Releases - DVD - Trouble in Tokyo




Release Information
Announce Date: 10/12/06
Street Date: 2/6/07
MSRP: $19.98
MPAA: NR
Packaging Type: Amaray Case
Media Quantity: 1
Disc Configuration: 1) 5-Single Sided
Run Time: 75
Subtitles: English, Francais, Espanol
Aspect Ratio(s)
Original Aspect Ratio - 1.33, Standard [4:3 Transfer]

Audio
Espanol: Dolby Surround Stereo 2.0
English: Dolby Surround 5.1
Francais: Dolby Surround Stereo 2.0

Edition Details
• Encoding: Region 1
• Animated, Color

Special Features: "Teen Titans: The Lost Episode", Robin's Underworld Race Challenge, Trailers.

Official Description: When a high-tech ninja from the Far East attacks Titans Tower, ROBIN, STARFIRE, CYBORG, RAVEN, and BEAST BOY spring into action and bring him down. But when Robin finds out the ninja was sent by a mysterious and menacing Japanese criminal known as BRUSHOGUN ... our heroes realize that the action isn't over -- it's just getting started. So the Titans pack their bags, hop in the T-Ship, and take off for Tokyo on a mission to track down Brushogun -- and bring him to justice. But can our teenage heroes stay out of trouble in the City That Never Blinks? And can Robin solve the mystery of Brushogun before our villain takes down the Titans -- and destroys everything Robin is?

Review (Jim Harvey): The Teen Titans take a road trip in their first animated movie. Of course, they face a few perils and run into a few bad guys along the way, but what Teen Titans trip wouldn't be complete without that? A fairly amusing adventure, though not really special, the teen teem splash onto their first feature length movie.

So what the plot? When a high-tech ninja from the Far East attacks Titans Tower, the Teen Titans spring into action and bring him down. But when Robin finds out the ninja was sent by a mysterious and menacing Japanese criminal known as Brushogun... our heroes realize that the action isn't over -- it's just getting started. So the Titans pack their bags, hop in the T-Ship, and take off for Tokyo on a mission to track down Brushogun -- and bring him to justice. But can our teenage heroes stay out of trouble in the City That Never Blinks? And can Robin solve the mystery of Brushogun before our villain takes down the Titans -- and destroys everything Robin is?

In short, it feels more like a mix between an extended episode of the series and an almost pleasant wrap-up to the show. Of course, that's where a bit of the trouble lies. This was a great adventure and, given the roots of the series, it felt right for the team's last hurrah take place in Tokyo. Not only does it provide many of comic opportunities and “fish out of water” moments, but it sort of brings the series full circle without really trying. That's not a complaint mind you, as it feels so natural. However, given the scope of the series, I was hoping for something a bit bigger.

Yes, the Titans Tower gets trashed and Robin and Starfire finally move their relationship closer together, but it still feels like something is missing. That added 'oomph' to really make this movie feel as epic as it should. The villain, while somewhat predictable, is pretty large and what he puts the Titan's through, especially Robin, calls for a more epic stage. I will say the predictability of the villain is thankfully given a bit of a twist toward the end, really adding to the emotional punch of their adversary. I don't really want to ruin the story for the five people who still haven't viewed the movie, but the final fight is very rewarding.

The action and comedy is spot on for most of the movie as it fully embraces some of the wacky style and humor the show has become known for. The hilarious montages, over-the-top animation and sequences, all of it is present. I just wish the creators pushed the envelope a bit further to give us a great wrap-up like the show deserved, Granted, the show wrapped up well in it's own series, which gives this movie a bit of an 'afterthought' feeling to it. Regardless, it's a witty and great adventure, though a bit undeserving as a final hurrah for the team.

Will fans of the show like it? Sure! Some may be let down by it, hoping for more, but fans overall will embrace the movie for resolving a couple plotlines and throwing the Titans in some new situations. Casual fans will likely find nothing new to really take home from the series, sadly. But the movie starts off very fast and rarely lets up, with the action, jokes, and homage’s flying fast and furious. It's a good movie, but I feel it just could have been better.

So how's the DVD? Well, it's better than the Teen Titans: The Complete Second Season disc, but doesn't hold a candle to the collection of the first thirteen episodes. The extras are sorely lacking, as is a widescreen transfer. Once again, we're stuck with a standard full-screen transfer despite the existence of the wide. The extras consist of a few trailers, the “Lost Episode” from Postopia, and a video game for the kids. That's it. I would've loved to see some sort of documentary or featurette on how this movie came about, but na-da.

On top of that, I find that the disc itself isn't the best it can be. No chapter stops? Really? And what's with the clip art featuring a female villain who's not even in the movie? It seems like they're using the same promotional artwork over and over. Aside from the new (and not as bad as everyone makes it out to be) cover art, the remainder of the art seems like the usual stuff plastered over all of the previous Teen Titans DVDs. I can't help but be a little let down after so many delays on the title.

However, in the end, fans will buy this release, and they should. It wraps up a plotline from the series and sends them off to a great location. Plus, we meet a nifty new villain and Robin gets one of the best action sequences of the entire Teen Titans series. It's worth picking up, no question. For fans of the animated series, and cartoons in general, I easily Recommend this title, but others may want to rent before plunking down their hard-earned cash.

Review (Zach Demeter): Many will find it surprising that I never watched Trouble in Tokyo until it came time for me to review the DVD. It aired on Cartoon Network months and months ago (September, to be exact) and it had repeat airings, so it wasn’t a case of missing it—heck, I had the thing recorded and ready to watch whenever. I had the time, but the desire to actually watch the film just wasn’t there. At the time, I was still burnt out on the Titans rapid five-year production and airing schedule and didn’t care to revisit the crew anytime soon. Even watching it now I feel it was too soon for me to join the Titans on another adventure, but this time it was mandatory for me hitch along.

The plot of this feature-length Titans adventure revolves around a mysterious villain from Japan showing up in Jump City and wreaking havoc. After defeating him, the Titans learn that he was sent by the mysterious Brushogon. Traveling to Tokyo, the Titans hunt down Brushogon to get their answers and amidst their tumultuous journey they create new allies, villains and learn a few things about themselves (well, Starfire and Robin do anyway). After debuting at SDCC and then airing on Cartoon Network month later, the plot and details are pretty much everywhere by now, but just in case you don’t know the big reveal at the end, I’ll leave that plot point up to you to be surprised by. For more on the film review, click here.

Overall the film is a worthy enough watch to warrant a rental or a wait for the DVD to price-drop. It's got enough frantic fights to please any fan of action cartoons and plenty of beautiful animation to feast your eyes on.

The DVD
Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo is presented in a standard amaray single-disc case and comes with only the case slip and disc—no insert on the side, no coupon offers, no nothin’, which is very disappointing considering how long this release was delayed.

Menus are non-animated, with music only the first menu. Subsequent sub-menu’s features some new Titans art, with a curious inclusion of Jinx (and exclusion of Starfire) on the Special Features menu, considering she’s not even mentioned in the film. Special features include a mini-game for kids, a handful of trailers and the only decent special feature on the set—the “Lost” Titans episode, finally on DVD.

Remarkably, while watching (and screengrabbing) Trouble in Tokyo I encountered only two instances of interlacing—once in a giant flash of light and another in one of the movies many rapid paced fighting scenes. This is a remarkable feat from Warner Home Video, considering every other transfer of their animated shows has some sort of interlacing going on. A very impressive transfer on the film that almost makes me recommend the DVD for that alone—strange, I know, but pristine animation transfers are hard to come by.

Audio is a nice, strong 5.1 track that gets pretty immersive at times and packs a bit of a punch during the movies action sequences. The quiet moments are all in the center channel and the dialogue is cleanly separated from background noises, music and sound effects, making it a nice, clear voice track to listen to.

Considering how long the film took to release and the amount of leftover open disc space on the DVD, the exclusion of a widescreen transfer of the film is inexcusable. There was plenty of time and mastering a new print to slide onto the DVD would not have taken much effort or resources at all. In addition, the exclusion of any chapters (yes, that’s right—this is officially the first full-length DC-to-DVD movie I’ve ever come upon that does not have a single chapter in the movie) is a curious one, making the near-bare bones release all that much more unsatisfying.

Overall if you’re going to  buy the film, the DVD is your only option and the inclusion of the “Lost Episode” makes the special features end not so shoddy. The film gets mixed feelings from me, but it’s entertaining in its own right and worthy enough to add to your DVD collection next to your Teen Titans season sets.