November 20, 2022
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:
Box office $93.6 million;
$34.98 DVD, $39.98 Blu-ray, $49.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG’ for action, mile violence, language and rude humor.
Voices by Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, Marc Maron, Keanu Reeves, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Schwartz, Olivia Wilde, Jameela Jamil, Jemaine Clement, John Early, Daveed Diggs, Dascha Polanco, Yvette Nicole Brown, Dan Fogler, Busy Philipps, Keith David, Alfred Molina, Lena Headey.
In the annals of cinema history DC League of Super Pets could be the first superhero movie where the main character’s bowel movement saves the day.
The animated film follows the adventures of Krypto, Superman’s dog, who traveled to Earth with young Kal-El when they were both babies (which would make Krypto really old for a dog, but since he’s a super-powered alien dog, we have to don’t worry about that part). Voiced by Dwayne Johnson, Krypto now helps the adult Superman fight crime in Metropolis, but feels left out of Superman’s life due to his relationship with Lois Lane.
Superman (John Krasinski), Krypto and the rest of the Justice League stop Lex Luthor (Marc Maron) from getting some orange colored kryptonite (just go to Wikipedia to look up the history of colored kryptonite, it’s a whole thing), the mortal would be earthlings superpowers. Unbeknownst to them, the magic stone is instead brought in by Lulu (Kate McKinnon), an evil guinea pig from Luthor’s lab who now lives in an animal shelter. While she gains superpowers to aid her plan for world domination, bringing the kryptonite to the shelter inadvertently gives the other animals strange powers as well.
Meanwhile, Krypto loses his powers from eating a piece of cheese that contains a chunk of green kryptonite (the traditional kind). When Lulu captures Superman and the other Justice League members, Krypto is unable to save them, so he recruits the superpowered animals from the shelter.
Among them is Ace, a tough dog voiced by Kevin Hart, making this another collaboration between Johnson and Hart. Since Ace is traditionally the name of Batman’s dog in the comics, it’s not hard to figure out how the plot will develop. Everything turns around, of course, when Krypto can pass the kryptonite out of his system and regain his powers to join the fight.
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DC League of Super Pets is a vivid animated adventure that continues Warner’s attempts to branch out its DC Comics characters into other mediums while fumbling with the creative direction of the DC live-action film series (brought about by the elevation of James Gunn and Peter Safran to lead this department). Focusing on the Justice League pets is certainly a new approach to presenting the DC world from a different perspective and appealing to the younger demographic, even if it sometimes seems like an overpowered version of The Secret Life of Pets (also with Hart).
Of course, echoing popular trends from similar genres is nothing new, and DC League of Super Pets is certainly not the most bizarre example of this as far as recent DC adaptations go. That title should go to HBO Max’s Batwheels, an animated series that brings Batman’s vehicles to life as if they came straight out of Disney’s Cars movies.
Krypto the superdog isn’t a new concept in DC land, at least, having been barking around in comics since 1955. His name is apparently derived from Superman’s home planet of Krypton, but recent events may conjure up other connotations for it (“Smallville” sidestepped the silliness of It by simply naming the character Shelby instead).
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DC League of Super Pets includes extras on Blu-ray and the digital retail version (they are only included on the regular Blu-ray in the 4K combo pack).
There are about 20 minutes of deleted sequences presented as storyboards with the original audio temps.
The making of the film is told in several short featurettes. The 15-minute “Behind the Super Voices” gives the cast an opportunity to discuss the film, while the eight-minute “Super-Pets Animation 101” includes a discussion from the filmmakers on how they developed the film and the seven- and The half-minute “The World of Super-Pets” explores how the film penetrates DC Comics history.
With that in mind, the four-minute “Find the Easter Eggs” shows some of the background references to DC Comics lore.
Rounding out the fun is a seven-minute How to Draw Krypto tutorial with animation supervisor Dave Burgess.