DC League of Super-Pets

DC League of Super-Pets Is Serviceable Family Fare

Dept. of Goodest Dogs


DC League of Super-Pets is simply a thing that exists. The movie is neither terrible nor unpleasant. It has a sufficient number of smirks, the occasional tee-hee, and at least one guffaw. The animation is adequate. It does exactly what it says on the tin. It predictably plays out in every way you think it will. It is fine. Which, by extension, makes it wholly unexceptional. It is simply a thing that exists.

This isn’t like the cats and dogs movies we grew up watching as kids. It isn’t 101 Dalmations, or The Aristocats, or All Dogs Go to Heaven, or even Oliver & Company. It doesn’t have the same sense of adventure or peril. It isn’t nearly as evocative. It isn’t quite as fun. DC League of Super-Pets is a purely functional piece of storytelling that is looking to cash in on the superhero adjacent market.

Not Quite Paw Patrol

DC League of Super-Pets

The movie centers around Superman’s super dog Krypto, who is going through something of a crisis. The Man of Steel is about to propose to Lois Lane and Krypto is afraid that she will replace him as best friend and British Bake Off buddy. Over at the LexCorp building, Lex Luthor is trying to give himself superpowers by way of Orange Kryptonite, which is a futile feat given that it only works on animals. (Lex would know this had he read Krypto the Super Dog #4.) Meanwhile, across town, at a pet shelter, a shard of said Orange Kryptonite gives a boxer, a potbellied pig, a red-eared terrapin, a squirrel, and a hairless guinea pig superpowers of their own. Antics – that don’t quite amount to hijinks – ensue.

Now you’ve already seen what follows – and in another DC animated movie at that. Much like Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, DC League of Super-Pets also incapacitates our tier one superheroes (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.) in order to make way for our plucky young protagonists to find themselves, come into their own, and eventually save the day. Unlike that Teen Titans movie, however, the jokes here aren’t quite as cutting edge. (Yes, we get it, cats are awful!)

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, who play Krypto and Ace respectively, are doing that same Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart thing we’ve seen them do at least three times already. (Three and a half if you count Hart’s cameo in Hobbes and Shaw.) If you enjoy their schtick, then there’s enough here to tide you over until the inevitable Jumanji 4. (Jumanji 5 if you count the Robin Williams original as movie number one.) If the Johnson/Hart thing doesn’t do it for you, then there is very little here to hold your attention.

The rest of the voice cast is expectedly great. John Krasinski makes for a decent Superman. Kate McKinnon seems to be having an absolute blast as the villainous Lulu. As are Vanessa Bayer and Natasha Lyonne. The characters they play, however, are too typical in their conception to stand out. There isn’t anything new here with the pig who is unable to love herself the way she loves others, or the squirrel with no self confidence. Keanu as Batman is a delight, but the material he’s given feels a little tired. We should add that Malaysia’s very own Sean Lee, who has a cameo as a Boston Terrier called Waffles, is a brief but welcome delight.

Up, Pup, and Away

DC League of Super-Pets also skews very young. While little children might enjoy watching dogs, pigs, turtles, and squirrels flying around, being cute, and doing superheroish things, it must be said that there is very little here for anyone over the age of 13.

In fact, this is a movie that is unlikely to inspire any strong feelings whatsoever. Kids aren’t going to be harassing their mothers and fathers for Bat-Hound plushies, or make them suddenly want a pet dog or pet pig (much to the relief of Muslim parents across the country). If only because they won’t remember it long enough after the credits roll. This is serviceable, inoffensive, family fare that will distract your children for at least 100 minutes. Which, to some of you, may be more than enough.

DC League of Super-Pets opens in Malaysian cinemas on Thursday, July 28.

Uma has been reviewing things for most of his life: movies, television shows, books, video games, his mum's cooking, Bahir's fashion sense. He is a firm believer that the answer to most questions can be found within the cinematic canon. In fact, most of what he knows about life he learned from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He still hasn't forgiven Christopher Nolan for the travesties that are Interstellar and The Dark Knight Rises.

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