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DC League of Super-Pets 2022

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Kennedy Unthank

Movie Review

It turns out that dogs aren’t just a man’s best friend—they’re also Superman’s best friend.

Moments before Superman’s home planet, Krypton, met its explosive end, the baby Superman was sent away in an escape pod, where he would eventually crash land in the middle of Kansas and grow up to become the defender of justice we know and love today. What you didn’t know was that Superman’s dog, Krypto, joined Superman in the escape pod—and both of them gained powers through Earth’s solar rays.

The two of them make a great team—saving trains, stopping robbers and playing games of fetch at Mach 5. They share the same powers and the same weaknesses! That’s why it was so easy for Lulu, a superpowered guinea pig, to take both Superman and Krypto down with a shard of kryptonite.  

In the span of a day, Superman is taken hostage, the Justice League has been defeated, and the world is dangerously close to being dominated. Not only that, but Krypto no longer has his powers—at least, not until the cheese-wrapped-kryptonite he unintentionally ate passes through his system.

Fortunately for Krypto, he’s got some help. There just so happens to be a group of unadopted animals who’ve suddenly gained powers of their own. With the dog Ace’s invulnerability, the pig PB’s ability to grow and shrink, the squirrel Chip’s power of electricity and the turtle Merton’s super speed, Krypto might just have a chance of saving his best friend from the clutches of tiny evil.

Positive Elements

Though Krypto has lost his powers, he continues his journey to save Superman, pushing through the pain to get back to his owner. While he does this, Krypto struggles with a subplot: He discovers that Superman is planning to propose to Lois, and he is afraid that her presence will cause Superman to stop spending time with him. However, he perseveres to save his master regardless, and when Lois’ life is in danger, he doesn’t hesitate to save her.

Along his journey, Krypto hears much wisdom from Ace, who relates Krypto to his own story: Ace protected a loved family member from getting seriously hurt, but a tragic misunderstanding caused the family to give him up for adoption. Through his experiences, Ace helps Krypto on his hero’s journey.

“You know what they say about dogs, right?” Ace asks Krypto. “We love unconditionally.”

Ace helps Krypto to realize that unconditional love actually means unconditional.

“Even if it hurts?” Krypto asks.

“Especially then,” Ace responds.

However, though Krypto is trying to save his master, Superman tells us that Krypto actually rescued him long ago—when he was just a baby soaring through space in a lone escape pod. It was Krypto who crawled into Superman’s lap and comforted the baby when he was crying—and it’s clear that Superman has never forgotten that.

Lulu recruits a horde of guinea pigs to help in her plans of world domination. However, a couple of the guinea pigs eventually come to realize Lulu’s evil nature, and they decide to help the heroes fight back.

A character explains that it is impossible to have justice without truth.

Spiritual Elements

PB says “oh my goddess” twice and “praise be her name” in reference to Wonder Woman. Lulu refers to guinea pigs as “gods amongst men.” A character is called “demonic.” There’s a brief reference to the multiverse.

Sexual Content

Superman and Lois share a kiss. We overhear that Superman and Lois are only dating, and yet Krypto confirms that Lois stays overnight in bed with Superman. Cyborg calls Krypto “the dog Superman makes out with.” Green Lantern (who’s a female here) explains that a raccoon thought that it and the Green Lantern were dating.

Two women are seen together and are said to be engaged to one another. We also see two men who seem to be romantically involved.

A man’s bathroom is accidentally broken into twice, where the man is seen bathing. On one occasion, PB exclaims that she “didn’t see anything.” A piece of Merton’s shell falls off, revealing heart underwear. Merton mistakes various inanimate objects for turtles, and she flirts with them, calling one “sweet cheeks.”

A dog calls Superman “Mr. Outside Underpants.” A hologram pictures a dog licking its crotch.

Violent Content

In true superhero fashion, many buildings are damaged and destroyed through super-powered fighting. People’s lives are nearly lost (though no one dies—at least onscreen). A woman and her baby are nearly crushed. Cars crash or explode. In a flashback, we watch Superman’s home planet, Krypton, as it is obliterated.

Krypto punches another dog away, and he imagines tossing Lois into the ocean with his super strength. Krypto is hit by a car, and we hear the sound of a bone snapping. Krypto is bruised and has a black eye. Krypto tries to fly off a building, but he instead falls a couple stories onto the pavement below. Lulu trashes and burns an adoption agency, leaving the other animals inside (who all escape).

Ace is frequently shocked, burned or hit by perilous objects. Though his invulnerability makes him survive without a scratch, it is implied that the experience is still painful. The Flash explains that his pet cheetah ate his landlord.

A dog says that he bit a FedEx worker, and he later exclaims that he ate the FedEx worker. A group of superpowered guinea pigs beat up the Justice League. A bleeding bite mark is seen on a toddler’s arm. A jet is hit by a missile.

A character uses missiles, grenades and other explosives to destroy vehicles. The character tells the super-pets that she will “tear them limb from limb.” Eventually, the foe is seemingly detonated by a grenade, but it’s implied that she is OK.

Crude or Profane Language

Merton uses the s-word twice and the f-word once, though these are bleeped out as jokes. What isn’t censored out are the instances of “heck,” “dang,” “suck,” “crap” and “idiot.” In one instance, a character says, “see you in heck.”

Drug and Alcohol Content

Superman and Lois drink wine.

Other Negative Elements

Ace urinates on a fountain to interrupt Krypto, and the gag continues for some time. Ace discusses drinking out of toilets. Ace explains that he “licks himself all the time.”

Merton yells at Superman and Lois to sign a prenuptial agreement, a contract directly at odds with God’s design for the permanence of marriage.

There’s a reference to alchemy, a precursor to modern chemistry with connections to sorcery and the occult. A dog discusses eating his own vomit and rubbing his rear on the carpet. A man compliments a woman’s perfume, and she explains that it’s actually cat urine. We also hear talk about fecal matter.

[Spoiler Warning] Lulu turns into a giant monster with sharp claws which may be frightening to younger audiences.

Conclusion

If you combined the pill-powered Beagle from Underdog with Bolt’s powerless-yet-determined protagonist, you’d likely get Krypto, Superman’s slobbery best friend.

Krypto’s in a bit of a predicament. Superman’s been captured by a superpowered guinea pig—the same one that fed an unwitting Krypto some cheese-wrapped-kryptonite to take away the dog’s powers. Krypto knows it is his duty to save his master and the rest of the Justice League. To do so, he’ll need to team up with a band of superpowered animal misfits and teach them how to work together to fight evil as well as unintentionally cause millions of dollars in building damages in true Superman-fighting-style fashion.

As these characters make their hero’s journeys, they’ll experience many things that’ll make parents reconsider whether these heroes are providing children with appropriate messages. Lois Lane, Superman’s girlfriend, allegedly stays overnight at Superman’s house. Two women are said to be engaged to one another. And one super-pet flirts with every inanimate object she sets her eyes on.

Additionally, a couple of harsh profanities—one use of the f-word and two of the s-word—are censored to be played off as jokes. But it’s still clear what’s being said. One character seemingly deifies Wonder Woman. Violence (primarily in the form of explosions) is a constant here—sometimes slapstick, sometimes life-threatening.

It’s true that DC League of Super-Pets provides some nice messages about unconditional love, a couple of laughs and an overall entertaining plot. Its impressive list of celebrity voice actors is another thing to mention. But parents thinking this animated flick is a walk in the park for kids will find themselves being yanked by the leash.

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kennedy-unthank
Kennedy Unthank

Though he was born in Kansas, Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics and hermeneutics. His favorite movie is La La Land.