Monday, May 23, 2011

Animated World of DC Comics: Teen Titans (2003)

There are two schools of thought in relation to Cartoon Network's adaptation of Teen Titans, which ran for 5 13-episode "seasons" over a 3-year period (2003-06), finishing with a made-for-TV movie, "Trouble in Tokyo", which aired in 2007.

On the one hand, the Americanized anime look of the show makes it strikingly different from the rest of the DC cartoons produced by WB, and targeted fans of anime in general as well as long-time Titans fans, especially those who came on board with the seminal New Teen Titans book by Marv Wolfman & George Perez, which was one of the first "hot" comics of the 80's.

On the other, some of those same fans objected either the anime format or the de-aging of some of the characters, particularly Starfire, aka Princess Koriand'r of Tamaran. When Koriand'r was introduced in 1980, she appeared to be in what would be her late teens in earth age, clearly eye candy for the boys. In the cartoon, however, Koriand'r appears to be around 13-14 in earth years, and very, very naive. As for Beast Boy, the emerald skinned shapeshifter, he too had been de-aged for the cartoon, and the producers put more emphasis on the "Beast" in his name by giving him fangs & pointed ears. In the 80's, he had his name changed to "Changeling", with the character stating that he wanted to be considered more of an adult. Not only that, but Changeling was also a wanna-be playboy and actor in the comics back in those days.

The characters were never seen out of costume, which really wasn't much of an issue, but it left open a great deal of debate over which of the comic book Robins was being used. It was later established that it was the original (Dick Grayson), again falling into line with the comics.

The series' lead villain, Slade (Ron Perlman, "Hellboy"), was an analog for his comic book persona as Deathstroke, the Terminator (real name: Slade Wilson). While Robin & Starfire almost immediately became a couple in the comics, it took a couple of "seasons", at least, before they even began dating on television.

Data2007 uploaded the show's theme song, performed by the Japanese duo, Puffy AmiYumi, who would later get their own show:



5 years after the series ended, this version of the Titans remains popular with fans, and reruns air periodically on Boomerang.

Rating: C.

2 comments:

Steven Dolce said...

Back when Cartoon Network wasn't garbage.

hobbyfan said...

Well, yeah, but not everything is perfect regardless of who was in charge of the network at any given time.