The teaser trailer for the Teen Titans Go! feature length adaptation dropped last week into a world that both needs and deserves it, though the amount of “Dislikes” underneath the video on YouTube would have you wondering otherwise.
The Cartoon Network series has been dividing fans ever since it started airing in 2013 and Teen Titans Go! To The Movies will probably do nothing to heal that rift. But what the show’s vehement detractors never seem to appreciate is, that amid the surreal cutaways and gross-out humor, TTG! is packed full of Easter eggs and in-jokes that are both rewarding for older fans and a great introduction to DC’s interconnected multiverse for younger ones.
“Do you know what makes a real hero?” Robin asks the audience within the opening moments of the trailer. “It’s not the costumes, the gadgets, the cool powers… It’s having your own movie!” Cue the rest of the team: Starfire, Cyborg, Beast Boy and Raven leaping into frame sporting Wonder Woman costumes to “give the people what they want,” while admitting that they’re not the “inspirational” heroes that she is. Robin exasperatedly calls on the “narrator guy” to drum up some excitement with some stirring, deep-voiced lines about “courage,” “action” and the film being “the superhero movie to end all superhero movies… Hopefully.” The whole thing is wrapped up with a 15-second long fart joke (for the kids) and a classic Aquaman dig (for the grown-up kids): “Because if [he] can get a movie, anyone can!”
Breaking the fourth wall, keeping up a running meta-commentary, crude humor and self-deprecating jokes? In little over a minute, the trailer suggests something pretty interesting: Teen Titans Go! To The Movies could be DC’s child-friendly answer to Deadpool. And yet, while Marvel’s potty-mouthed mercenary is widely deemed as an acceptable conduit for self-aware gags, TTG! has always been criticized for doing pretty much exactly the same thing, albeit without the four-letter vocabulary.
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