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Making Mayhem: Behind the Scenes of DC’s New Animated Crossover

Written by ibxis

What happens when you take two super-teams from two different DC Universe animated projects and stick them together? The result is a chaotic adventure filled with heart, humor and heroics. Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse is the latest DC animated movie, and it’s a non-stop, all ages thrill ride. The new film follows the DC Super Hero Girls as an adventure through the multiverse puts them face-to-face with the Teen Titans.

“The fact that we get to crossover into all these dimensions and realms is fun,” Beast Boy voice actor Greg Cipes shares. “We get to play with new characters. I love the fact that Teen Titans Go! is a show where things are unlimited with what we can play with creatively.”

Longtime viewers of Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls know that the two teams have crossed over before, a fact that surprised supervising producer James Tucker. “I wasn’t aware how often they had teamed up in the television series,” he acknowledges. “We went into this thinking of this as a fresh start, and in the script, we said to lean into the fact that they’ve teamed up before and address it because fans of the shows will know.”

This project was an interesting one for voice actress for Tara Strong, who plays Raven in Teen Titans Go! as well as Batgirl and Harley Quinn in DC Super Hero Girls, making Strong something of an emissary between the two shows. The experience put her in a unique position to compare how each group of voice actors have grown as a cast over the years.

“The Teen Titans cast has been together for almost twenty years,” she says, alluding to their roles on the original Teen Titans animated series that aired in the early 2000s. “We’ve had a lot of life together—marriages, divorces and children. We are a family and getting to do Teen Titans Go! is just that family laughing all day. And now there is another beautiful family that has been growing with the cast of DC Super Hero Girls. It’s the most beautiful relationship, like the one you see in this movie. In the recording session, it’s pretty much the same. It’s beautiful that now they get to come together.”

originally, Mayhem in the Multiverse was more of a DC Super Hero Girls movie, with the Titans having a cameo role. That soon changed, but the initial approach was appropriately due consideration Teen Titans Go!’s love of breaking the fourth wall.

“Originally the Titans didn’t come until the third act,” Tucker reveals. “Then we basically did a Mystery Science Theater thing where the Titans are watching the same movie the audience is, and they’re commenting on that. They’re the best franchise to do that with, because everything they do is kind of meta and self-referential.”

The story Tucker and his team ultimately landed on follows the DC Super Hero Girls as they battle the Legion of Doom, who have trapped the Justice League in the Phantom Zone.

“There’s more to this than wackiness,” shares Bumblebee voice actress Kimberly Brooks. “There’s a real story here with heart and teamwork.”

“At first, I was worried that the Titans would kill the seriousness of the main story we were telling with the girls, but the way (screenwriter) Jace Ricci wrote it and worked it in, I think it was a nice balancing act.” Tucker added.

If any other cast members had uncertainties about blending the two franchises—which are both comedies but take much different approaches to their humor—they certainly seem pleased with the result.

“It’s a little bit different than a normal crossover, it’s wacky,” Brooks proclaims. The actress was also amused by the playful rivalry between the two teams, “I think they’re maybe a bit jealous of us, but it all works out in the end.”

Strong noted that although each show has a different tone, the two teams have more in common than they realize. “They’re similar in age, and I think it makes things really seamless,” she shares. “It’s also not too jarring with the animation. It’s a very seamless mesh of the two worlds. It could almost be the same show. They come together in very comedic ways.”

For a comic book fans watching this movie, it’s hard not to think about George Pérez, the legendary artist who co-created many of the characters featured in this film. That certainly proved to be the case for Cipes, who acknowledged the feeling of a huge amount of gratitude for the iconic illustrator.

“I’m just so grateful for George Pérez, and how he contributed to the success of Beast Boy and the Teen Titans,” he shares. “People like George are archangels. I see him as that.”

Strong also has nothing but love for the man who helped bring Raven to life. “I love the guy so much,” she says. “I met him at a con a few years ago, and he had a donation bucket on his table, and he was only raising money for charity. It was such a pleasure to meet him, because he helped create Raven, someone who is very important to me. He’s a visionary and a genius, and he also had the kindest heart.”

Since their creation, the Teen Titans have certainly gotten around. Over the past few years alone, we’ve seen them cross over with cast of Space Jam, Freakazoid and even their 2003 animated counterparts. So, what’s the next crossover for them?

“It’s whatever the fans want,” Cipes says. “The reason why our show is so special is because it’s truly fan-driven. The fans call out what they want, and we listen and make it happen.”

“It was really fun to have both of these worlds collide in this way, because this movie is so good,” Strong promises. “It’s just so funny and really clever. Anyone who writes about the multiverse is brilliant. It’s just so much to keep track of it, and this movie does it flawlessly.”

Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse is now available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital. Look for the movie to make its Cartoon Network debut this weekend!

Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com and writes our monthly Batman column, “Gotham Gazette.” Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.

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