DC Universe Animated Movie Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. TEEN TITANS

For one of the more recent animated films that DC has released, JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. TEEN TITANS is actually pretty good. The biggest issue it has is that it doesn’t follow through on the concept of its title. Instead the movie is more Raven’s story than anyone else’s. Despite that, the film itself is still a lot of fun to watch. 

It opens with a battle between a series of super villains and the Justice League. During which, Damien Wayne is stuck on crowd control. Like usual, Damien is an insufferable brat who can’t stand to be told what to do, even more so than a child his age. In the battle, Weather Wizard becomes possessed by an unknown entity, one so powerful it can make Superman bleed. Damien, not one to sit by idly, takes matters into his own hands and uses the bat-jet as a battering ram to release Weather Wizard from his possession. 

Batman doesn’t like being ignored though and so he sends Damien to the Teen Titans to learn how to work with a team. This time around the roster includes Beast Boy, Blue Beetle, Raven and Starfire as their leader. So, it’s fairly close to how the old cartoon used to be, sans Cyborg, who is now a member of the Justice League. 

Those who watched the Young Justice show might also be familiar with the film’s art style. It’s taken almost entirely from that show, which is something of a tease given that the movie isn’t a continuation of the show itself. But it looks crisp and all the characters are well drawn. 

The action throughout is pretty good. There are several battles in the movie. The opening one is pretty okay, but the later fights are where the action really shines. This is kind of where the title becomes a problem though because there’s only one brief fight between the two factions and the Teen Titans completely lose the battle. Even when it’s three on five, the Teen Titans stand no chance against the Justice League. 

Like I said in the intro paragraph though, the story is really about Raven. Who she is, why she doesn’t have a home, and the trauma she faced during her childhood. The film’s villain, Trigon, is directly related to her. Because of that, she’s the catalyst for a lot of what happens in the movie. It’s an interesting choice, because Damien is positioned as the main character. He does go through a character arc, but it’s so small that it’s almost inconsequential. 

It’s also worth noting that the movie takes some odd inspirations from anime. There’s even a dance off in the middle of the movie between two of the characters. One of the scenes features Sailor Moon-esque transformation sequences for each of the Teen Titan members. It’s a little weird, but totally welcome as it gave the movie some flavor. 

Overall JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. TEEN TITANS is a fun movie. There’s some good action, a few good character moments and a great art style. Even if it falters a little bit with the character arcs, it’s still worth a watch.

Written by Peter Freeman, TV & Animation Writer -- Click to read Peter's posts

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