Well, this certainly quietly snuck up on us, didn’t it? With all of the hubbub surrounding DC Comics new live action Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, I clean forgot they were releasing a new entry to the DC Animated Movie Universe. And, yes, the DC Animated Movie Universe is apparently a thing because most of their recent direct-to-video animated outings, Justice League: War and Throne of Atlantis as well as the Batman animated films that has Damien Wayne in them, belong to the same universe!
You may not have known it since both the Justice League and the new Batman films haven’t really crossed paths. But it’s very evident that they do here in Justice League vs. Teen Titans.
Justice League vs. Teen Titans takes place some time after Justice League: War. Honestly, it’s place in the timeline can be hard to place since it could fit anywhere! It could be either before or after Throne of Atlantis because Aquaman wasn’t mentioned throughout the film’s entire runtime. I am betting it’s after Batman: Bad Blood though, as the new Robin, Damien Wayne, isn’t too antagonistic to Nightwing AKA Dick Grayson.
Anyway, the basic plot of Justice League vs Teen Titans is that, after a battle where Robin disobeys Batman’s direct orders, Damien Wayne is sent to train with the Teen Titans so he can learn about teamwork. However, an entity named Trigon is attempting to cross over to Earth to lay it to waste and is trying to use both the Justice League and the Teen Titans to do just that.
If you’re worried that I’m going to reveal major plot points, don’t. This will be a SPOILER FREE review.
I actually have a lot of issues with Justice League vs. Teen Titans. For one thing, it’s pretty short. From opening to the ending of its credits, Justice League vs Teen Titans is only 79 minutes long! This wouldn’t be much of a problem if the film would just focus on one group, either the Justice League or the Teen Titans. The film feels like it’s trying to juggle both their plots and, because of this, the entire film lacks focus. It would’ve been better off, actually, if they dropped the Justice League and just concentrated on developing a solo Teen Titans movie since the film’s overall plot revolves around them.
But, what about the name? Aren’t both teams going to fight, making the Justice League important to the plot? Well, not really. Both the Justice League and Teen Titans do eventually battle against each other but it’s incredibly short and pretty underwhelming. The buildup towards it, when the Justice League pop up in Titan Tower to confront the Titans, was actually more suspenseful than the actual battle! If you were expecting a long, exciting fight between both groups of heroes, you’re going to be disappointed!
Despite the headline battle being a letdown, the other action scenes are actually pretty good. That’s because the animation throughout the entire film flows together nicely. Justice League vs Teen Titans looks really beautiful in motion. The other fight scenes look great for the most part. The first and final action sequences are actually pretty good. Much better than the ones found in Throne of Atlantis, anyway. I will have to give props to the guys who did the backgrounds as they are incredibly detailed and actually fun to look at.
The voice acting is, for the most part, fantastic. The cast that voice the Justice League are pretty great, but that’s to be expected since DC has been using the same voice actors for them since Justice League: War. Stuart Allen has already cemented his status as voicing Damien Wayne and he does a really great job giving life to the character here as well. Most of the Teen Titans also pull of decent voice work as well. Unfortunately, while everyone does hold their own, Taissa Farmiga, who voices Raven, doesn’t.
Now, I do know Raven in the comics is mostly known for being guarded and withdrawn. As such, she comes off as a rather cold and uncaring person, which is why, when Raven does show strong emotions, these moments are so powerful. Unfortunately, I guess Taissa Farmiga was directed to deliver all of Raven’s lines in the same monotone and quick pace all the time. So, when it does time for the character to actually convey any other emotion than apathy, you never feel the pain she’s feeling. And since the film pretty much revolves around her, it’s pretty painful to listen to.
Speaking of things, painful to listen to, I have to give special attention to something that cheesed me off about the film. It’s an angsty song called Down To Nothing. Normally, I don’t think it would irritate me the way it did in the movie. But it’s the way they used the song! It’s the background music to a scene where the Titans are just goofing around. The mood of the song just doesn’t match the scene at all! If you wanna see it in action, look at the clip below. Don’t say I didn’t warn you how awful it is!
Justice League vs. Teen Titans is it feels like DC wanted to really make a solo Teen Titans direct-to-video movie but were afraid it wouldn’t sell well. So, instead, they felt the need to somehow insert the entire Justice League into the proceedings to increase their orders. Oh, and the title is also incredibly misleading since their “fight” is brief and totally not the point of the film at all.
As such, I cannot really recommend Justice League vs Teen Titans. While it’s not a terrible movie, the number of negatives just outweigh the positives by a scoach. It may not be worth buying at full price. But, if you have a bunch of friends who like superhero animated films, have everyone chip in and rent it.
Have you seen Justice League vs Teen Titans? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!