Films like Shazam! and The Suicide Squad brought in some much-needed mirth into the DC Universe, and the studio’s latest film, DC League of Super-Pets, looks to build on this and perhaps go on to establish a franchise for itself. Based on the DC Comics superhero team, Legion of Super-Pets, this film brings together pets of some of the most beloved superheroes to… save the universe, of course.
We all know the story of how a child from the doomed planet, Krypton, landed on earth to become Superman. In this film, we learn that alongside him was a labrador retriever who becomes his best friend. As they moonlight as Clark Kent and… Bark Kent alias Krypto, a series of incidents put the whole of Justice League in trouble and it’s then up to a rag-tag team of shelter animals to save the day.
The USP of this film is the comedy, aided by a superb voice cast, including actors Dwayne Johnson as Krypto and Kevin Hart as Ace, Batman’s dog. We also have Saturday Night Live icon Kate McKinnon speaking for the villainous guinea pig, Lulu, and John Krasinski and Keanu Reeves voicing Superman and Batman respectively. The style of animation is a giveaway that the film is aimed at younger fans, but thankfully, there’s enough to keep the adults invested as well. The film also speaks of how even superheroes need to be saved some time.
The Johnson-Hart camaraderie is now part of pop culture, and this film capitalises on that. Throw in a shelter-animals backstory that tugs at your heartstrings, and we get the recipe of every successful superhero story out there. While the main character arcs are well fleshed out, the supporting characters
do not get the same treatment, and the audience is understandably not very invested in them. And yet, it’s fun to see the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern and Cyborg come together.
You would expect references to the DC universe, but rather surprisingly, there are plenty of nods to MCU as well, with names like Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor popping up. The biggest grouse with the film has to be the predictability of the story, especially given the wide variety of talent that is part of the film. So, yes, it’s far from being a perfect animation film, but there are enough moments to win the hearts of viewers across age groups.