Plot: What’s it about?
Have you ever conceived a movie in which the pets of well-known DC superheroes (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and so on) would be able to carry a film? Yeah, me neither. This is why I’ll likely never be a successful screenwriter and make millions of dollars in showbusiness. But, thankfully, we have people who are more clever and creative and, as such, we’ve got DC League of Super-Pets. Isn’t that neat? I grew up on the Super Friends and I guess a few generations later, films like this are being marketed at children who, Warner hopes, will become lifetime fans of the DC Universe. Or maybe not, perhaps they just want to entertain and make their millions and move onto the next project. At any rate, this is a release that really didn’t appeal to me, but I went ahead and requested the disc from Warner anyway. To my delight, this was actually pretty enjoyable and, at times, even a bit touching. Am I getting soft in my years? I hope not. Let’s dive in.
Krypto (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) is the faithful canine companion to Superman (voiced by John Krasiniski). He’s not that thrilled about the upcoming nuptials to Lois Lane (voiced by Olivia Wilde), fearing she’ll take his place as Superman’s “#1.” Superman goes to a local shelter to find Kryoto a new friend and ends up with Lulu (voiced by Kate McKinnon), a hairless guinea pig that has ties to Lex Luthor (voiced by Marc Maron) – also an animal at the shelter. Lulu escapes and uses Kryptonite to take away Krypto’s powers and manages to kidnap the entire Justice League. The other animals end up gaining different powers and agree to help Krypto rescue the human superheroes. As we might expect, there’s a ragtag group of them led by Ace (voiced by Kevin Hart), PB (voiced by Vanessa Bayer), Chip (voiced by Diego Luna) and Merton (voiced by Natasha Lyonne). They must team up and fight Lulu and her army of guinea pigs (yes, you read that correctly) in order to succeed.
Admittedly, I didn’t go into this movie expecting much. I figured given the talent involved, it was sure to be a pretty solid outing, but this sort of movie just isn’t my thing. But imagine my surprise when I found myself…enjoying it! How about that? This does cater to fans of the DC universe, and there are plenty of those folks out there. Plus, we don’t need to know much about Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to put the pieces together. Evidently this movie has been in the works for quite some time. Directors Jared Stern and Sam Levine first pitched this to Warner in 2018, so if you think you can whip out an iPad and create one of these feature-length films – think again. And if you can, why are you reading this – go create! Kidding aside, this was a pleasant surprise, and that’s the best kind.
Video: How’s it look?
I’ve lost count of how many “computer animated” movies I’ve reviewed over the years, but I’m pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of times they’ve disappointed visually. That said, this new outing by Warner showcases a brilliant-looking 2.39:1 HEVC 4K image that leaves nothing to the imagination. With animated films, we see things not seen in a live-action movie. The little hairs (especially with this one as they’re all animals), the backgrounds are all in focus and the wide range of colors is seemingly built for a 4K display. You wouldn’t think it, but the HDR really ups the ante as well. By comparison the Blu-ray (also included) looks just fine, but if you do an A/B comparison – it’s clear (pardon the pun) to see where the 4K disc excels. This is a winner, folks.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Thankfully no matter which way you go, you’re going to be pleased with the audio. Both the Blu-ray and the 4K disc contain the same Dolby Atmos track that, you guessed it, packs one heck of a punch! There are some musical interludes that make full use of the channels. Vocals, as expected, are top notch and as I always do – I like to play a game to see if I can guess the voice actor in question (hint: I’m usually wrong). Every speaker will get its turn with this one, the LFE are heavily involved but it’s the front and surrounds that really create a viable atmosphere. I have to say that I was impressed with this one, not that it should have surprised me.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- How to Draw Krypto – Animation supervisor Dave Burgess shows you how to draw the titular hero on a system so expensive it’s laughable. Thankfully you can go old school as well.
- Behind the Super Voices – A variety of the “voice talent” is profiled as to what led them to their roles and so on. I still have no idea why animated movies feel the need to recruit “top notch” talent when they could probably save tons on getting any ‘ol voice actor to do the same thing for a fraction of the cost. Oh well, not my problem.
- Super-Pets Animation 101 – We get a bit of history of the project, when and how it was originally pitched and some further etymology of the film.
- Find the Easter Eggs – If you’re a big time DC fan, you’ll likely be able to spot some of these sprinkled (hidden) throughout.
- The World of Super-Pets – We get some rationalization of and why some of the characters are used in the film, but given the history of some of these – it was a no-brainer.
- Deleted Scenes – A dozen scenes running nearly 20 minutes shed a little light on things, but nothing mind-blowing. I felt the final film was just fine without these included.
The Bottom Line
I enjoyed DC League of Super-Pets. It’s fun, creative and clever. Will it make me a convert to the DC Universe? Nope. Make mine Marvel. As much as I don’t “get” why we need A-List stars to do this sort of thing, it is pretty cool to have this talent involved. As expected, Warner’s disc looks and sounds terrific, not that the target audience will mind either way, and the smattering of extras only sweetens the deal.