In “DC League of Super-Pets,” Krypto the Super-Dog and Superman are inseparable best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting crime in Metropolis side by side. WhenSuperman and the rest of the Justice League are kidnapped, Krypto must convince a rag-tag shelter pack—Ace the hound, PB the potbellied pig, Merton the turtle and Chip the squirrel—to master their own newfound powers and help him rescue the Super Heroes.
One of the best lessons that we learn but tend to often forget is to be grateful and appreciative for what we have. When certain things or parts of our lives become normal or commonplace, it’s easy to take for granted how fortunate we may be. Being consumed by our on-the-go lifestyles, we neglect to realize that everything can be taken away in an instant and without warning. Every so often we should take time out of our day to reflect on who and what we have in our lives and remember why they make us happy.
“What is this, Paw Patrol?”
It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s the most unlikely superhero team you’ll see on screen. While the DCEU might be in shambles, that doesn’t stop DC League of Super-Pets from being a wildly fun and effortlessly hilarious action-packed adventure. That’s mainly in part to it not being attached to the DC Extended Universe at all. It does however nod to a film or two that reside in the cinematic continuity—well, what continuity is left anyway. Directed by Jared Stern and written by Stern and John Whittington, this film may seem as if it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but I assure you, the story is equally as dastardly as it is amusing. Moreover, while the laughs are abundant, if this ragtag group of pets and wannabe pets fail, the world’s greatest heroes could cease to exist. What will immediately stand out to the more adult viewers is the Homeward Bound and All Dogs Go to Heaven aura that radiates from the vibrant film. Not only do root and feel for the animals, but you know that they’re in store for a transformative journey in more ways than one.
“… he’s not the greatest with other animals.”
Where this film shines is not just its great characters, some new and some from the Silver Age of comics, but it is genuinely a movie for the entire family. The story is full of heart and great lessons that unfold throughout by way of the evolution of each pet. There is plenty of creative and explosive fight sequences along with hilarious banter. The comedy has its childlike moments as well as moments that only teens and adults will appreciate. Not to mention, it’s all balanced out by some comedically dark moments which happen to be rather surprising but favorable. Everyone is sure to have a least two favorite characters. Whether it’s members of our titular group, the actual Justice League, which includes Jessica Cruz’s Green Lantern, or the villain, Lulu, there’s an abundance to choose from and love. Speaking of love, the themes revolve around the concept in many ways. Be its focus on friendship, teamwork, obsession, loss, perseverance, confidence, or pride, love cascades through them all. Now, with Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart at the helm, I think it goes without saying that the chemistry is top-notch. And Believe it or not, Krypto and Ace aren’t even the most entertaining characters (don’t tell them I said that). The film looks great, there are some really cool shots. The cast is phenomenal. It also leaves itself open for a sequel or spinoff. Oh, and let me not forget the black and gold end-credits scene. I had a lot of fun with DC League of Super-Pets. It’s a great film to see before school starts back up. DC animation wins again. Its rewatchability is high.
Pacing & Pop
This film is paced incredibly well. While it keeps you entertained with its nonstop heroic and comedic journey, it takes enough time to craft great character arcs without slowing down. What popped for me was how unexpectedly high the stakes were. Even with the story being a comedy that revolves around relatively small animals, the consequences are largely diabolical.
Characters & Chemistry
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, Marc Maron, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Schwartz, Keanu Reeves, Olivia Wilde, Maya Erskine, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jameela Jamil, Jermaine Clement, John Early, Dascha Polanco, Daveed Diggs, Alfred Molina, Lena Headey, Keith David, Busy Phillips, Winona Bradshaw
What an all-star cast. To no surprise, Dwayne “swole as hell” Johnson (Krypto) and Kevin “too funny” Hart (Ace) knocked their roles out of the park. Even while delivering fantastic performances, it is very much a team effort that makes this film so much fun. The chemistry and performances are amazing across the board, however, there are three that really stood out to me. First, there is comedy-great Kate McKinnon as the power-hungry and obsessive Lulu. Being the villain of the film, McKinnon has some of the funniest one-liners, and it makes it even better that it’s all coming from a small package. Next, there is Natasha Lyonne as Merton. Merton is a somewhat blind and love-starved old turtle with a potty mouth that is constantly bleeped. The lines are funny but it’s the delivery that sells them. It gets even funnier once Merton receives powers. Lastly, Winona Bradshaw as Whiskers is probably my favorite. Whiskers is a cute and cuddly kitten that is seemingly harmless, that is until she wants you dead. The timing is unexpected and the dialogue is hilarious.
DC League of Super-Pets releases in theaters on July 29, 2022. Stay safe and enjoy.
Runtime: 1h 47m
Director: Jared Stern
Writers: Jared Stern, John Whittington
Producers: Patricia Hicks, p.g.a., Dwayne Johnson, p.g.a., Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, p.g.a., Jared Stern, p.g.a
Executive Producers: John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, Nicholas Stoller, Allison Abbate, Chris Leahy, Sharon Taylor, Courtenay Valenti
Art Directors: Ryan L. Carlson, Kristen Anderson
Feature Animation: Animal Logic
DC League of Super-Pets is a wildly fun and effortlessly hilarious action-packed adventure
Senior Critic. Observing the human race since 1988.