Episode Reviews - Spellbound


Episode #32 - Spellbound
Original Airdate - October 9th, 2004

There's no one else quite like Raven: dark, somber and undeniably creepy. Even with four friends around her, Raven still manages to feel alone in Titans Tower...until she discovers a charming young wizard named Malchior trapped inside one of her ancient books.

Review by Bird Boy
Media by Bird Boy
Titans Writers
Written by David Slack
Directed by Alex Soto
Producer Glen Murakami
Producers Linda M. Steiner, David Slack
Music by Michael McCuistion
Casting and Voice Direction Andrea Romano
Animation Services by Dongwoo Animation Co., LTD.

Titans Voices
Greg Cipes as Beast Boy
Scott Menville as Robin
Khary Payton as Cyborg
Tara Strong as Raven
Hynden Walch as Starfire
Greg Ellis as Malchior

Screen Grabs






Pans


Sound Clips
"You taught me spells...but I've learned a new curse" (MP3, 222kb)
Review

Of all the Titans, it seems Raven is the most popular, eclipsing even Robin at times, among fan boys—whether they be moral or immoral reasons, she is undeniably one of the coolest Titans to watch. With Tara Strong providing the great gravely voice and the animation studios always providing some excellent eye candy in effects, Raven’s always a treat to watch when she’s on screen. With each of her key episode appearances, they each dealt a different emotion: “Nevermore” dealt with her anger, “Fear Itself” with her fear and this episode, “Spellbound”, dealing with love (perhaps not full-blown “love”, so much as companionship).

At first glance, the episode looks like typical Titans fare, with a humorous opening (an epic story is being told and abruptly comes to halt with Beast Boy yelling to Raven to get a move on) and a strange, new villain, complete with cheese (“Cardiac, you’re under arrest”). After Cardiac’s initial appearance however, it takes a drastic switch from humor to emotion. We’re shown that Raven feels more like an outcast (after all, being a “witch” around an alien, half-human/machine and a changeling is enough to make anyone feel strange), and wishes nothing more than to have someone that sees the world as she does. Just when you get ready to feel her pain, the book she’s holding close to her talks……wait, the book talked.

Inside the book is Malchion, the supposed slayer of the dragon Rorek, who has been trapped inside the book via a curse that Rorek placed before he was killed. Sympathizing with Raven about her feelings of being an outcast, Malchion dupes Raven into learning new spells and magic to allow him to be free from the book. Once all this happens, it’s pretty obvious where the rest of the episode is going to go—villain gets trapped, schmoozes the girl over with sentimental thoughts, turns on girl, attempts to kill her friends, destroy her home and take over the world. Of course, if he hadn’t switched his name around with Rorek’s in the book, Raven would have never fallen for the trick in the first place. Just goes to show you can never trust a warlock…

The music and animation in Teen Titans has always been top-notch since day one and this episode was no exception. The music fit every scene well—from the medieval battle of Rorek and Malchion, to the low music in Raven’s room and loud music in Cardiac’s battles, the music flowed with the animation that remained consistent throughout.

As I said above, the episode was predictable not even halfway through, but the new spells Raven emitted were refreshing to hear (rather than the tired ol’ “Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos” that she says in every episode) and the design and animation on Malchion’s dragon form was superb, offering awesome looking blasts of fire every time he opened his mouth.

Stale plot aside, the episode kept me entertained for the entire duration, so I have no real qualms with it—well, one qualm. How on earth did Robin get that long sword out of two Robin-a-rangs?

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