Teen Titans is a hit American cartoon television series based on the popular DC Comics characters. It has been known as one of Cartoon Network's darker shows, with good reason. The show was created by Glen Murakami, developed by David Slack, and produced by Warner Bros. Animation. It premiered on Cartoon Network on July 18, 2003. Despite high ratings, the series shut down production after five seasons, with the series finale episode "Things Change" airing on January 16, 2006. Two comic book titles from DC Comics, Teen Titans Go! (ended) and Tiny Titans (current), are based on the series. Many characters, scenarios and themes were drawn from the 1980s DC Comics series The New Teen Titans. The show can be seen on Cartoon Network's sister channel Boomerang sometimes.
Teen Titans is based primarily on the stories told in the early-80s The New Teen Titans comic book franchise.
The show tells the adventures of the teen crime-fighting group called the Teen Titans, featuring Robin, Raven, Starfire, Beast Boy and Cyborg (in order of prominence in the series).
While it is an action cartoon, the series is also heavily character-driven, with a focus on the main characters’ struggles with being superheroes, their mutual friendships/relationships, and their limitations. A major difference between the animated series and the comic book is that while the comic portrayed the characters as being in their late teens to early 20s (resulting in the comic series at one point even dropping the word Teen from its title to reflect its older characters), the animated series characters are all depicted as being in their mid-teen years (supposedly 14-16).
Seasons two and four are based upon two of the most popular New Teen Titans arcs, "Judas Contract" and "Terror of Trigon" respectively. Many characters from the comics, though most of them heavily reworked, appear throughout the show, especially in the final season.
The group's base of operations is a large self-built T-shaped structure that combines living quarters, a command center, training/workout facilities, and hangar/garage space. It sits on an island just offshore from a fictional city called Jump City (though the exact location is never directly stated in any episode, it is obviously in the United States of America, and is supposedly somewhere near Gotham City, a fact which is also never said in both the show and the comics, but merely supposed). At the end of the third season, a second team of Titans come together in Steel City, called the Titans East, residing in a T-building identical to the original, except positioned on a cliff by the sea (no doubt for Aqualad).
Teen Titans frequently uses self-referential humor, and its animation style is heavily influenced by Japanese anime. Throughout the series, the opening theme song of the show alternates between the English and Japanese versions, which are both sung by the Japanese pop duo "Puffy AmiYumi". Andrea Romano revealed in a Season 3 DVD featurette that if the opening is sung in Japanese, it indicates that the episode is intended to be silly and funny, while the English opening indicates the episode is aimed to be dark and more serious (with the exception of the episode "Nevermore").
In mid-November 2005, TitansTower.com reported that prospects for a sixth season were looking extremely unlikely, and fans were urged to express their support for the show to Cartoon Network. Several days after this initial posting, word came that Cartoon Network had officially terminated the show. According to the actor who provided the voice of Aqualad, the series was terminated by new Warner Bros. Feature Animation executives who made the decision not to renew the series based on its sixth season pitch. Wheaton's story was contradicted by series story editor Rob Hoegee who stated that the decision came from Cartoon Network, not WB, being that there were never any plans for a sixth season. Layoffs at WB studios in late 2005 were also speculated to be a factor in the cancellation.
After the series finale, Warner Bros. Animation announced a feature film called Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo. The film premiered at and was shown on Cartoon Network first on September 15, 2006. The DVD was released on February 6, 2007.
The series has been on a rerun Boomerang (a sister channel to Cartoon Network) in the 10:30pm time slot on weekdays since February 2, 2009.
In 2012, it was announced that there would be a new animated series of Teen Titans called "Teen Titans Go!" , The series is much lighter compared to the earlier Teen Titans series, focusing more on comedy than action. The series premiered Tuesday, April 23, 2013.