Film scores

Soundtrack review: Justice League vs Teen Titans (Frederik Wiedmann – 2016)

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“Justice League vs. Teen Titans” is a 2016 direct-to-video animated superhero film, directed by Sam Liu from a screenplay by Alan Burnett and Bryan Q. Miller. It is part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. The film features the voices of Jon Bernthal, Taissa Farmiga, and Jason O’Mara. The music was scored by the unsung and rarely seen member of the animated justice League universe, Frederik Wiedmann. I haven’t watched the movies or TV shows but I always enjoyed the music.

Having already scored a handful of DC Universe features, Freddie knows this land better than anyone and he can now explore and express his imagination with more confidence and stride. This is why this score wastes no time with introductions, preludes or anything like this and jumps straight into epic action. I feel as if I was thrown right into the middle of an epic battle where I have to dodge arrows coming in the form of strings. The DC Universe never sleeps and there’s always action somewhere. I have the sensation that each score from Freddie Wiedmann is a giant spotlight shinning down a specific area. I try to imagine I was a child witnessing and hearing this and boy does it work. I feel joy and excitement at the more spectacular musical moments and I gasp in disbelief at times as if I believed in everything that was going on.

Joy is one of the most special feelings that a score can give me. There’s a wide specter of emotions that come from music and I’ve heard thousands of albums and still, except nostalgia, pure joy is my favorite thing to experience while listening to a score. Of course it’s hard to keep the rush and high for the duration of an album but in this one the composer just turned on the faucet and let it flow. No matter the danger, no matter the darkness there’s always a firefly of musical joy ready to jump and light up the place. The orchestra soars high and inspires and motivates me like nothing else.

Fantasy is one of the most inviting realms for a composer to settle into and explore and quite often the scores for such stories are among the best. There are no limits and no restrictions and this is what I hear in “Justice league vs. Teen Titans”. There’s epic action and electric action, there’s alluring darkness and tension and magic and there are suave Middle Eastern vibes for the more mysterious moments. Everything is done with a thunderous orchestra that gives me nothing but delight. Overall what we get here is an awesome (excuse my geeky term) fantasy action score that doesn’t miss a beat. Freddie Wiedmann has a firm rule over the DC Animated Universe.

Cue rating: 89 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 19 / 41

Album excellence: 46%

Highlights:

01 Justice League vs Teen Titans

02 The Child Must Answer

03 The Power of Raven

06 Battling the Underworld

10 The Portal to Humanity

11 Invasion

13 Supernatural Events

14 Titans vs Hell

20 Within Worlds

21 Hell on Earth

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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