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"DC League of Super Pets" features a story line about a Kryptonian dog sneaking onto Superman's escape pod as he flees Krypton. 

With “DC League of Super-Pets,” DC Comics has given kids the opportunity to see what superhero movies are like without a fearful aspect.

Krypto the Superdog (Dwayne Johnson) has been by Superman (John Krasinski)’s side since the day Superman was sent to Earth. Now that Superman and the other Justice League heroes were captured by an evil guinea pig named Lulu (Kate McKinnon), it’s up to Krypto and some animals from the local shelter to save him.

This film was set in a universe unlike any other seen in previous DC movies. Of course, it features the classic story of how Superman got to Earth while Krypton was dying, but this shows what happens if a Kryptonian dog snuck onto his escape pod. It’s a cute take on the backstory and makes it a little more uplifting knowing Superman had a sidekick. The new movie also had some surprising alterations too. When meeting each member of the Justice League, the writers include the six who were featured in the 2017 film, but they included Green Lantern as well, which was a nice surprise.

While “DC League of Super-Pets” has its own storyline, it’s almost a kid’s version of 2017’s “Justice League.” It’s a superhero crossover-like film where it’s more than one hero, but it involves animals and is animated, which is a typical mixture for a younger demographic. The writers also do a good job making parallels to the real heroes in the Justice League with the League of Super Pets, whether it’s by mirroring their personality traits or powers.

It’s also a great tactic to introduce superhero films to kids. Movies like “Justice League” or “The Dark Knight” can be too dark and sometimes eerie for kids, and the fight scenes could get extremely violent. “DC League of Super Pets” isn’t like those other DC films. It shows the concept of a superhero film in a way that won’t frighten a child like “The Batman” might.

Although the film is aimed toward families and children, the script includes jokes and references that adults would appreciate more than a child, as well as some things that viewers might not expect. An example would be how Superman and Krypto spend every Thursday night eating popcorn and watching “The Great British Bake Off.” While that isn’t a catastrophic thing to show kids, “The Great British Bake Off” has a more grown-up demographic, so adults will be more likely to appreciate the humor.

“DC League of Super-Pets” also has components that might be a little mature for children. For example, they hint to one character cursing by bleeping it out, but you hear the first millisecond of the word so it’s easy to figure out which swear word is being said. This film is rated PG, though it might not be one for kids that are really young.

The writers also make some jokes targeting Marvel too. One of the shelter animals, Ace (Kevin Hart), gets invulnerability powers. At one point, he has to be the one to complete a dangerous task since he’s more likely to survive that and asks himself why he couldn’t have gotten something like a magic hammer, referencing Thor Odinson’s weapon of choice. It’s a good way to add some hero humor, especially for those that are more neutral on the Marvel vs. DC debate.

Hart and Johnson are both known as highly successful actors independently. However, fans of either one of them know they have a history of working together in films and never disappoint. They’re mostly known for doing action movies like “Central Intelligence,” but this is the first animated film they’ve done together. Although they have good chemistry as actors, the two are also really close in real life. It’s easy to hear that connection through their voice performances when it comes to the dialogue between Ace and Krypto.

The other actors do a good job voicing their characters as well. McKinnon plays the villain and does a great job adding an evil dramatic effect where you know she’s serious, but you can’t take her seriously. Her dialogue escalates the humor aspect too, since it’s a comedy.

“DC League of Super-Pets” is a cute and humorous movie. With some surprising moments during the film, there’s something in it that everyone will enjoy.

Contact Gracie Brogowski at brogowsx@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter and Instagram @Breeze_Culture.