DC League of Super-Pets utilizes familiar faces from the DC superhero universe to invite you to explore a new form of the Justice League with action-packed fight scenes and perfectly delivered punchlines. This movie entertained children and adults alike with jokes and references of all types. The film follows Superman’s best friend, his dog Krypto, on his journey to fight an unlikely villain with a team of newly formed super-pets. In a classic story about building friendships and the bond pets share with their people, Krypto has to learn to work as part of a team to save the Justice League members from the evil hairless guinea pig, Lulu.
DC League of Super-pets Background
In a bit of nostalgia (for millennials at least), we are first reintroduced to Krypto the Superdog, reminiscent of the design of the 2005 Krypto the Superdog TV series. While many young adults may remember some of our characters from this series, Krypto, Ace the Bat-Hound, Chip, and Merton have origins from DC Comics in various ways going back as far as 1955. We are also introduced to new characters, such as the superpowered pig, PB, and the adorable supervillain Lulu. The movie is packed full of references to the DC universe, and the animation style of the Justice League is similar to the latest renditions of our favorite heroes. While a knowledge of the Justice League can help the movie have more depth, there is no superhero knowledge necessary to enjoy this story. Kids of varying comic book interests will still be just as interested in our Super-Pet friends and their journey.
One thing that I found interesting was the new origin story given to Krypto the Super Dog, which is different from all the previous versions of the character in the DC Comics canon. Instead of coming to Earth separately from Superman, he travels alongside him, presumably growing up with him in Smallville. This isn’t a considerable variation from the original story, but it does leave Superman and his dog much more connected. Another thing I thought was interesting is the introduction of the powers of the orange Kryptonite seen only one other time in the DC Universe. This Kryptonite has the unique ability to give superpowers to pets, providing the origin story for our new super friends. Utilizing these newfound powers, they train alongside Krypto to try to free the Justice League from the clutches of Lulu.
If you’re a bit older or have more knowledge of DC superheroes, there are plenty of jokes throughout the movie. For example, Krypto is visited by a hologram of his father, Dog-El, to give him advice. This is followed by numerous jokes at the expense of the Justice League themselves, giving this DC film a light-heartedness that is the opposite of the new dark, gritty DC superhero movies. Some jokes are meant for adults, such as a reference to Steve Buscemi’s “How do you do, fellow kids” moment. If you like puns, there are quite a few variations on Clark Kent, such as Bark Kent, that made me chuckle each time.
Beyond funny jokes and great animation, the movie is voiced by an all-star cast that is sure to keep audiences entertained. The two main characters, Krypto and Ace, are voiced by the hilarious duo of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, respectively. Their chemistry on screen is phenomenal, even in animated movies. With witty banter back and forth, the two create a dynamic that is both friendly and competitive. Alongside these stars are the talents of Kate McKinnon (Lulu), Natasha Lyonne (Merton), John Krasinski (Superman), and many more. With so many incredible actors, this movie was destined to be a hit.
Good, But Not Great
There was one obvious downside to the movie, at least for some parents. While watching the film in the theater, there were a few audible gasps when there were implied curse words covered with well-timed beeps. There was even more uproar when one of the characters said, “see you in heck.” I was a bit surprised by a children’s movie with a PG rating but found it comical as it was intended to be. Others in the room were not quite as happy with the creative choices the moviemakers had made. The movie was also not particularly unique. It followed typical tropes of building friendships, good guys versus bad guys, and other common themes that children’s films tend to have. But there is a reason that these themes are so common, and that is that they seem to resonate with kids. So while it might not make this movie incredibly groundbreaking, it leaves you with an excellent feel-good film filled with some kids’ favorite things, superheroes, pets, and potty humor. Of course, there is also the ever-so-reliable slapstick humor.
Overall, this is a touching story filled with action, adventure, and comedy to keep you and your kids entertained. It would also be a fantastic way to introduce young children to the joys and excitement of superhero movies and comic books. The film also has a great message about adopting rescue animals, as each super-pet starts as an animal in a shelter. This is a great conversation to start with your kids. This may not have been the best children’s movie released this year, but it is worth seeing to follow all the silly animal antics and fantastic voice acting from the star-studded cast. It’s a light-hearted approach to your favorite DC Heroes that you can share with the whole family. If you want a preview, check out the trailer!