DC League Of Super-Pets was one of my most anticipated film releases of the year, and last week I got the opportunity to see it at a Special Screening in London, thanks to Warner Bros UK. Here is my non-spoiler review.
DC League of Super-Pets is directed by Jared Stern and Sam Levine, written by Stern and John Whittington, with a score by Steve Jablonsky. Stern and Whittington previously worked on The Lego Batman Movie, whilst Levine previously worked on Wreck-It Ralph and other titles.
The story itself is simple, it’s a classic good guys/bad guys film with plenty of action and opportunities to make you really think about what it means to be a hero. In other words, it’s a classic superhero genre film. There are several other themes in there too which are rather emotional, but handled perfectly in a way that is easily digestible for audiences and not too overbearing.
The voice cast are perfect, each and every character was cast to perfection and really brought their all to the role. At first I was a little sceptical about some of the announcements – particularly Kevin Hart as Ace The Bat-Hound, but even that totally worked once you got to see it in its true context. The cast includes: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Kevin Hart, John Krasinski, Olivia Wilde, Keanu Reeves, Diego Luna, Vanessa Bayer, Marc Maron, Kate McKinnon, Natasha Lyonne, the list goes on! This was a truly phenomenal cast!
There are too many to go through individually but each and every character and actor got their chances to shine and I truly hope we get to see (or rather hear) them in these roles again.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is Krypto The Super-Dog and really brings the character to life. Personally if I had to guess what Krypto would sound like in human form, I probably wouldn’t have defaulted to The Rock, but now I can’t imagine anyone else’s voice. He brings a confident and thoughtful side to Krypto who is a little detached to the world in some ways.
Kevin Hart is Ace The Bat-Hound, and whilst you’d think Ace would have a deep and brooding voice, he has the total opposite and I actually really enjoyed what he brought to the role. There was a lot of comedic moments for Hart, but it was also his origin story that really hit me in the feels.
John Krasinski is Superman and he was great! There was a real familiarity and kindness to his voice and I think that’s important when it comes to Superman, especially for this audience. Whilst he is out of action for a majority of this film, the moments he is around are really fun and true to the character.
I also have to mention Natasha Lyonne who voiced Merton The Tortoise and Kate McKinnon who voiced Lulu. They were the ones who provided the most comic relief for me, Lyonne especially. They truly embraced their roles and brought their characters to life and I would LOVE to see a spin off for Merton The Tortoise and his rather longwinded origin story.
Cinematography & Animation
The animation style was great, Metropolis looked stunning. You know those golden hued comic pages we see featuring The Daily Planet at sunrise or sunset and the stunning Metropolis skyline? ALL of that is there!
It has a real Pixar style to it, which I think worked really well with this film. THIS is how you get younger audiences interested in Superman and the DC Super-Pets. Each and every character was brought to life perfectly, and I would love to see several spin offs in this style. Heck, I’d even take an entire DC Pixar-esque universe based on what I’ve have seen so far.
When it comes to Superman and Krypto The Super-Dog, it’s clear that there are some inspirations behind some of the scenes and we also get some classic Superman tropes that have been happening in the films for decades. There are nods to the Christopher Reeve films among others, and the iconic John Williams Superman theme is peppered within the film, which was a really nice touch.
I genuinely had a great time with this film, whilst I’m almost 30 years of age, I adore animated films, especially the Pixar style ones – so this was right up my street. I am actually quite surprised we haven’t had more DC films or characters spotlighted in this style, it’s the perfect opportunity to draw in young audiences to characters they may not have had much introduction to. That is exactly what this film does, it’s a breath of fresh air and it was a joy to experience this film with the intended audience, their reactions were so genuine and positive.
With it being targeted towards a younger audience, this film doesn’t take itself too seriously and also isn’t afraid to take a few jabs at itself as well as other huge franchises. Whilst it will totally go over the heads of the younger audience, there are so many DC lore references in the film which will certainly please the older audiences out there – me included.
DC League Of Super-Pets is SUPER fun (pun intended) for the entire family. It’s sure to entice a brand new generation of DC fans, it’s full of laughs, action and most importantly heart. I had so much fun experiencing this film and I cannot wait to introduce it to my son. I truly hope we get to see more of this dynamic and engaging DC universe that they have created.
DC League Of Super-Pets is in cinemas on 29th July. Whether you have children or not, this is a must see for DC fans.