been well-told in animation.
I do wish this had been more of a Teen Titans spotlight and not just something with some Justice Leaguers thrown in. When Marv Wolfman and George Perez created arguably the best version of the Titans in The New Teen Titans, the concept really was “kids vs. their parents.” Here, the only time that conflict comes up is Raven vs. Trigon and to an extent, Damian vs. his father. The best character interactions, by the way, are between Raven and Damian.
It’s also odd that I even cite the “kids vs. their parents” angle because that’s also an area where Justice League vs. Teen Titans kind of lost me a bit — I’ve never, ever really been a fan of the Trigon story. Give me Terra or a different Titans arc any day, but Trigon never interested me.
Still, there are some fun character moments and really great character designs and voice acting, so I enjoyed it. Would I have enjoyed a Young Justice direct-to-DVD movie more? Of course. But as I said, I really do like this continuing universe that DC is building. Stay until the end of the credits, because something really good might be teased within.
The Extras: I love, love, love the featurettes, especially the look at the history of the Teen Titans which includes interviews with Marv Wolfman himself. The Titans are a wonderful group of characters, and I still am sad they haven’t been properly done for live-action television. (On that note, unlike the recent TNT Titans development, I really do believe Miller & co. “get” what the Titans are all about, and they’d be prime candidates to helm a live-action Titans show). There’s also a preview of the upcoming DC Killing Joke animated adaptation which brings back vocal favorites like Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill.
The deluxe “gift set” version includes a Schleich Robin figurine that can stand very well next to your Nightwing from the previous release.
Is It Worth It? Well, it’s certainly cool to make a collection of all of the movies, and it’s certainly worth watching. It’s probably better to purchase the Blu-ray since you know these extras won’t be available when it, say, hits Netflix, and the extras are really enjoyable.
And, obviously, if you’re a parent and your kids love Teen Titans Go! this is not the same thing.
Final Thought: I really, really want a sequel, so I guess that means I liked it.