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Thursday, August 20, 2015


If you're a fan of that weird sort of "Americanized anime" style of cartoons found on the Cartoon Network--you know, stuff like "Powerpuff Girls" and "Dexter's Laboratory" and "Samurai Jack"--then chances are you're already familiar with "Teen Titans Go!"  This speed-freak-paced series takes what was once a serious DC Comics property and turns it into some of the most surrealistically silly animated shorts that will ever dazzle your eyeballs and sizzle your brain.

We've already covered the previous DVD set, "Teen Titans Go!: Appetite For Destruction Season 2 Part 1", and with TEEN TITANS GO!: HOUSE PESTS SEASON 2 PART 2, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment gives us another 26 episodes on two DVDs.  There aren't any extras (unless you count two trailers) but if you're into this kind of supreme goofiness as I am, then the cartoons themselves are extra enough. 

Besides being bright, colorful, sharply drawn, and impeccably animated, these things just move like a house on fire and are addictively entertaining.  The Titans do very little crimefighting, with the stories focusing instead on their domestic infighting and other non-sequitur trainwrecks of thought which often exist merely to celebrate sheer silliness itself. 

Batman's old chum Robin, the team's leader, is portrayed as an immature, insecure, vainglorious boob whose hyperactive overenthusiasm for his job is matched only by his pathetic attempts to woo teammate Starfire, a female alien glowing with girlish, frilly-pink sweetness.  Guy's guy Cyborg, a big half-human, half-robot lug, and lovable little shape-shifting slob Beast Boy spend most of their time watching TV and eating pizza, while sullen half-demon Raven reads, sulks, and casts spells. 

The Teen Titans live in a giant T-shaped building on a tiny island in the bay next to Jump City and only occasionally protect its citizens from their super-powered teen rivals, the Hive.  In the episode "Cool School" they try to stop bad girl Rose Wilson aka "Ravager" from breaking out of prison until she stops them cold by pointing out how "uncool" they are.  While Rose and Raven strike up an unlikely friendship, the rest of the Titans go to Cool School in a vain effort to get cooler.  Meanwhile, Rose deflects Robin's demand that she return to jail by insisting that she's already in jail and challenging him to prove otherwise, which just confuses him.

"Robin Backwards" introduces us to Robin's Bizarro counterpart, Nibor, who becomes more popular with the other Titans than the original.  "Crazy Day" is pretty much as it sounds, with everyone except a predictably glum Raven taking part in acting as crazy as possible.  In "Smile Bones", Cyborg and Beast Boy's habit of inhaling their food without chewing it comes back to haunt them when their bellies grow to gargantuan proportions, sprout faces and limbs, and take over Jump City. 

"Real Boy Adventures" is a twisted retelling of "Pinocchio" with Raven granting Cyborg's wish to be human, which he'll regret when he finds out how vulnerable he is in his new guise as "Fleshy Guy."  "Hose Water" is the story of the Titans' overly successful attempt to get in touch with their inner children.  In "Let's Get Serious", Robin decides the team needs to cut out the clowning after a rival good-guy group led by archly-grim Aqualad easily defeats the Hive.

In other stories, Beast Boy decides to replace paper currency with bees and wasps ("Two Bumble Bees and a Wasp"), the team combat the worldwide conspiracy of evil soccer trolls who trick the unwary populace into liking soccer ("Kicking a Ball and Pretending to Be Hurt"), the evil-but-cuddly Whisperer grants Raven's foolish request to deprive the world of all sound ("And the Award For Sound Design Goes to Rob"), the Titans visit Starfire's ultra-weird home planet and start a war ("Tamaranian Vacation"), and, in perhaps my favorite cartoon in the set, they enter a world of 80s-style video games that recreates the era beautifully ("Video Game References").

Other episodes in the set: "Rocks and Water", "Multiple Trick Pony", "Truth, Justice and What?", "Oil Drums", "Head Fruit", "Yearbook Madness", "Operation Tin Man", "Nean", "Campfire Stories", "Beast Man", "The Hive Five", "The Return of Slade", "More of the Same", and "Some of Their Parts."

The 2-disc DVD set from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (26 episodes, 11 minutes each) is in matted widescreen with English, Spanish, and Portuguese Dolby surround sound. Subtitles are in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.   No extras except trailers for two other WBHE releases.

As before, TEEN TITANS GO!: HOUSE PESTS SEASON 2 PART 2 is a dizzying dash through some of the fastest, prettiest, and most cultural-reference-packed cartoons being made today.  I previously commented that it seemed "as though the scripts had been dictated on tape by a Red Bull-fueled Robin Williams and animated by Tex Avery at his most unhinged", and that description still stands.  Fans of earlier incarnations of the Teen Titans may balk, but to me, these cartoons are like brightly-wrapped candy that I can't get enough of.  

Buy it at
Street date: Aug. 18, 2015


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