Another week goes by, and another movie featuring the multiverse pops up. Yep, following hot on the heels of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Everything Everywhere All at Once, comes the animated feature (with a ridiculously long name), Teen Titans GO! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse.
The movie, dubbed as a ‘crossover event’, is directed by Matt Peters and Katie Rice, and combines characters from two cartoon shows: Teen Titans GO! and DC Super Hero Girls.The picture features the voice talents of Tara Strong, Nicole Sullivan, Greg Cipes, and Will Friedle, and is available to rent or buy from all major video-on-demand platforms from today.
In the movie, Lex Luthor and his Legion of Doom (Riddler, Cheetah, Livewire, etc) harness the power of a special Kryptonian amulet, in order to transport various super heroes into the Phantom Zone. Then, with many of the major players out of the way, the Legion of Doom rise up and attempt to take over the world.
But while Lex and Co. believe it will be plain sailing now that most of the big-league heroes are incarcerated, they fail to recognise that Earth still has some champions in the shape of the DC Super Hero Girls. This team of young superheroes have no intention of letting the Legion of Doom win, and set out to foil their plan.
With a little input from the Teen Titans from another universe, the DC Super Hero Girls aim to beat the Legion. But when all is said and done, will they have what it takes to save the day?
Before I go any further, I feel the need to let out a very heavy sigh.
I had to let out that sigh because I am frustrated with Warner Bros. – the studio behind Teen Titans GO! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse. I am frustrated, because twice now Warner Bros. has tried to pull the wool over fans’ eyes when it comes to the Teen Titans.
You may recall, that last year Warners’ released Teen Titans GO! see Space Jam. The direct-to-video animated feature was produced to tie-in with the theatrical release of Space Jam: A New Legacy, and I’m sorry to say that it was a sad excuse for a tie-in.
For those that can’t quite remember, Teen Titans GO! see Space Jam was essentially an abridged version of Space Jam, only with some commentary from the Teen Titans bolted on. The release was a cheap excuse to reissue the popular ‘90s movie under the guise of a new Teen Titans film, it had no redeeming features whatsoever, and it was a little misleading to say the least.
After that debacle, I hoped Warner Bros. would do better next time around. But having just sat through Teen Titans GO! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse, it is very clear to me the studio is at it again.
If you’re a fan of Teen Titans GO!, and you are looking forward to watching this new movie, then I have some very bad news for you. Despite getting first billing in this movie’s title, the Teen Titans are barely in this picture.
The film runs approximately 79-minutes. Give or take a minute here and there, the Teen Titans appear for a maximum of 15-minutes.
This is NOT a 50/50 crossover movie, which provides an even split for its title heroes. This film is a DC Super Hero Girls adventure film, with some Teen Titans scenes shoe-horned in from time-to-time.
But this isn’t the only issue with the title. The film is subtitled ‘Mayhem in the Multiverse’, suggesting this is a multiverse epic, and possibly one that is somewhat chaotic.
This subtitle is also misleading, as there is no mayhem and there is barely any multiverse. The vast majority of the film takes place on one universe, with little reference to different realities.
To me, this film is not a multiverse picture at all, and is instead a movie which has been given the subtitle of ‘Mayhem in the Multiverse’ because multiverse stories are popular right now. As such, anyone looking for some cross-universe fun, and also some significant input from the Teen Titans, will find themselves severely disappointed with what is on offer here.
And all of this is a shame, because I don’t believe this is a bad movie, for the right audience. This film is aimed squarely at superhero-lovin’ kids, and if you have young super-fans in your household, they are sure to be entertained.
The issue I have is that Warner Bros. are implying this film is something it is not. And while this film is not awful like Teen Titans GO! see Space Jam, it is still using a bit of trickery to get audiences to part with their cash.
Teen Titans GO! fans will seek out this film thinking they will get to see plenty of Titans action and this is not the case at all. They might also find that this film skews a little bit too young for their tastes, and will become bored within the first 20-minutes.
Unlike Teen Titans GO!, which has enough in-jokes and action to appeal to kids and adults alike, DC Super Hero Girls is a property squarely aimed at a young demographic. So, because this is essentially a DC Super Hero Girls movie, this whole film is really just for kids.
Of course, DC Super Hero Girls fans will enjoy the movie, and as I have previously stated, for those of a certain age it’s not a bad film. The picture includes multiple superheroes, has a decent amount of (mild) peril, and is filled with colourful imagery likely to fire-up the imagination.
The core cast of characters are also depicted as being very inspiring and powerful, and there is plenty of screen time for the likes of Batgirl, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman. Harley Quinn also gets in on the action, and has a side plot about being less evil and seeing the error of her ways.
So, I’ve no doubt that anyone under the age of 8 will lap this up, and if you have young children around this age, they adore super heroes, and you’re looking for some entertainment, you can stop reading this review right now. Your kids won’t care about the misleading title of the film, and they will have a blast regardless.
As for everyone else, the film is a disappointment. The title sets out certain expectations, and they are simply not met.
Warner Bros.’ need to stop being sneaky with Teen Titans GO! movies and go back to making Titan-centric films like they did with Teen Titans GO! to the Movies (2018) and Teen Titans GO! vs. Teen Titans (2019). This is a popular franchise, with a strong fanbase, and fans deserve better than what they are currently being mis-sold.
Call this film what it is, and there is no major problem. But call this a Teen Titans GO! film, and position it as a big multiverse adventure, and expect lots of fan backlash as a result.