Sunday, December 25, 2016

Review: Teen Titans Go! "40% 40% 20%"

You know, there really wasn't much to actually talk about for this episode, since all the best bits were the music video-esque portions. But I hope to demonstrate that there is some merit to the rest of the episode, as well.


Plot
Michael Jelenic and Andrew Horvath are responsible for this one, unequivocally proving that they are capable of writing great episodes of this show. Michael Jelenic seems to be in top form when doing music-related stuff, seeing as how he also gave us the musical episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, "Mayhem of the Music Meister."

Yeah. The guy who gave us the severely uneven "Laundry Day" was responsible for a couple of my favorite episodes of DC cartoons. I can only imagine he was having issues writing for something wackier than usual, which would also explain why his episodes are more consistent when he pairs up with MAD alumnus Andrew Horvath... but that's neither here nor there.

The music video portions are well-done (I'll get to them in a bit), and the segments in the "real" world are actually pretty funny. The Transformers jokes showed some genuine love for the series, and the crime alert on a piece of toast was a successful random gag.

The moments spent out of the music video world are well-paced, funny, and nearly flawless. The pickle jar gag gets close to overstaying its welcome, and the annoying bird (which takes up more time than you might have thought by reading my Recap) does overstay its welcome. But the jokes that miss only stand out by comparison to the better parts of the episode.

Themes
Music is a powerful force, which is why there are plenty of works out there on the power of music. Music can inspire, music can uplift, et cetera et cetera.

So it's actually pretty funny to not only have the "transformative" power of music be literally transformative, but I can't help but love how the moral of "Music is supposed to be a crutch" parodies the usual spiels on the power of music.

Characters

Cyborg
Once again, his love of the 80s is showcased. And once again, I finally feel some kind of passion coming from the people who worked on this as they built upon their own love of that decade.

Animation
Junpie Takayama of Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja was behind the 80s bits, and my goodness, the effect is stunning. Not only does the animation quality go up, but the stylization becomes even more pronounced after cutting back to the real world.

Just… I… I mean…

Well, look at it.
And I've gushed about the song enough already.

Although. real quick, can anyone confirm if Scott Menville is doing the singing? It sounds like him, but I can't find anything.

Final Thoughts
As I said, this is the best episode of Teen Titans Go! as of the time of writing.

And yet... I feel a little guilty saying that, since this episode's uniqueness would imply that the best way to make a good Teen Titans Go! episode is to change the animation style and avoid spending time with the main characters.

Or course, a lot of people would agree with that.

Either way, Merry Christmas to one and all!

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