Justice League vs. Teen Titans
|Justice League vs. Teen Titans|
DVD and Blu-ray release cover
|Directed by||Sam Liu|
|Produced by||James Tucker|
|Story by||Bryan Q. Miller|
|Music by||Frederik Wiedmann|
|Edited by||Christopher D. Lozinski|
|Distributed by||Warner Home Video|
Justice League vs. Teen Titans is a 2016 direct-to-video animated superhero film, directed by Sam Liu from a screenplay by Alan Burnett and Bryan Q. Miller. It is part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. The film features the voices of Jon Bernthal, Taissa Farmiga, and Jason O'Mara. The film had its world premiere at WonderCon on March 26, 2016. It was released through digital download on March 29, 2016, and through home media on April 12, 2016 by Warner Home Video.
The Justice League battle the Legion of Doom (consisting of Lex Luthor, Solomon Grundy, Cheetah, Weather Wizard, and Toymaster). After the Legion is defeated and captured, Weather Wizard runs away, but is possessed by a shadow-like creature, which is subsequently revealed to be the demon Trigon. Robin disobeys his father's orders to get civilians to safety, thinking he can help the Justice League fight the possessed Wizard. Robin sets the Batwing to crash into Weather Wizard and explode, forcing Trigon's shade to leave his host. Upset that there's no answer to this occurrence and in order for his son to learn teamwork, Batman sends Robin to join the Teen Titans. Meanwhile, Trigon's shade possesses Superman, plaguing him with visions of demonic shadows.
Robin meets the Titans' leader Starfire and members Raven, Beast Boy, and Blue Beetle, but his lack of respect for the others causes friction. Blue Beetle and Robin fight until Blue Beetle's suit instinctively uses an energy blast to severely burn Robin. Raven heals him, but during the process her empathic powers link their minds, tapping into each other's memories. Later, Robin thanks Raven for saving him, but confronts her about an entity he saw in her mind. With Raven unwilling to answer, Damian tries to search up Raven's background, but no information is kept about her in the Titans' files. When he confronts Starfire about this, she replies the team isn't just for fighting crime, but also a surrogate family, as they are all lost souls in a world with no place for them.
Superman finds and brutally beats down Atomic Skull, alerting Wonder Woman and Batman. The latter uses kryptonite to drive Superman back, revealing his possession before Superman flies off. Cyborg tries to locate Superman and a "female with supernatural powers", whom Trigon is searching for. He and Batman analyse footage of both a transformed Superman and the shadow demon that possessed Weather Wizard, concluding that if the host is damaged or overwhelmed, they will be freed from it. In the meantime, in order to loosen Damian up, Starfire takes the group to a carnival, where Raven encounters demon emissaries and Trigon, in a spirit form, who wants to find her so they can be together. With the help of the other Titans, Raven resists and fights the emissaries until they cannot maintain their presence on the Earthly plane and dissipate.
Afterward, the Titans demand answers from Raven. She reveals that her mother was a member of a cult who married her off to Trigon, who took a human form. Her mother fled after discovering his true nature and was saved by the Azarathians; benevolent people from another dimension, where Raven grew up. After unwittingly summoning her father and thus causing the obliteration of Azarath and her mother, Raven was taken by him so he could conquer Earth, but she trapped him inside a crystal. The Titans offer their support to Raven in defeating Trigon, but the Justice League arrives in order to take Raven away. However, before they can act, Flash, Cyborg, and Wonder Woman are taken over by Trigon's shadow and turned into demon emissaries. Batman prevents his own possession by injecting himself with a nerve toxin designed for Bane, putting himself in a comatose state and thus causing the shade to abandon him.
The Titans battle the League without success, causing Raven to surrender herself. Just before the League and Raven use a portal to leave, Blue Beetle brings back Cyborg from Trigon's control. Robin locates Raven in the Middle East, revealing he put a tracer on each of the Titans after meeting them. Cyborg and the Titans portal to the Middle East, to discover that Superman had unearthed a mystical shrine that Raven uses her powers on so that Trigon can pass though the shrine as a gate. Robin stabs Superman with kryptonite to free him from Trigon, and back to his own self, Superman defeats Flash and Wonder Woman, which frees them both. The Titans save Raven, but not before Trigon returns to his physical form.
Following Raven's plan, the Titans and Cyborg portal to Hell to retrieve the crystal to lock away her father, while the Justice League attempt to prevent Trigon from reaching innocent civilians. The Titans battle their way through hordes of demons, but an undead Ra's al Ghul, turned into Trigon's servant after death, shatters the crystal. He tries to persuade Robin to join Trigon so that he may return to life, but Robin claims he is no longer an al Ghul, but a Teen Titan. They battle and Ra's al Ghul is defeated. Overcoming her inner doubts and Trigon's telepathic attempts to dissuade her, Raven uses both her powerful magic and her telepathic link to Trigon, to re-imprison him in a shard of the broken crystal.
Raven informs the Titans that the shard must stay in Hell and be watched always, in case Trigon tries once again to break free. She puts herself forward as Trigon's keeper, but the Titans assure that her home is with them. Back at Titans Tower, the group – now joined by Robin and Cyborg – are lauded by the Justice League for saving Earth, and Raven wears her father's crystal prison on her forehead for safekeeping. Within it, Trigon furiously demands that she release him, that he will break free and kill everyone she loves but she ignores him.
In a post-credits scene, Terra is seen approaching Titans Tower, riding a boulder across the sea.
- Stuart Allan as Damian Wayne / Robin
- Taissa Farmiga as Raven
- Jon Bernthal as Trigon
- Brandon Soo Hoo as Garfield Logan / Beast Boy
- Jake T. Austin as Jaime Reyes / Blue Beetle
- Kari Wahlgren as Koriand'r / Starfire
- Jerry O'Connell as Clark Kent / Superman
- Jason O'Mara as Bruce Wayne / Batman
- Sean Maher as Dick Grayson / Nightwing
- Rosario Dawson as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman
- Christopher Gorham as Barry Allen / Flash
- Shemar Moore as Victor Stone / Cyborg
- Laura Bailey as Angela Chen
- Steven Blum as Lex Luthor, Toymaster
- Terrence C. Carson as Ra's al Ghul
- Rick D. Wasserman as Weather Wizard, Solomon Grundy, Atomic Skull
The film was announced by DC Comics, along with Batman: Bad Blood, in July 2015 during the San Diego Comic-Con International. The voice cast was revealed on January 18, 2016, including new cast members Jon Bernthal, Taissa Farmiga, Jake T. Austin, and Brandon Soo Hoo, and returning cast members Rosario Dawson, Jerry O'Connell, Jason O'Mara, and Christopher Gorham. Frederik Wiedmann was reported to be composing the score to the film on January 27, 2016.
In January 2016, the first official image from the film was released, as well as an image of Jon Bernthal recording voiceover for the film. A sneak preview of the film was released as a bonus feature on Batman: Bad Blood. The sneak preview of the film was released online later that month, along with the film's official trailer. In March 2016, two clips from the film were released.
Justice League vs. Teen Titans had its world premiere at the Los Angeles WonderCon on March 26, 2016. The film was released via digital download on March 29, 2016, and straight-to-DVD and Blu-ray on April 12, 2016. A gift set of the film was released with an exclusive Robin figurine. It was released straight-to-DVD on May 30, 2016 in the United Kingdom.
An adaptation of the The Judas Contract was planned as the third DC Universe Animated Original Movie, to be released after Superman: Doomsday (2007) and Justice League: The New Frontier (2008). It was announced in 2006 but later put on hold. This film was to be based on "The Judas Contract" story from 1984 featured in Tales of the Teen Titans #42–44 and Teen Titans Annual #3 by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez. Warner Bros. Animation's writer/producer Bruce Timm confirmed in April 2010 that there were no current plans to revive the project. In July 2016, however, Warner Bros. announced that the project has officially been resurfaced as Teen Titans: The Judas Contract and will serve as the sequel to Justice League vs. Teen Titans.
At WonderCon, producer James Tucker stated that buying the DVD and Blu-ray would further increase chances of the Teen Titans appearing more often in future DC Comics animated and/or live-action films.
Brian Lowry of Variety gave the film a mixed review, saying, "It's more disposable than the best entries in this animated franchise." Eric Diaz of Nerdist awarded the film a rating of 3.5/5, writing, "The movie is mostly entertaining with some pretty fun action beats. It captures the essence of the Titans, shown mostly as they were portrayed in the animated show, but with a slightly more grown-up feel."
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