Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (Blu-ray) (2018)

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Released 12-Dec-2018

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure Music Video
Featurette-WB Lot Shenanigans
Featurette-DC Super Hero Girls Short: The Late Batsby
Featurette-Red Carpet Mayhem
Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2018
Running Time 84:03 (Case: 83)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Aaron Horvath
Peter Rida Michail
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Greg Cipes
Scott Menville
Khary Payton
Tara Strong
Hynden Walch
Will Arnett
Kristen Bell
Eric Bauza
Michael Bolton
Nicolas Cage
Halsey
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $29.95 Music Jared Faber


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Danish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Finnish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Norwegian Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Swedish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian
Spanish
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Norwegian
Swedish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    One of the most left-field DC Comics animated movies in recent memory, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is the feature-length expansion of the Cartoon Network television series, which first aired back in 2013. Seeking to capitalise on the oversaturation of comic book cinema, directors Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michail stretch out the episodic, ten-minute show into a full 84-minute blockbuster jam-packed with action and humorous skits. Admittedly, this is a surface-level kids' movie without the emotional resonance of a Pixar feature, or the profundity of the best superhero films, but this is by design - for all intents and purposes, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is a borderline perfect version of the movie that it wants to be: a jokey send-up of superhero tropes and comic book minutiae, similar to Deadpool but for a pre-teen audience. It's suitable for children but will be better appreciated by adult genre aficionados.

    In Jump City, superheroes far and wide gather for the premiere of Batman Again, with the likes of Batman himself (Jimmy Kimmel), Superman (Nicolas Cage), and Wonder Woman (Halsey) showing up to celebrate the latest superhero film from director Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell). But the community shuns the Teen Titans, led by the tenacious Robin (Scott Menville) who dreams of finally seeing a movie about him. Unsuccessful in his bid to convince Jade that he's worthy of a film, Robin realises that he needs an arch-nemesis to be taken seriously. Joined by his fellow Titans - Cyborg (Khary Payton), Raven (Tara Strong), Starfire (Hynden Walch), and Beast Boy (Greg Cipes) - Robin chooses to pursue cunning mercenary Slade Wilson/Deathstroke (Will Arnett), who finds the attention amusing but is happy to put the impulsive gang in their place.

    Permeated with a playful tone and spirit similar to The Lego Movie, and with the benefit of a lean runtime, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies amounts to a series of bite-sized skits and songs connected via a loose meta narrative which snidely riffs on the modern overabundance of comic book movies. Scripted by Michael Jelenic and co-director Horvath, To the Movies is bursting with clever meta references, satirical gags, movie parodies (including a killer left-field send-up of The Lion King) and other fun touches, including references to Marvel and even a freaking Stan Lee cameo. Hell, when the Titans bait Superman over the phone, there's a side-splitting (yet obscure) reference to 1978's Superman: The Movie for the adults in the audience. Some jokes are unexpectedly dark to boot, such as the Titans' method for eliminating a baby Aquaman, but these moments will likely fly over kids' heads. Sure, the jesting here is not exactly groundbreaking, as many of the observations about superhero cinema were raised on the internet years ago. Still, the energy and sharp writing ensure that To the Movies is an entertaining sit, even when the strain to hit feature-length is evident from time to time.

    In terms of the animation, this is one of the more successful animated DC movies to date. Even though the animation is still relatively cheap (especially the stock backgrounds), it's appropriately stylised and fits with the movie's tone, exhibiting more polish than an episode of the TV series. The most inspired sequence of To the Movies involves the Titans travelling back in time to eradicate their superhero competition by interfering with the heroes' origin stories. Music from Back to the Future even plays over the Titans preparing to time travel on their Big Wheel bikes, while the songs like A-Ha's "Take on Me" as well as "Back in Time" (by Huey Lewis & The News) also complement the uproarious montage sequence, which is both clever and reverent. Long-time DC fans will surely appreciate the humour. Meanwhile, the actors are game across the board, particularly DC animation veteran Tara Strong as Raven, whose sarcastic sense of humour is an absolute hoot. Nicolas Cage also gets to fulfil a longstanding dream by playing the Man of Steel here, and his comedic timing is consistently on-point. Additionally, to allow the feature to feel more substantial than the TV show, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies rehashes the expected lessons for a children's movie; reinforcing the importance of friendship, self-esteem, and being happy with what you have. Again, it's nothing groundbreaking, but the effort is appreciated.

    The pacing is brisk, and Teen Titans Go! To the Movies never lingers on a scene or set-piece for too long, but the movie noticeably strains to get to 84 minutes in length. It's not necessarily bad or boring as it reaches the third act, but it does start to lose steam. Nevertheless, the directors get more right than wrong, and the picture plays more smoothly on repeat viewings. It's also supremely funny that the movie presents a fake trailer for a Batman spinoff about Alfred which is intended to lampoon the absurdity of modern superhero oversaturation, but, as if to prove the pointed satire, a solo Alfred TV series was actually green-lit by Warner Bros. when To the Movies was in post-production. Plus, the last joke is a classic, and the movie manages to eke out just one more gag right at the end of the credits as well. Not to mention, the end credits are accompanied by the appropriately entitled song "Upbeat Inspirational Song About Life." This movie is a gem.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Teen Titans Go! To the Movies comes to Blu-ray courtesy of Roadshow Entertainment, presented in 1080p at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (filling an entire widescreen TV, with no black bars to speak of), which is slightly different from its 1.85:1 theatrical exhibition. Whereas animated DC titles are usually bitrate-starved on Blu-ray and noticeably suffer from the overzealous compression as a result, the AVC-encoded, high definition presentation of Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is a surprising and welcome improvement over the normal standard, presented on a dual-layered BD-50 with a perfectly sufficient average video bitrate of 28 Mbps. As a result, this is a pleasing and borderline perfect Blu-ray transfer which faithfully brings the sumptuous animation of Teen Titans Go! to home video.

    First things first, there is mild banding here and there, particularly in backgrounds, but that's about the only shortcoming of Roadshow's superb encode. And, of course, the Blu-ray transfer is limited by the source - by design, the animation is quite basic overall, with virtually no fine detail, and there are frequent stock backgrounds which lack polish and exhibit some video noise, but that traces back to the source as opposed to representing a fault of the encode. During the fake trailers starting at 11:50, there's deliberate noise/grain over said previews, and even a touch of print damage, with evident white specks. Other traces of noise/grain appears throughout, for instance during the riotous Lion King parody at 21:20, but it always looks gorgeously refined, never falling victim to unsightly macroblocking. Neither is the transfer tarnished by any aliasing or ringing - everything looks pristine and sharp, revealing flawless object delineation from start to finish. Other animated styles also crop up, such as during "Robin: The Movie" (as created by Robin's friends) at 22:30. Again, the encode flawlessly handles everything, revealing fine detail on the faux fabrics visible on-screen during this segment. But it's the colours that really sing, as Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is a colourful flick. Even without the benefit of High Dynamic Range, the colours truly leap off the screen, with vivid primaries that never lack pop or saturated. Just see the "Upbeat Inspirational Song" sequence at the 24-minute mark - the cosmic scenery looks bloody excellent.

    There really isn't much else to say about the transfer. Blacks are sufficiently deep, the flick looks razor-sharp, colours pop at every opportunity, and compression artefacts are minimal. In terms of the DC Animated catalogue, this is one of the best and most stable 1080p transfers in recent memory. For whatever reason, neither Warner Bros. nor Roadshow chose to release a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, but the movie is available to stream on iTunes in 4K with Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range, if that interests you. I'm all about 4K, but this Blu-ray is so well-encoded that I don't mind about missing out on this one in Ultra HD, even though it would eliminate the banding and bring a little more balance to some shots which look slightly blown out. Oh well, a 4K transfer might also awkwardly bring out those stock backgrounds a bit too much, making them look more obvious. So yeah, I'm content with this one. It's difficult to imagine anybody - videophile, kid, or casual movie-goer - having any major reservations.

    English subtitles (for the hearing impaired) are available, as well as subtitles in various other languages. I had no issues with the well-formatted English subtitle track that I sampled.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This Blu-ray contains several language options, including a variety of lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in several foreign languages, but the primary English option is a rock-solid DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix, which is 48kHz and 24-bit. Anybody who's experienced an animated DC movie on Blu-ray should know what to expect - the audio is crisp and precisely-rendered, seamlessly mixing dialogue with the sound effects and music. Plus, the lossless encode ensures the audio is crystal clear to boot. There are absolutely no issues with prioritisation, as all of the dialogue comes through cleanly, while I was unable to detect anything in the way of hissing, popping, clicking, or any other encode anomalies. There are no sync issues, either. Effective but unspectacular surround activity is evident throughout, with the music most noticeably pushing to the rear channels for maximum immersion. The surround speakers also come alive during the action sequences, though the track isn't as busy or as layered as a live-action blockbuster. Subwoofer activity also accentuates the sound effects, though again this isn't exactly a mind-blowing showcase of low-frequency effects.

    Audiophiles may bemoan the lack of an object-based mix, but I have no complaints about this competent and nicely-rendered track.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    If you come to the extras hoping for interviews, and insight into the making of the movie, prepare for disappointment. Here we have a fluffy collection of promos and sing-alongs, as well as a deleted song.

"GO!" - Lil Yachty Music Video (HD; 2:09)

    Self-explanatory. This is an animated music video for the Teen Titans Go! theme song, featuring clips from the movie as well as original animated sections. This is actually a promo, as it was released on YouTube to coincide with the release of the flick.

Silkie Sing-Alongs (HD)

    Three sing-alongs are included here, featuring the songs from the movie. Your mileage may vary, but it's a fun inclusion for those who are interested - kids will love it. I'm just happy that "Upbeat Inspirational Song About Life" is included here, as that's the only one I wanted to see.

DC Super Hero Girls: The Late Batsby (HD; 4:14)

    This is a short animated movie which was attached to theatrical showings of Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. Barbara Gordon/Batgirl (Tara Strong) wants to help her superhero friends - including Wonder Woman (Grey Griffin) and Supergirl (Nicole Sullivan) - fight Mr. Freeze (John de Lancie), but has to wait for her father to go to bed before she can sneak out of the house. It's a cute short.

Red Carpet Mayhem (HD; 2:10)

    In another animated short, the Titans arrive at a red carpet event, and recap some of the events of the movie.

Teen Titans Go!: WB Lot Shenanigans (HD; 3:56)

    Here we actually have something live-action. In this short, the Titans (i.e. performers in obvious costumes) break into the Warner Bros. Studio lot to look at all the exhibits, while a frenzied security guard tries to track them down. Another cute inclusion more for the kids than the adults. It also amounts to a commercial of the WB Studio lot.

Everything Is Fake (HD; 00:51)

    This is a deleted song that never made it to the final animation phase, about how everything in movies is fake. It's cheery enough.

Teen Titans GO!: Translated (HD; 2:18)

    This is nothing exciting. A few clips from the movie are shown in different languages. This might have been cute back in the VHS era, but foreign audio tracks are included on discs now.

Storyboard Animatics (HD)

    Here, rough initial animatics are compared against the completed animation in the final movie. There are two comparisons:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Aside from differing language options, the local disc is virtually identical to the American disc. As of the time of writing, no other editions worldwide have additional extras.

Summary

    Do not let the movie's child-friendly exterior fool you, as Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is not strictly for the pre-teen audience who watch the Cartoon Network show. This animated DC offering will appeal to the adults as well, particularly if you enjoy superhero cinema. I had a great time watching this one, and laughed a lot. For crying out loud, it holds a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes - I'm not alone in loving this one.

    On Blu-ray, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies looks and sounds sensational. The 1080p transfer is excellent, while the audio track is crisp and impactful. Unfortunately, the disc comes up short in terms of special features, as there's nothing insightful or substantive. Nevertheless, this one comes recommended.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Tuesday, January 07, 2020
Review Equipment
DVDSony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player, using HDMI output
DisplayLG OLED65E6T. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 2160p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationSamsung Series 7 HT-J7750W
SpeakersSamsung Tall Boy speakers, 7.1 set-up

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