The Teen Titans are back… again. The cast of Robin, Beast Boy, Starfire, Cyborg and Raven saw their first show end back in 2006 (specifically September 15, 2006 with the “Trouble in Tokyo” film). Their next show was a small bit on DC Nation Shorts titled “New Teen Titans” which kept the show’s art style the same, but more chibi-like and the show had much more emphasis on the comedy. Well, those shorts were so popular that the Teen Titans got their own show again, this one called Teen Titans Go! The new show, like the DC Nation shorts, is aiming for comedy more than action. The Titans seem to have a lot of trouble that most non-superhero roommates have – such as deciding who does the laundry, staying friends, and protecting their city from any looming threats.
Okay, maybe not that last one.
Teen Titans Go is rendered in vibrant, chibi-style animation, which is probably an attempt court a younger audience. Unlike the DC Nations Short, which kept the original show’s style, the same just made our characters smaller, this show is much more comical looking. It’s just very bright and has a decent range of colors. I wouldn’t say it’s more anime-ish, it’s more like Powerpuff Girls, or something along those lines. But the animation is just okay, it’s not great and it’s not terrible – it is just okay. Anyway, the show also has a lot of visual gags in it, and some great references to other DC characters – like a moment where you see a plush of Darkseid. I’d hate to see that as a carnival prize…
All of the original show’s main heroes’ voice actors are here. You know, Scott Menville as Robin (bling blong!), Khary Payton as Cyborg (booyah!), Hynden Walch (glorious!), Tara
Strong as Raven (Azarath Metrion Zinthos!), and Greg Cipes as Beast Boy (dude!). They give great performances as they did in the original show. Certain actors ham it up a touch, because the show needs them to be just a bit more wacky. It also helps a lot that the voice actors of our five heroes get along really well on and off the job, and it really shows in their interactions.
I think they’re one of the few shows to still do recordings in the booth with all the lead voice actors together.
So far the plots for each episode remind me of some of the crazier original Teen Titans show episodes, like the episode “Every Dog Has His Day,” where they don’t have anything to do with the season’s main plot but are just wacky filler. In this show that craziness is cranked up to 11 and then some! I mentioned before the Powerpuff Girls, and I think the tone is very good for young kids’ shows, in that it’s not just over-the-top wacky, but light-hearted. I mean, Trigon appears in an episode, and the most disturbing thing he actually does is turn Cyborg’s hand into a puppy. The show has a lot of silly dialogue, which may not be all that funny, but it gives you a good chuckle – and that’s enough for a kids’ show. Although sometimes when I watch the show I feel that there are segments of the episode where the jokes are just not good. It’s not that the voice actors aren’t trying, most likely it’s just the script. When I look at the episode’s plot on something like Wikipedia, and I watch it, I’m disappointed and ask “Is this all you could think of?” But I really think I am giving the show too much credit. It’s trying to be a show for young kids, it doesn’t reach aim too high or low, it just aims for the easy thing. Even though I have an issue with that in kids’ shows, I think this show’s true strength is its characters.
This show takes that wackiness to heart, and not only does it make it’s look wacky, it makes the characters wacky. Everyone is weirder, or have really weird quirks. Who knew Raven was a closet fan of some My Little Pony knockoff? One of my favorite things is that they turned Robin, one of the original show’s most prominent hero, into quite simply a crazy control freak. One of my favorite scenes in the show so far is when Robin has to face the great danger of waiting in a grocery line and unintentionally showing how socially handicapped he is. Beast Boy’s laziness is even more expanded upon, and Cyborg and Starfire are just goofier. Raven and Robin are – to me – the ones that have the most radical changes. Like I said before, Robin is just crazy. He even kidnaps Starfire’s date and dresses as him in one episode. Raven on the other hand, while slowly warming up in the original show, is just a crazy girl with a serious face. But the best character change to me is Trigon, who went from the evil demon lord of a hunded dimensions who just wants his daughter to live up to her full potential. Although Robin is a close second. I think the wacky characters are what will really make the show last as opposed to the goofy plots. Especially seeing as how all the episodes seem to be character driven so far.
As of right now, I’m hit or miss with this show. Some instances can be funny, and other times, I just question why this show even got the okay. I understand I may not be the demographic but I don’t think the show is reaching its full potential. They’re slowly getting out of the gag where Robin is everyone’s punching bag, which I think they could milk on a bit more. As of right now the show just seems lazy in it’s writing story-wise, but not its characters. The stories so far are good, but not great. A few good gags out of a whole episode filled with nothing but gags does not justify making a whole show under that premise, as opposed to keeping it short. Maybe I’m just expecting too much out of a show aimed at kids, but I do think the show could be good. It’s not there yet, but it’s a diamond in the rough right now.