To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, DC League of Super-Pets is a computer-animated superhero comedy film based on the DC Comics superhero team of the same name. It is directed by Jared Stern (Happy Anniversary), who co-wrote the screenplay with John Whittington (The Lego Batman Movie). Featuring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Schwartz, and Keanu Reeves. The story follows Superman’s pet dog Krypto as he teams up with super-powered animals from a local shelter to save the Justice League from an evil telekinetic guinea pig named Lulu.
On the Planet Krypton, a puppy Krypto meets a baby Kal-El and begins to play with him. Soon Jor-El (Alfred Molina) and his wife Lara (Lena Headey) come to take Kal-El away to put him in an escape shuttle before the planet explodes. As the ship is closing Krypto jumps inside to join Kal-El. Krypton explodes as the ship enters space causing Kal-El to cry. Krypto comforts him and the two fall asleep together as they journey to Earth.
Years later in Metropolis, an adult Krypto (Dwayne Johnson) tries to awaken a sleeping Kal-El (John Krasinski) to go for a “walk.” After many tries, Krypto finally lifts him from his bed into the air and drops him. As Krypto and Kal-El fly around the city as Superdog and Superman they stop crimes, play fetch in the park, and get croissants from Paris. After meeting Lois Lane (Olivia Wilde) in the park, Kal-El tells Krypto to play with the other dogs. The other dogs explain to Krypto that Superman is trying to get rid of him so that he can be alone with Lois much to Krypto’s dismay.
We live in a golden age of superhero movies live-action and animated. When you combine the genres it should be a winning formula. When an animated film is made a studio is usually wondering if it can become a franchise. They want to make more movies, television series, holiday specials, and toys. Winning an Academy Award wouldn’t hurt either. Cracking the code is hard though because studios have to make a film that kids and parents can enjoy because let’s face it, kids aren’t the ones paying for the tickets.
The studios that produce quality content however has decreased over the years with Disney, Pixar, and Illumination usually leading the pack. Now and then another studio makes something great. Warner Bros. Animation killed it with the release of The Lego Movie (Which didn’t even get an Oscar nomination! Crazy right?) and Sony Animation created what is regarded as the best Spider-Man movie ever with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. What do those films have in common? The use of superheroes!
DC League of Super-Pets has all of the above to make for a truly enjoyable film. For the parents, there are funny jokes that are expected to go over their children’s heads, pop culture references, and Easter Eggs from the comics. The movie pokes fun at many Marvel heroes such as Spider-Man, Gambit, Iron Man, Wolverine, and Thor. For the kids, there is potty humor, explosions, talking animals, and superheroes. The appearance of Dog-El (Keith David) is outright stupid, but kids will enjoy it. The story is solid and sets itself up for an expansive universe to add more characters too. Some of the characters such as Ace the Bat-Hound (Kevin Hart) are updated to fit into the story more and it works well within this particular universe. The camaraderie between these animals is believable and the way the League of Super-Pets is formed also feels genuine.
Dwayne Johnson is great as Krypto. It’s fun hearing him in animated content and hopefully, he continues to do more. He continues to have great chemistry with Kevin Hart even though this time it’s only their voices. I feel like they had to record in the booth together. Kate McKinnon also turns in a cool performance as the villainous Lulu. Her quips to the superheroes would’ve been much more appreciated if they could understand her. The stand out is by far Natasha Lyonne as Merton McSnurtle/Terrific Whatzit. That foul-mouthed turtle had me laughing out loud every time she cursed. Luckily it was bleeped out for my daughter’s sake.
Yes, some of the jokes are too silly, but the genuine characters and fun story make this a superhero movie that the entire family can enjoy. I give DC League of Super-Pets a Decent 7.8/10. I am excited to see where they take these characters in a sequel. The post-credits scene makes it seem as if Dwayne Johnson will be pulling triple duty as the voice of Krypto, Anubis, and Black Adam.