NOW IN THEATERS! Make no bones about it, Jared Stern and Sam Levine’s DC League of Super-Pets is a kids’ movie. It’s made for kids and will be adored by kids. But will the adult chaperones have a good time?
DC League of Super-Pets is the story of Superman’s (John Krasinski) best friend, Krypto (Dwayne Johnson). After a brief origin story, Krypto is Superman’s closest confidant, but Lois (Olivia Wilde) is starting to horn in on his quality Supe-time, and a rift seems to be building. So naturally, Superman is reluctant to say anything about his upcoming marriage proposal to Lois — so already, he’s keeping secrets from Krypto.
Across town, Lex Luther (Marc Maron) has been experimenting with Orange Kryptonite, believing it endows superpowers to those possessing it. After Superman and Krypto prevent Lex from obtaining shards of orange Kryptonite from a passing meteor, one of Lex’s former and literal guinea pigs, Lulu (Kate McKinnon), builds a device with pet store tools and inventory to get the Kryptonite. Now living in that pet store, Lulu and the other animals are given superpowers, which include: Ace (Kevin Hart) — an invincible dog, PB (Vanessa Bayer) — a pig who can grow and shrink, Chip — an electrifying squirrel, and Merton (Natasha Lyonne) — a lighting fast turtle.
When Lulu captures the Justice League to win back favor with Lex, the Super-Pets try to stop her. But they’re a rag-tag team of wannabe heroes, and only a powerless Krypto (thanks to a kryptonite doggy snack) has a shot at turning his new friends into true superheroes.
“…Lulu captures the Justice League to win back favor with Lex, the Super-Pets try to stop her.”
I’ll start by saying if you have kids and they like superheroes or cute animals, they’ll love DC League of Super-Pets. This movie was made for them, and there are enough jokes, slapstick gags, and superhero heroics for over 100 minutes of fun. Plus, the added themes of family, teamwork, and using our weaknesses as strengths will not be lost on the young ones. There is a bit of virtue signaling up front, but it goes by lightning fast.
For adults watching the film might be somewhat of a chore. Suppose you’re counting on some of the witty banter between Johnson and Hart. In that case, it is missing because of the nature of animation, where actors are rarely ever recorded together, making it impossible to work off one another. I’ll liken this partnership to Hart’s act as Woody and Johnson’s Krypto as Buzz. The humor and story sometimes rise above tween levels but mostly fall in the smirk-and-smile stage throughout.
For the most part, DC League of Super-Pets is a good movie with potential. The animation and effects are fantastic, and I appreciate that they gave WB Kids a spectacular 3D animation upgrade. But I prefer my films, even kid flicks, to be a bit smarter with minimal dumbing down. This relies on the cuteness of its pets, an all-star cast (Keanu Reeves is Batman, for crying out loud), and a healthy dose of poking fun at DC Lore to produce its laughs. Unfortunately, it felt like the action took priority over the human/animal story. Ultimately, I walked away wishing the story would leap out of the good category into greatness. But grab your young kids, lower expectations a bit, and you’ll have a good time with the animated antics.
"…I appreciate that they gave WB Kids a spectacular 3D animation upgrade."