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story.lead_photo.caption Robin (voiced by Scott Menville) leads his team of dance-happy teenage co-splayers to Hollywood where they hope someone will make a movie about them in Teen Titans Go! To The Movies.

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is simply a 90 minute version of the animated TV series about young superheroes whose primary accomplishments are scoring burgers or burritos instead of neutralizing The Joker or Lex Luthor.

Showrunners Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michail offer very little a fan of Teen Titans Go! can't catch on the small screen, but somehow that's not a problem.

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies

84 Cast: (voices of) Scott Menville, Greg Cipes, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Hynden Walch, Will Arnett, Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Jimmy Kimmel, Lil Yachty, Greg Davies

Directors: Aaron Horvath, Peter Rida Michail

Rating: Rated PG for action and rude humor

Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

For the most part, Horvath and Rida Michail come up with a cornucopia of deep cuts from the DC Comics archives, full frontal assaults on the fourth wall and other parental bonuses to prevent parents from regretting they've joined their offspring. Robin (voiced by Scott Menville) and the Titans even have the decency to warn grown-ups directly about situations that might result in long conversations on the way to the car. Fortunately, all of the meta humor is a sweetness that keeps the film from becoming a post-modern mess.

If you're unfamiliar with the Titans, Batman's sidekick Robin lives and battles less than intimidating villains with the mechanically enhanced warrior Cyborg (Khary Payton), the enchantress Raven (Tara Strong), the hyperactive, shape-shifting Beast Boy (Breg Cipes) and the goofy extraterrestrial Starfire (Hynden Walch).

In the beginning, it's easy to see why the Titans didn't make it into the last Justice League movie. When they confront the giant Balloon Man (Greg Davies) as he attacks their home Jump City, they spend most of the time dancing to and singing their theme song. Then again, the stakes are lower than in other crime-ridden DC cities. A billboard informs drivers Jump City is "safer than Gotham."

This may explain why Robin still hasn't had a movie of his own. He's envious that superhero film director Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell) has made flicks about the Batmobile and Alfred the Butler instead of him.

Maybe that's a good thing.

While Superman (Nicolas Cage) and Batman (Jimmy Kimmel) are watching Wilson's latest offering, wannabe supervillain Slade (Will Arnett) is swiping a rare jewel. The Titans know that if they can bust him and save the day, Robin can finally get his close-up.

It takes some guts to make a movie that says being the subject of a film shouldn't be your life's goal. Henry Hill may be the subject of the classic gangster film GoodFellas, but who would want to replicate his criminal behavior or drug abuse?

Horvath and Rida Michail may have inserted one too many pointless musical numbers. Even if the songs were added as jokes, they still have to be either catchy or amusing. Fortunately, they also take time from the wisecracks to let youngsters know that public recognition is no measure of how heroic someone is.

Robin needs this lesson. His leadership of the Titans is due to the Peter Principle, which holds that people rise to the level of their incompetence. Batman's leftover gadgets aren't as cool as Cyborg's built-in weapons or Raven's ability to leap in and out of space and time.

The directors also include toilet humor that's actually funny. In most kids' movies, bodily discharges indicate desperation in the writers room instead of inspiration. The gags here actually show some imagination to go along with the poor taste. It's also hard not love jokes about heroes from other universes. The Titans mistake Slade for Marvel's Deadpool and ask him to "say something inappropriate."

There are also some delightful voice cameos any comic geek would love. Cage finally gets to play Superman and does the Man of Steel justice.

Try to make your screening on time, for the opening short from My Little Pony mastermind Lauren Faust, The Late Batsby, is slight but entertaining. Who knew that Batgirl had so much trouble keeping her heroics a secret?

MovieStyle on 07/27/2018

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