DC’s League of Super Pets–The year’s best Batman and more

Review by C.J. Bunce

The Incredibles, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, The LEGO Batman Movie.  Mighty Mouse, Underdog, Super Friends, and the 1940s original animated Superman.  Add to these Warner Bros. latest adaptation of DC Comics characters: DC’s League of Super-Pets, a showcase of Krypto, Superman’s loyal dog originally seen in a 1955 issue of Adventure Comics.  The animated movie also reboots Ace the Bat-hound, who also saw his first comic appearance in 1955, in an issue of Batman.  Although they’ve been featured in lower budget animated series, you’d think characters so embedded in comics for so long would have had a major appearance before now.  Well, it was worth the wait.  DC’s League of Super-Pets is a super film for the whole family, with great voice stars including Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Keanu Reeves.  It’s now on Blu-ray and Digital, and streaming on HBO Max.

Keanu Reeves and Christopher Reeve and George Reeves–Keanu seems destined to play a superhero, and here he stars in a supporting role as the voice of Batman.  And as we predicted last March when the first trailer arrived, he’s perfect.  But it’s Dwayne Johnson who steals the show as Krypto.  You’ll probably forget he’s voicing the character because the animation for Krypto is so endearing.  Krypto’s dilemma is Lois Lane horning in on his walk-time with Superman.  As Superman decides to propose to Lois, an experiment initiated by the vile Lex Luthor prompts an attack on the Justice League.

The animation has a fun, lighthearted feel, despite the doom facing cute animals and the people of Metropolis.  Krypto finds himself involved with a kennel full of strays–not your typical strays–including Ace, a boxer (who is 7/8 Chihuahua) voiced by Kevin Hart.  Central Intelligence, two Jumanji movies, Hobbs & Shaw–that Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart chemistry is bankable gold again here.

Added to the mix are the voices of Kate McKinnon as a guinea pig gone bad named Lulu–the story’s primary villain, John Krasinski as Superman, Vanessa Bayer as a super-powered pot bellied pig, Natasha Lyonne as a New Yahk visually-challenged turtle with Flash-like speed, Andor’s Diego Luna as a squirrel with the Thor-like power of lightning energy, Marc Maron as Lex Luthor, and Olivia Wilde as Lois Lane.

All the superfriends/Justice Leaguers make appearances, too.  In fact the movie feels a lot like a modern update to the animated Super Friends series from the 1970s and 1980s, complete with the Hall of Justice and the Justice League getting trapped in glassed-in chambers.  More, please!

Remember being able to sit a kid down with a video for an hour?  The story and imagery may have some peril too much for the littlest youngsters, but it’s no more than the Disney classics in the clamshell cases.  Light bleeped-out profanity adds to the humor.  You’ll also want to stick around for a great post-credits coda scene.

Credit The LEGO Batman Movie writer Jared Stern for a big win for his story as writer here and for the entire product as he doubles as the film’s director.  It’s proof Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment can get DC Comics characters right outside television’s Arrowverse.

DC’s League of Super-Pets is the rare movie that lives up to the promise of its movie trailers.  Don’t miss it!  It’s available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital, and streaming on Prime Video and HBO Max.



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