DC League of Super-pets has no right being as good as it was, but that is the magic of animation.
Written by Alex Gilston / August 2, 2022
Although it might not quite be time for the hierarchy of power to change in the DC universe, Dwayne Johnson stars in a family animated flick that puts the pets of famous superheroes, like Superman and Batman, at the forefront. DC League of Super-pets might not reinvent the wheel but it's the best thing the Warner Brothers and DC Comics partnership has made in years.
DC League of Super-pets presents us with an opening that longtime DC fans will be familiar with. Krypton is on the brink of destruction, and a baby Kal-El is about to be sent away to Earth. This time round though add in an adorable puppy sized Krypto who worms his way into the pod and flies off with Superman. Fast forward to the present day and Krypto is living on earth as Superman’s best friend. When a Lex luthor obsessed Guinea Pig kidnaps Superman and tricks Krypto out of his powers he must rely on a rag tag group of, now superpowered, animals to help save the day. The whole ‘superhero doesn’t work well in a team and wants to do all the saving by himself’ trope is well worn out by now, but DC League of Super-pets takes that and so many other tired out superhero and comic book film tropes and refreshes them in a satisfying way.
A stellar voice cast is led by Dwayne Johnson, who rides out the film on his trademark charm even if its what we expect from him these days. Kate Mckinnon is having a lot of fun as the villainous guinea pig, Lulu. Kevin Hart, Diego Luna, and Vanessa Bayer bring it all together as the other superpowered pets, but Natasha Lyonne is the standout as Merton the Turtle. Her seemingly blasé approach to the character works wonders and she is part of the funniest running gags of the film, even if it is incredibly silly.
DC League of Super-pets has no right being as good as it was, but that is the magic of animation. A medium that knows no bounds, something that helps separate this film from DC’s incessant obsession with a darker palette. It’s a charmingly witty film that leans into what makes DC Comics so good and, even better, isn’t afraid to make fun of it. After all these years it’s relieving to finally come out of a DC film where a sequel wouldn’t at all be unwelcome.