The DC live-action films have definitely been of varying quality, but their animated content has generally been well-received. Though most of those are relegated to the home video or streaming markets, Teen Titans Go to the Movies was a pleasant surprise, and DC League of Super-Pets – touting one incredible voice cast – is up there with it. While it is a little more family-friendly, Super-Pets finds spots for the adults and the kids in the room to enjoy all the cartoon superhero goodness.
Krypto the Super-Dog (Dwayne Johnson) and Superman (John Krasinski) are inseparable best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting crime side-by-side in Metropolis. But a new villain threatens to change the dynamic of their friendship…marriage. Though even Superman’s plans can get interrupted and Krypto finds himself trying to save his friend and make some new ones.
This film needs some compelling pets in order to make the movie work, and it finds them with a dog named Ace (Kevin Hart), a pig named PB (Vanessa Bayer), a turtle named Merton (Natasha Lyonne), a squirrel named Chip (Diego Luna), and a bald guinea pig named Lulu (Kate McKinnon). This group of animals is at the rescue shelter, and each of them has its quirks to make them memorable (and marketable). While the voice cast for just the pets is quite phenomenal, the superheroes also get some pretty cool people voicing them next to Krasinski’s Superman. The film features the major members of the Justice League: Batman (Keanu Reeves), Wonder Woman (Jameela Jamil), Cyborg (Daveed Diggs), Green Lantern (Dascha Polanco), Flash (John Early), and Aquaman (Jemaine Clement). Of course, this is a Crypto and Superman-centric story, so Lois Lane (Olivia Wilde) and Lex Luther (Marc Maron) show up. The entire cast does an incredible job, with the two big stand-outs being Lyonne as Merton and Reeves as Batman. They had some of the biggest laughs throughout the film and on more than one occasion.
A good family cartoon should bring the laughs, but manage to find an emotional connection as well. This film got both my wife and me to tear up twice without doing any of the easy manipulations that can come with animal-focused stories. The children at my screening seemed to be really sucked into it, having a blast. Fans of the characters should be able to enjoy these variations of them unless they only want comic accurate or dark and brooding versions to exist. I thought a lot of the Batman-related jabs were on-point and made all the more hilarious with Reeves in the role.
By the end of the movie, it’s quite a solid family summer blockbuster. It is a superhero story with just a tad bit more fur than usual. It’s not quite as fun as the Lego Batman movie or Teen Titans Go to the Movies, but it’ll satisfy the kids and the comic book-loving grown-ups who venture out to see it. DC League of Super-Pets earns the Decent Watching rating.