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Teen Titans Takes to the Airwaves on Cartoon Network

TEEN TITANS, a series based on the popular DC Comics comic book characters, moved up on the Cartoon Network schedule to premiere July 19, 2003 at 9:00 pm. It seems appropriate for this new generation of superheroes to hit the airwaves as comic fans in the thousands are attending the world's largest comic book convention, the Comic-Con 2003 in San Diego through the weekend.

The series, animated by Warner Bros. Animation under the guidance of Glen Murakami, follows Boy Wonder Robin, the daring leader stocked with a utility belt and no fear; Cyborg, the hot-head muscle of the group; Starfire, a na=EFve girl new to Earth; Beast Boy, a wise-cracking boy who can transform into any creature; and Raven, a spooky, deadpan creature who can control inanimate objects with her mental abilities. Robin leads his fellow teen superheroes in a battle to protect the Earth from a new generation of villains while combating the tribulations of being a teenager.

An eclectic group, their powers complement each other while their personalities often clash. Discovering how to control their powers, these Teen Titans must learn to work and grow as a team despite their stylistic differences. They live in a high-tech command center filled with videogames, a huge TV and a refrigerator filled with strange snacks.

The show is vibrant and fast paced, more than the typical superhero ensemble, yet takes time to develop the characters with qualities and foibles enabling them to relate better to each other, a real plus for the audience.

Murakami began his batty career at WBA in 1991 as a character designer and storyboard artist on BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. He progressed through the ranks to produce BATMAN BEYOND and JUSTICE LEAGUE.

Murakami said anime has a big influence on the show, especially work by creators like Osamu Tezuka, Ishinomori Shotaro and Hayao Miyazaki. With the anime, he mixes in exaggerated animation takes, making the show "a Japanese equivalent to a Tex Avery approach," according to Murakami. Backgrounds have a loose painterly style, like illustrators Bob Peark and Coby Whitmore. Keeping with the anime theme, Japanese recording sensation Puffy AmiYumi worte and recorded the theme song to TEEN TITANS.

The voice cast includes Scott Menville as Robin, Greg Cipes as Beast Boy, Hynden Walch as Starfire, Tara Strong as Raven and Khay Payton as Cyborg. Ron Perlman is the voice of Slade, the mysterious archenemy of Teen Titans. Linda Steiner and Bruce Timm produce the series with Murakami. David Slack serves as story editor. Directors are Michael Chang, Ciro Nieli and Alex Soto. Overseas studios include Lotto Animation. Dongwoo Animation Co., Ltd. and DR Movie Co., Ltd. Re-recording and sound effects design were done by Digipost.TV.

When the project was first announced, the half-hour series was slated to start in August 2003. The show will re-launch on Kids' WB! in mid-season 2004. The show airs Saturdays at noon and 9:00 pm, plus Sundays at 10 pm.

TEEN TITANS made their comic book debut in 1964 and were featured in their own monthly comic, which ran for seven years. The animated series is based on the DC Comic THE NEW TEEN TITANS, which debuted in 1980 and was DC's most popular comic book of the decade that followed.