The Teen Titans Arrive to Tackle the Justice League in the DC Animated Cinematic Universe
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While Warner Bros. and DC Comics are still trying to sort out the logistics of the silver screen cinematic universe, the home video side has been going hard at creating that very same thing with the animated features set in the DCU for the past three years.
Since the release of Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Warner’s animated features have developed into their own universe, which is a stark change of pace from the way things used to run prior to DC’s linewide reboot, the New 52. Though Warner Bros. Animation still puts out features based on comic narratives, the focus since the release of 2014’s Justice League: War has been on carefully cultivating a separate cinematic world where DC’s biggest names live and breathe just as they do in the comics.
Every year, two animated features are released that take place in this new home video canon, continually building on the groundwork laid by previous entries. A third film is also released every year, but it is either a standalone original, like last year’s Justice League: Gods and Monsters, or a direct adaptation, such as Batman: The Killing Joke, which will debut at SDCC 2016. However, it’s the continually expanding animated universe films that have been the driving force behind DC Comics’ home video expansion, and this April, the Teen Titans will emerge for the first time in Justice League vs Teen Titans.
The film centers around Damian Wayne being sent to learn teamwork from the Teen Titans after he nearly botches a Justice League mission. Of course, he just happens to arrive as the Leaguers find themselves at the mercy of Trigon, Raven‘s demonic father. As you can guess, Trigon’s back to attempt to take over the world once more, and it will be up to the Teen Titans to rally and save the day from the hordes of hellspawn and brainwashed heroes.
For the first time since Young Justice exited the airwaves prematurely, a more mature version of the Teen Titans will once again stand side-by-side with their adult counterparts. Teen Titans Go! is a fun series, but it hasn’t quite sated the hunger for new stories featuring our favorite teen heroes in the way they were told on the ambitious Young Justice. Though a 90-minute feature film isn’t quite the same as a 22-episode, conspiracy-laden series, that the Teen Titans are getting added to the mix just six films in says a lot about Warner’s and DC’s planned expansion of this animated world.
Many of the actors from previous direct-to-video entries will return to reprise their roles, including Jason O’Mara as Batman, Stuart Allen as Damian, Shemar Moore as Cyborg, and Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman. The new Titans will be portrayed by Taissa Farmiga (Raven), Jake T. Austin (Blue Beetle), Brandon Soo Hoo (Beast Boy) and Kari Wahlgren (Starfire), with Jon Bernthal set to take on the role of Trigon.
Justice League vs Teen Titans will be available on DVD and Blu-ray beginning on April 12, though you can see it digitally a bit earlier, starting on March 29. There will also be a special combo pack available that features a figure of Damian Wayne/Robin.