DC Entertainment’s recent release of the direct-to-Blu-ray Justice League Vs. Teen Titans offers up something for their younger fans. Directed by Sam Liu (Batman: Year One, All-Star Superman) from a script by Bryan Q. Miller (The Flash, Arrow) and Alan Burnett (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond) a completely original idea, and not based on a comic book arc.
As the film opens, the Justice League is struggling in a battle against the Legion of Doom. Robin (Stuart Allen), steps in, and casually stops the fracas with the Batwing. Hoping his son will learn about teamwork Batman (Jason O’Mara) sends his son to join Teen Titans. Robin finds working with Starfire (Kari Wahlgren), Raven (Taissa Farmiga), Beast Boy (Brandon Soo Hoo), and Blue Beetle (Jake T. Austin) annoying. It’s not long before the power behind the demonic force Trigon (Jon Bernthal) surfaces seeking a family member among the Titans. Trigon will do anything—including involving The Justice League—to bring his family back together.
As villains go, Trigon isn’t particularly interesting, but he does provide the engine that allows Robin to feel he’s a real part of the Teen Titans. The filmmakers were wise to make Raven a central character of the story. The film does a fine job of telling her backstory, laying out how she came to have a devil like Trigon for a father, and its implications. It’s a nice chance from yet another Batman or Superman origin story, and allows for an original finale.
The animation is fairly impressive as always, but in some ways, it appears more intricate than previous releases. It appears that DC and their animators are continuing to challenge themselves. The overall look is appropriately dark, without going overboard. Once again, the character movements often appear lifelike, which is truly impressive.
Clocking in at a tight 78 minutes, Justice League Vs. Teen Titans sticks to the story, and avoids 0the unnecessary. While the film has a comic book feel, it has an originality that should appeal to both fans of The Justice League and The Teen Titans.
Presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio, Warner Bros. 1080p transfer comes with some noticeable issues. Banding is easy to spot, though much of it is due to the animation style used by DC. Thankfully, macroblocking only shows up occasionally. Colors are bright, and vibrant, and black levels are impressive. By and large, viewers should be impressed with this transfer.
The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track impresses. Truly immersive, DC has made this a fun experience with its use of directionality, and LFE. Mixed effectively, the action sequences really stand out. The dialogue is always clear, and never gets drowned out by explosions and other effects.
English SDH, French, German, Spanish (Latin), and Spanish (Castilian) subtitles are included.
The following extras are available:
- Growing Up Titan (HD, 23:46) A surprisingly extensive look at the franchise and its background.
- Heroes and Villains: Raven (HD, 6:05) A brief, biographical look at the character of Raven.
- Heroes and Villains: Trigon (HD, 5:17) The same as above for this arch-villain.
- A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Movie: Batman: The Killing Joke (HD, 10:15)
- From the DC Comics Vault (HD) Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Sidekicks Assemble! (22:52), Teen Titans: The Prophecy (23:02)
- UltraViolet Copy
There are a number of different releases of this title to select from. For the purposes of this review, I was sent the Limited Edition Gift set. Housed in a larger box, it contains the standard Blu-ray case as well as a figurine of Robin. This release is numbered and limited to 57,000 copies.