DC’s latest animated feature brings two of the most popular heroic teams of two different generations and pits them against each other. Justice League Vs. Teen Titans makes for a beautifully animated film that borders somewhere between fanfiction and a Korean drama, while still managing to be an entertaining superhero film.
After a violent victory and demonstrating a lack of communication skills, Damian Wayne is sent to work with the Teen Titans. Damian Wayne gets his face blown off by The Blue Beetle and is healed by Raven via some telepathic link that causes him to see visions of her demons and his own. All this, while a “mysterious figure” attempts to possess the Justice League.
Beloved characters have slight variations to fit the realm of this film, but their personalities and other iconic qualities breathe an air of both familiarity and freshness. Starfire, grown and accustomed to Earth’s practices, still has a slight naiveté about her and hesitates, subtly, at every new turn of phrase. Coming straight from his Son of Batman and Bad Blood appearances, Damian Wayne is still a vicious brat, which stirs the whole plot of the film. We also see a slew of Justice League characters and ex-Teen Titans.
Ultimately, the good guys win and audiences realize that it’s less Justice League Vs Teen Titans and more Damian Wayne attempts to make friends via a Raven-centric plotline. Though that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the lack of character development throughout the entire film makes you wonder why Damian Wayne really had a change of heart, if nothing really happened to change his heart.
Where the film wasted minutes upon minutes of the characters playing a knock-off Dance Dance Revolution machine and showing how over-powered Damian Wayne is, it missed out on the opportunity to show the Titan’s acceptance of Damian or vice versa, which would have better warranted the, “I’m a Titan,” line he speaks before the finishing blow against a familiar villain.
Justice League Vs. Teen Titans is a visually beautiful film with, as expected, amazing animated fight choreography. It could have succeeded in being more character driven if they cut out the dance number, but for some reason the team behind the film thinks dancing is the only way to showcase the ages of the characters.
In the end, the film was highly entertaining, with surprisingly laughs, and a strangely necessary transformation sequence. It only lacked the emotional depth that these animated films have yet to dive into.