Original Teen Titans Versus Teen Titans Go!
Which do you prefer?
I’ll start this blog post with this…while Teen Titans is a very good show, we should not be comparing the two as comparables. It is not two different visions of the same show. Instead, it is two different versions. One for children say 8 and under in the case of Teen Titans Go, and 8 and older for Teen Titans. If you look at Teen Titans Go as a parody of the original, it becomes slightly less annoying.
I said slightly.
What’s Going On?
In 2004, an animated series based on the Teen Titans, a DC Comics team of sidekicks and young superheroes premiered on Cartoon Network. It aired for 5 seasons and was loved by its fans. Like many shows before it, Teen Titans was able to appeal to hardcore comic book fans and kids who had never heard of these characters before. I would make sure every Thursday night at 6pm I was in front of the television so I could watch it on Toonami.
Teen Titans ended in 2006 (with a movie) and it seemed we had heard the last of Robin, Cyborg, Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy. Then in 2012, animated shorts starring the team called The New Teen Titans aired on Cartoon Network’s DC Nation programming block. It was clearly set in the same continuity as the Teen Titans series (with the same voice cast and miniaturized character designs).
Sadly, instead of a straight continuation of the original series, what we got was a “re-imagining” of the original series in the form of Teen Titans Go! The voice cast remains the same, but there are many aspects of this new animated series which have caused frustration and outright hatred from fans.
The original Teen Titans series focused on the main cast of five characters, each presented as individuals with no double identities or “normal” lives. They essentially wore their superhero costumes all the time. One of the quirks of the original series was that no one really seemed to take notice of the five characters walking around in colorful costumes. Presenting the characters in this way allowed the writers to explore each character’s personality based on who they were.
At a first glance, each of the main characters can easily be identified with a popular stereotype: Cyborg is a smart jock, Starfire is a naive fish out of water, Raven is an emotionless Goth girl, Beast Boy is a relaxed slacker, and Robin is an overachieving control freak. What made the original Teen Titans series so engaging was that each character was given opportunities to grow and develop their personality. As we learned more about the characters back stories and their insecurities, they also became more relatable as characters. Learning why Raven keeps her emotions hidden, or seeing Cyborg react to being given an opportunity to blend in with normal people were great bits of character development.
In Teen Titans Go! each main character is seemingly defined by their stereotype. There is no depth for these characters, just opportunities for jokes. Robin is now a hyperactive, obsessive-compulsive, and impulsive nitwit who feels incompetent for not having superpowers. Their characters are given little opportunity for growth and seemingly remain static throughout the episodes. It seems like a waste to take five well-rounded characters and essentially turn them into bare-bones versions of their previous selves.
Was it Supposed to Be Like This?
The Plots For Each
So What Now?
The FULL Comparison done by fans for Teen Titans vs. Teen Titans Go!
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