I’m no stranger to epic animated DC crossovers. The main reason I was so excited to review this film is because of Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans, which I had the pleasure of reviewing a couple of years ago, and which I’ve rewatched any number of times since. It’s a really fun film that never fails to make me smile. When I heard about Mayhem in the Multiverse, I assumed it would have a similar vibe and jumped at the chance to review it.
The two movies are not the same, though. Rather than a full-on crossover, this one is basically just a DC Super Hero Girls movie. The Teen Titans barely enter into it, and of the few scenes they do have, most of them consist of the team sitting on the couch, watching the DC Super Hero Girls’ adventure unfold on television, while complaining that they’re not in the film more.
Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m not complaining at all about the DC Super Hero Girls. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by what they brought to the table. I was expecting this to be the same DC Super Hero Girls whose movie I reviewed back in 2017. While that one was certainly a fun film, it was also a bit juvenile and overly simplistic.
However, the team has been rebooted since then, and the new Super Hero Girls are much better. The characters are more fleshed out, the stories have more depth, and the whole thing is generally more interesting to watch. They could absolutely carry this film on their own. In fact, they essentially DO carry the film on their own. Teen Titans Go! are basically just there as a marketing ploy, to lend some name recognition—which the Titans themselves admit within the first few minutes of the film.
I’ve talked a lot in this review about what the film isn’t. It’s not really a crossover. It’s not about the multiverse. It’s not the same DC Super Hero Girls that I reviewed in 2017. So, what IS the movie? What’s it about? So glad you asked!
Teenage Lex Luthor (Will Friedle) has assembled a team of (mostly also teenage) supervillains to form the Legion of Doom. With the help of an ancient Kryptonian legend, they set out to rid the world of all superheroes once and for all, by luring them into a cunning trap and imprisoning them, one by one, in the Phantom Zone.
The adult-aged superheroes who make up the Justice League think they have everything well in hand, and clearly know more than they’re willing to let on to the Super Hero Girls. Pushed aside and underestimated, the teenaged Wonder Woman (Grey Griffin), Supergirl (Nicole Sullivan), Batgirl (Tara Strong), Bumblebee (Kimberly Brooks), and the rest of their team are nonetheless determined to figure out what’s going on, bring back their friends, and save the day. And in fact, they may be the only ones who can.
Along the way, the girls do, very briefly, wind up in an alternate universe, where they do, very briefly, encounter the Teen Titans. It’s more a side quest than anything else, though, and the bulk of the adventure has nothing to do with the multiverse, or any mayhem therein.
The IMDb Trivia Page for this movie says that it was originally conceived as a solo adventure for the DC Super Hero Girls, but then studio executives made them shoehorn Teen Titans Go! into the story, as well. I would have much rather watched this as a solo DC Super Hero Girls film. Much as I love the Teen Titans Go! characters, they don’t really add anything to the story. They may even detract from it. It’s the girls’ film. Let them have it.
The humor of the DC Super Hero Girls is a bit different from Teen Titans Go! It’s not nearly so chaotic or off-the-wall. It can still be pretty silly, though, and there are a number of genuinely laugh-out-loud moments. The portrayal of the adult heroes in the Justice League is a perfect example. Batman (Keith Ferguson) has a demeanor that can best be described as “unintelligible brooding.” Meanwhile, Will Friedle doubles as both Lex Luthor and Aquaman, and is clearly having the best time with both.
On the other hand, if a full-fledged crossover between Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls is what you’re looking for, such a thing does exist. (In fact, the Teen Titans make several references to it in the film.) In the sixth season of Teen Titans Go!, there’s an episode called "Superhero Feud," wherein the Titans are pitted against the Super Hero Girls for a gameshow.
Then, in the seventh season, there’s a four-part adventure called "Space House," which features the Teen Titans and Super Hero Girls all vacationing together in a house, in space, and having space adventures together. In the interest of research, I watched all of these episodes, which are available on HBO Max. They’re pretty great, and much more in line with what I was expecting when I first heard “Teen Titans Go!/DC Super Hero Girls crossover.”
There are also two bonus Teen Titans Go! episodes and one bonus DC Super Hero Girls episode as special features on the Blu-ray for this movie. The crossovers aren’t featured, but the episodes they do have are still pretty fun.
As far as the movie itself goes, though, the bottom line is this: It’s a fun film and definitely worth watching. The DC Super Hero Girls are a great team who carry the film just fine, all by themselves. If you go in expecting a crossover, you’ll be disappointed. But if you go in looking to see a cool, fun, slightly silly, animated superhero adventure, I think you just may enjoy this one.
Creative Team: Matt Peters and Katie Rice (directors), Jase Ricci (writer)
Released by: Warner Brothers/DC
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