Krypto the Superdog is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about long-running DC characters. Nevertheless, his existence is far from obscure. From his debut in a 1955 Superboy comic to his own television show in 2005 to the recent Titans TV show, he has made quite a name for himself. Now, DC League of Super-Pets adds to that number.
DC League of Super-Pets follows Krypto (Dwayne Johnson) and his quest to be the only friend of Superman (John Krasinski). They do everything together, literally. Things come to a head when Krypto feels like he’s being replaced by Lois Lane (Olivia Wilde). He becomes jealous and lets that get in the way of his friendship with Superman. An incident occurs with orange Kryptonite that causes an evil Guinea Pig named Lulu (Kate McKinnon) to get superpowers. The orange Kryptonite also gives powers to Ace (Kevin Hart), PB (Vanessa Bayer), Merton (Natasha Lyonne), and Chip (Diego Luna).
Lulu goes on a tear and kidnaps the Justice League, prompting Krypto to recruit the new Super-Pets. He’s never been a leader or had friends other than Superman. Krypto must go on a journey to learn what it means to be a leader. He must take after his owner and lead this team of ragtag Super-Pets to victory against the evil Lulu. At the same time, he also must come to grips that Lois will always be around and love Clark as much as he does.
Jared Stern and John Whittington’s script is chocked full of comic relief and great animated action. DC has always been known for how great its animated shows and films are. DC League of Super-Pets is no different. Stern and co-director Sam Levine do a wonderful job directing the film. The inclusion of all seven Justice League members and their portrayal makes for a fun ride. Lex Luthor (Marc Maron) is also a really good secondary villain in this film. The combination of the script and direction makes for a good time at the theater with the family.
The voice acting is also incredibly well done. Johnson provides for an emotional Krypto the Superdog. He actually plays a really vulnerable and oblivious character. It’s great to see him in this role, even if it is in an animated film. Hart is a fine addition as Ace, he gives us his usual voice and tone so it doesn’t move the needle much. McKinnon absolutely plays such a great villain. Like Krypto, Lulu’s very oblivious but also extremely vicious with a hilarious motive. The voice acting only elevates this film combined with the script and animation.
The film relies on a very strong script. It’s a children’s movie of course, but there is a complexity to it. DC is definitely amazing when the tone is dark and sinister. For a children/family movie, Super-Pets somehow balances that with plenty of comedy. The jokes are done right and they play on everything. Paw Patrol, Iron Man, the DCEU, no entity is sacred from jokes in Super-Pets. The film also includes some pretty cool action sequences throughout the film. Once the second act gets going and Lulu takes the main stage, Super-Pets enters elite levels of animated film. This will likely be DC’s Minions franchise.
Overall. DC League of Super-Pets is a great time at the movies. This has been a wonderful year for animation and Super-Pets adds to that. There’s action, comedy, and a great story for adults to enjoy. Then, there are the cute animals and just things children love. It’s got something for everybody and all things considered, this is what DC needed. I’m hoping for a sequel because the franchise has a lot of potential. Krypto the Superdog is back on the main stage for the first time in over a decade and it makes for a wonderful time – Rascal F. Kennedy
DC League of Super-Pets will be exclusively in theaters July 29th!