It’s really hard for me to believe, but there are now a staggering 28 DC Animated Feature Films. I remember in 2006 when the first one came out, Superman Doomsday, which was an adaptation the Death and Return of Superman story arc from back in the 90’s. Yet I could never have dreamed that they would find such success in their PG-13 animated feature model. Not that I’m complaining: I’m a DC fanboy through and through.
Some of these features are better than others and some have fallen flat or don’t live up to their source material. I still maintain that Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is the best one (although that might change by the end of this review), while The Killing Joke is probably the worst.
Lately, they’ve started including the Teen Titans as part of this canon, with Damian Wayne’s Robin as a bridge between the Batman/Justice League features and the Titan stories. Oddly, their newest film, The Judas Contract, was planned as early as 2008. However, for one reason or another, it was shelved. My guess is that after the success of Justice League vs. Teen Titans (which was an excellent film, BTW) they felt that they could finally tell this story. It also should be noted that a version of this story has been told on the mid-2000’s quasi-anime Cartoon Network series Teen Titans, albeit a more kid-friendly version of it.
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract follows the Titans as they get used to a new team member, Terra, who has almost endless power in her ability to manipulate earth matter. They are now facing Slade again along with a shadowy terrorist cult led by Brother Blood.
I didn’t go into watching this film thinking it would be any better than the recent Titan adventures or even Justice League ones, however it blew me away. Every single aspect of it is perfect.
All the voices of the returning characters stayed the same, and as before they are perfectly matched. The only new additions are Christina Ricci as Terra and Alan Tudyk as Brother Blood. And my goodness, they both are incredible. Tudyk is always brilliant, but I was floored at how much depth Ricci brought to Terra.
This is the first DC Animated Feature Film that made me tear up. Every character is richly drawn and the story is both moving and epic. I can’t wait to spend more time with these characters in future movies. I hadn’t read the original source material (I usually don’t love reading Teen Titans, although the Rebirth run is turning out to be amazing), which probably contributed to how touched I was. However, I don’t want to downplay it: this is first-class writing and easily the best written script in any DC Animated Feature.
This is also the first of the animated films that I noticed the music, which is a good thing. It was memorable and effective, which is what I like in a soundtrack.
To sum it all up, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract is now my favorite DC animated feature film. It works on every level and is kind of a masterpiece.
It is now available to purchase or rent on Blu-ray or Video-On-Demand services (iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, etc.). I can’t recommend it enough.