At A Glance
This waggish (no pun intended) animation by DC with an all-star cast, alongside a comical dialogue, is a family-friendly franchise-worthy story, where the earth-saving torch is passed down from one Justice League to another – the League of Super Pets!
Directed by Jared Stern
Written by Jared Stern & John Whittington
Released by Warner Bros.
Buy or Rent the Home Premiere from 29th August
Available on Blu-ray and DVD from 10th October
2022, 105 minutes, 12A
Social Media: @DCSuperPets #DCSuperPets
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Krypto / Super dog / Bark Kent
Kevin Hart as Ace / Bat-Hound
Kate McKinnon as Lulu
John Krasinski as Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman
Diego Luna as Chip
Keanu Reeves as Bruce Wayne / Batman
By Hanane Zahrouni
DC League of Super Pets is a lighthearted CGI animation, by Lego Batman writers, Jared Stern and John Whittington, which highlights the heroism and loyalty of pets, with comments of sarcasm and satire (What is this…Paw Patrol?). Despite being a diluted version of what you would normally expect from DC features, it is a satisfactory diversion for young families.
Voiced by John Krasinski, Clark Kent/Superman/Supes – is still the well-loved and imperfect hero, who surprisingly also snores to the orchestral sounds of a chainsaw. In this version, the trophy is passed down to his sidekick and companion, Krypto, voiced by Dwyane ‘The Rock’ Johnson - a dog, who hitch-hiked a ride to comfort an infant Kal-El in the escape pod from Planet Krypton. Krypto has Supes equal godly strength and superpower traits (flight and laser eyes), but evidently, we see him struggle and fail completely as a dog: with his sandalwood smelling poop and lack of fitness. One would consider that the strengths, of both Kryptonian humans (and pets) have, when originating from their distant planet would be extraordinary, except the lack of understanding one another. Fortunately, the comical dialogue is for our own personal benefit. The study and concept of this notoriously independent creature impersonating his owners' personalities, including traits of sociability, neurosis, and emotional stability, is nothing but facts. Krypto has human-like features, with two opposing personalities: a need to impersonate Kal-El’s elements of heroism and the other, a faithful hound who suffers with separation anxiety, and becomes clingy, as Supes becomes close to Lois Lane, voiced by Olivia Wilde.
The story develops after Supes finds another confidant for Krypto in the form of Ace, an irritable, cynical, and outspoken, yet isolated boxer, who is the mirror version of his voice counterpart Kevin Hart, and Ace’s human counterpart, Batman, voiced by the talented Keanu Reeves. Both Ace and Batman had a similar childhood, where ‘no one is ever getting past their impenetrable defenses’ – a relationship in need of therapists. This comedy is another excuse for comedy couple, Dwyane Johnson and Kevin Hart to collaborate, Ace and Krypto’s charisma and chemistry is emulated through both actors. Their meet-cute occurs after Ace escapes a claustrophobic pet shop he resides in and is captured, policed, and interrogated by Krypto – a nod to one of his many mixed breeds. In his attempt of escaping, he promises turns to his shop neighbours, which includes ‘Chip’, the phobic-fixated squirrel, voiced by Diego Luna; ‘Merton’, the blind turtle, voiced by Natasha Lyonne; ‘PB’, the people-pleasing pig, voiced by Vanessa Bayer and oppositely, ‘Lulu’, the prima donna guinea pig, voiced by Kate McKinnon, whose hate towards hamsters and being compared to one is uncanny.
After her accidental (and hairless) release by Krypto, at Lex Luthor’s animal testing lab, Lulu’s love, and obsession towards the vision of the criminal mastermind is somewhat delusional. The character fixation over a homemade weapon, compiled of collected scraps, named ‘The Device’, alongside her evil wrath in seeing the world deteriorate is nothing short of rib-tickling. Unearthing Orange Kryptonite, in the pet shop, which is a by-product of the deadly green version, but instead only works on animals, Lulu obtains the rock for her device, which ultimately provides her similar powers to Krypto – specifically flight and telekinesis and prompts her to commence her schemes, whilst targeting all those who have wronged her. Her storyline is one of the many thrills in this story…except when she accidently turbocharges the abilities of the other Super Pets – which provides them with their own unique superpowers that mirror their personalities.
We see the ragtag group of Super Pets partnering together with Krypto and mastering their own newfound powers for a rescue mission, and eventually, alongside the Justice League (Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and The Flash), who are a side-show in comparison. After Lulu’s pet shop escape and uniting with a fellow antagonist, named Whiskers, voiced by Winona Bradshaw – a supped up kitten and Lulu’s right-hand minion, she fights to take down the Super Pets with a super army of supped up hamsters. Whiskers may come across as the innocent kitten, we all wish to take home - but with her hairball grenades and a fireball igniting tail, makes you think differently. Her use of demonic, yet childish phrases like: ‘see you in heck!’ – puts a spin and her own individuality shines through, alongside funnily bleeped out swearing from the rest of the gang.
The script is filled with witty frolics and one-liners and rudiments of hate: from metaphorical dog toys and digs at Batman (Squeezy Bruce), which highlights the preemptive battle, in a previous DC feature, orchestrated by famous villain, Lex Luthor in Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman… to a despicable impatience towards smooth jazz playlists, which results in the incineration of a city pet shop. However, the various arches may result in a lack of emotional connection between the many characters involved. Yet, it is not a deal-breaker.
We cannot dismiss the charming touch to the credits, which end with a list of all the crew members pets, and as famously known in DC and the ‘other one’ – a not to be missed post-credit teaser. The story is embedded with lessons of pet loyalty, friendships, unconditional love, and self-aware adult humour (where a news headline reads: ‘Wealthy Person Actually Goes to Jail’ after Luthor’s arrest). Alongside the many other Easter eggs; the League of Super Pets is an entertaining and animated DC parody, with a talented voice cast and a steam of jokes, designed for both children and the kid inside all of us.