DC League of Super-Pets will be fun for the children to watch. As for the adults, the plot is hard to wrap around. Of course, this is an animated film, so many lines are crossed regarding logic.
The movie starts off with Krypto (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) growing jealous of Superman’s (John Krasinski) relationship with Lois Lane (Olivia Wilde). Meanwhile, an evil guinea pig, Lulu (Kate McKennon), wants to take over the world by using orange Kryptonite to make herself have powers. Her goal is to kill all superheroes and take over the world. The reasoning behind her crimes is pretty forgettable, to say the least. It follows the same pattern as always. The bad guy wants the world to burn. As for the side characters, Merton ( Natasha Lyonne), Chip (Diego Luna), PB (Vanessa Bayer), and Ace (Kevin Hart) has moments of laughter, but they all struggle with the same issue. They all have problems in the film, but it’s quickly resolved when the plot needs them to be. Yes, this is a children’s movie, but in this case, it does not teach kids the reality of continuously failing and still not wanting to give up. However, after one pep talk with either Ace or Krypto, it’s as if the character is fixed.
Ace has slightly more dimension when it comes to overcoming his fear of abandonment. He has a dark past involving saving the life of one of his owners but still suffering the consequences of a misunderstanding. It’s heartbreaking to watch, but it’s the reality of some dogs that “look scary.” DC did a good job touching on this topic.
The Superman lore starts with Kal-el, the last son of Krypton, getting placed in a ship to go to Earth when his planet is about to be destroyed. In this universe, he has a puppy aboard. The puppy gets in the pod at the last second and sails away with Kal-el. We’ve seen Superman’s origin story numerous times, with the iterations of Man of Steel (2013), Smallville (2001-2011), and the original Superman movie (1978). So to see a slightly different opening of Superman’s life is welcoming, especially when it’s an adorable puppy.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart collaborate a fifth time, reminding viewers of their fantastic chemistry. They bounce off each other in extraordinary ways that teach children lessons of building new friends and adapting to something new while maintaining the film’s comedic factor. It’s a great start to their animated journey, and I can see this film being a series of movies, regardless of its many troubles. Johnson has been in a couple of animated projects, and he appears to nail each one. Kevin Hart is no different. Their acting feels more natural and authentic when in an animated setting.
Some noticeable stars take on the roles of some characters, one being Keanu Reeves taking on the part of Batman. His voice surprisingly fits perfectly. Though noticeably, when Batman is in the setting of comedy, he is the butt of every joke. This is, of course, a Krypto movie, which by extension is a Superman movie, but it’s this recurring joke that Batman is more of a Joker than a Batman.
There are a handful of crude jokes, with many dropped F-bombs or curse words that are bleeped out by the turtle. The first time was absolutely hilarious because it isn’t expected in a PG-rating film to even hint at a curse word. The second time was funny too, but it had less of an impact. By the third bleep, it was overkill. For a second, I thought this film would end up being a parody of some sort.
One aspect that should be noted is the inclusivity of the characters in the film. There is a same-sex couple in a scene. Though brief, it still displays the progressiveness in children’s movies, which is a significant plus. They also decided to use a lantinx Green Lantern and have a redesign on Cyborg with an afro. All of these subtle changes when it comes to these heroes don’t feel forced, allowing viewers to relate more to this world of heroes.
A successful animated movie is one where there is a lesson that is learned, and that is earned. There are many lessons that are implemented in the film, such as new changes in a relationship or making new friends that can help you in need. None of them feel significantly earned. The movie is funny and has great animations, but it feels too rushed for it to be earned.
Overall it’s an enjoyable movie to watch with the family, but sometimes I zoned out because the plot was so basic. Hero (Krypto) must overcome internal hurdles while facing a bad guy trying to take over the world—seen that before, numerous times. Weirdly enough, I see the sequel being a stronger movie. Without giving anything away, all their characters endure a massive makeover that hints at many more adventures.