I really enjoyed the first two Teen Titans Go! movies, Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, and its DTV sequel Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans — they were delightfully irreverent self-parodies, stuffed to the brim with random DC nonsense (splat Atom anyone?) DC Super Hero Girls is also a fun show, and the two have crossed over on previous episodes and in tie-in graphic novels, so it made sense to add them to the Titans’ third feature-length outing. Except… this is actually a DC Super Hero Girls movie.
Make no mistake, despite who gets top billing, this is a vehicle for Lauren Faust’s take on Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Green Lantern (Jessica Cruz), Bumblebee, and Zatanna: as the constantly self-aware Teen Titans realize early on, this is another instance of a crossover using a more popular show (theirs) to boost a less popular one (DCSHG). The Titans are relegated to the bookends and a couple of interludes, and there’s nothing wrong with that: I’m just warning you in case you buy this movie for a die-hard TTG fan under the age of ten, since they might throw a tantrum while watching it.
The plot sees Lex Luthor (Will Friedle) gaining possession of an amulet containing the soul of the Kryptonian goddess of darkness, Cythonna (Missi Pyle), which he and the rest of the Legion of Doom — including the Super Villain Girls — use to imprison most of the world’s heroes in the Phantom Zone. The Super Hero Girls pursue the disappearances, but are thwarted by their overly protective adult counterparts in the Justice League. The Titans, meanwhile, watch events unfold from their couch while being held hostage by their old enemy, Control Freak (Alexander Polinsky).
Every Super Hero Girl (except Cruz, curiously) is given their own arc, to varying degrees of success: Supergirl (Nicole Sullivan) living in the shadow of her famous cousin receives the most attention and pay-off, as does Wonder Woman (Grey DeLisle)’s drive to protect her sisters-in-arms, which leads her to consider whether she should remain with them, or join the League. (It also feels like a sly, meta way for directors Matt Peters & Katie Rice, and writer Jase Ricci, to question why Diana was placed on a show with much younger teammates.)
Zatanna (Kari Wahlgren)’s fears over embracing her dark magic powers is a solid part, although it could’ve been set up better, especially with the time spent on gags about her having a crush on Aquaman; her struggle winds up leading to the only interesting dynamic between the Girls and the Titans. Bumblebee (Kimberly Brooks) gets a great moment where she discovers her own confidence, and rallies the team when their bickering threatens to drive them apart. Batgirl (Tara Strong)’s story centers on her hope there’s still good in her friend Harley Quinn (also Strong), so she winds up playing second banana to Ms. Quinzel.
The boys get a pretty good showing as well: the aforementioned Superman (Max Mittelman) is the heart of the film with his cousin, while Aquaman (Friedle again) is a lot of fun, portrayed as an honest, southern salt-of-the-sea surfer dude, who gives voice to the audience when he asks if anyone else is struggling to understand Batman (voiced by Keith Ferguson solely through a series of incomprehensible, Bale-esque growls.) It was also great to see John Stewart (played once again by Phil LaMarr) as the League’s resident Green Lantern, reminding us once and for all he’s better than Hal Jordan.
Overall, this is as funny, wholesome, and well-produced as any DC Super Hero Girls episode, so where does it fall short? Some of the jokes are a little padded to reach that mandated 75 min. runtime, especially a sequence involving Kara struggling to fastforward through Jor-El’s recordings, and of course, the Titans’ appearances feel bolted on and shoehorned in. I get why this was a crossover — again, there’s that whole thing about a less popular series glomming onto a bigger one — but I wish it had made more of their presence if this had to be the case. Still, it leads to a fun denouement involving another animated DC universe (no, not the ’90s-00s one, sadly), so I can’t really complain.
Unnecessary guest stars/commentators aside, Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse is a strong potential series finale for the Girls, whose show is apparently not being renewed for a third season. (Nicole Sullivan has stated she’s done voicing Supergirl at least.) It’s a little strange, considering the second season hasn’t finished airing yet (and who knows when it will, given Cartoon Network’s vague nature), but I’m glad the youngest generation of DC fans will get to enjoy this alongside the final batch of episodes — it must be pretty super knowing they can rewatch this after the actual finale.