In an era where more and more people want their superhero movies to be geared toward adults, it is always nice to get something for the kids as well. The only request is that the movies also give adults something to keep them invested as well.
This happened nicely with DC league of Super-Pets. As the title suggests, this movie delivers an adventure with a group of super-powered pets, all led by Superman’s best friend, Krypto. As with most superhero movies these days, it had to start with an origin story, but at least they made it quick. Krypton is about to blow up so Kal-El’s parents put him in the space ship. However, before it takes off, tony puppy Krypto jumps in with him and Kal’s parents ask the dog to take care of their son.
Flash forward to present day and Superman is the world’s greatest hero and Krypto is there by his side. However, like many pets, Krypto (Dwayne Johnson) is co-dependent and has trouble wrapping his mind around Superman (John Kraskinski) needing any friends other than him. The Justice League are just co-workers, for example. However, when Krypto learns that Superman is going to ask Lois Lane to marry him, his mind melts down, and he has no idea why he isn’t enough for Superman any more.
This all sets up the actual story. A group of pets abandoned at a shelter dream of one day getting out and finding a place that they can call home. When one of them, a bald guinea pig named Lulu (Kate McKinnon) gets her hands on a sliver of orange kryptonite, it gives her and the other animals in the shelter superpowers. She escapes and decides to go free her former master Lex Luthor from prison, and help him conquer the world.
However, first she strips Krypto of his powers with a sliver of green kryptonite in a piece of cheese. This means it is up the other superpowered animals from the shelter to save the day.
The voice cast carries this to great heights. Johnson is as great as expected as Krypto and McKinnon does a good job as Lulu. On top of that, Johnson’s buddy Kevin Hart voices a dog named Ace, the basic leader of the escaped superpets and someone who is now basically indestructable. On top of that is Vanessa Bayer as PB (a pig who is a huge superhero fangirl who can now change shapes), Natasha Lyonne as Merton McSnurtle (a turtle with bad eyesight who is now super fast), and Diego Luna as Chip (a neurotic squirrel with electric powers). Add in Keanu Reeves as Batman, Olivia Wilde as Lois Lane, and Middleditch and Schwartz as two guinea pigs, and this is an all-star animated cast.
What helps this movie rise above the rest is that heart of the story. Not only does Krypto need to learn there is enough love to go around, but the other animals have lived a life of abandonment and now have to team up to act as the family they always were. There is also a lot of humor, from the slapsstick comedy of the super pets to the more deadpan comedy for adults (Superman to Krypto: “who’s my best friend?” leads to Batman: “I miss my parents.)
In the end, nothing surprising happens and everything you expect results from the final fight and the ultimate outcome. However, that is what people should expect from an animated movie like this. The entire joy is the ride to the end, and if you can enjoy it for that, this movie is an enjoyable time out with the family.