4K Blu-ray Review: DC League of Super-Pets

Blu-ray Reviews, Reviews, Top Story

DC League of Super-Pets is a great way to get younger audiences to jump into the world of superheroes if they’re not quite ready to hit the live-action films just yet. While there’s a plethora of both DC and Marvel films that tend to have much darker tones to them, Super-Pets is fun for the whole family. Yes, in what’s often a recipe for comedic success, Super-Pets has plenty of visual and audio jokes that kids will enjoy, but there are also a solid mix of jokes sprinkled throughout that are targeted at adults as well.

The story focuses on Krypto (voiced by Dwayne Johnson), who is Superman’s dog for those who may not know the character. We’re introduced to him in a brief flashback, which sees the usual destruction of Krypton, but this time Krypto hops into the ship that jettisons Kal-El to earth just before it leaves. His mission: to watch over Superman and keep him safe. I mean, you could ask yourself why Superman would need a dog to keep him safe – this is Superman after all – however, it’s proven not to long into the movie that Superman can’t do everything on his own; though, nether can Krypto for that matter.

After Superman is captured by a super-powered guinea pig named Lulu (voiced by Kate McKinnon) it’s up to Krypto to save him. The main issue? Krypto has temporarily lost his powers thanks to some cleverly placed kryptonite shards. So now he’s got to work alongside some shelter pets who have recently acquired superpowers in order to save his best friend. Those pets are a boxer named Ace (voiced by Kevin Hart), a potbellied pig named PB (voiced by Vanessa Bayer), Merton, an almost blind turtle (voiced by Natasha Lyonne) and Chip the squirrel (voiced by Diego Luna). Another issue? Krypto is used to working alone and he’s not really the mentoring type. So this will be a journey for all involved, as Krypto has to find what it takes to be a friend to someone other than Superman, and the rag tag group of shelter pets not only have to learn how to handle their newfound powers, but also try and realize their own self-worth.

Now I know I kind of skimmed over it, and that Superman being captured by a rodent – even one with superpowers – sounds ridiculous, but this is a movie about super pets, so it makes sense to have a super villain pet as their antagonist. Plus, Lulu’s origin story makes complete sense and really does help her fit right in as the film’s big bad…okay, little bad, but she still takes down Superman, so size clearly doesn’t matter when you’re packing kryptonite!

There won’t be any surprises here, as the story is exactly what’s expected and that’s okay. Sure it’s nice when things can be mixed up a bit and a predictable story can be told in a not-so-predictable way, but this gets the job done, is entertaining and should have no problem keeping its target audience of kids engaged throughout. And while straightforward, there’s heart here that shows the importance of pets in the lives of humans, and how they’ll go out of their way to be fiercely loyal, no matter the consequence. Ace’s origin story is one that’s incredibly sad, but it fits the character well and gives him an added layer of depth that the other pets unfortunately miss out on this time around.

The voice-acting is top tier, as everyone across the board just rocks it. Hart is often in zany Kevin Hart mode when alongside Johnson, but here he’s toned down as Ace. He’s still got some great zingers and slapstick moments, but his character has the most heart of all of them and Hart brings him to life beautifully. McKinnon is superb as the film’s villain, truly embracing the role of supervillain and giving this little pink ball of squeaks the powerful tone that makes her strength believable.

The human heroes we all know and love are voiced by some fun, unique voices, including John Krasinski as Superman, Keanu Reeves as Batman, Jameela Jamil as Wonder Woman, Jemaine Clement as Aquaman, John Early as The Flash, and Dascha Polanco as Green Lantern. We’ve also got the likes of Olivia Wilde as Lois Lane and Marc Maron as Lex Luthor – and we may as well round out the voice cast by mentioning Ben Schwartz and Thomas Middleditch, who voice Mark and Keith, a pair of fire and ice powered guinea pigs respectively.

It’ll be surprising if DC League of Super-Pets doesn’t land a sequel down the line, as it had a successful theatrical run and will no doubt follow it up with just as much success – if not more – in home theaters. There are a pair of post-credit scenes to stick around for, though none tip their hat towards a sequel, with the first kind of putting a bow on a character’s storyline, and the second seeing Johnson voice acting alongside himself with the guest appearance of a certain character and their anti-hero dog. All in all, if you’re looking for a fun, heartfelt movie simply for yourself or as a way to introduce young ones to some of your favourite DC characters, then bring home a copy of Super-Pets! The disc is easy to take care of, is always ready to play and most importantly, it comes housetrained.

Movie Score: 3.5/5

4K Blu-ray Video and Audio Review:

The 2160p 4K presentation of DC League of Super-Pets is a gorgeous one that’s well worth the upgrade for those who have a 4K system available. While the Blu-ray version is beautiful in its available 1080 viewing experience, the 4K upscale truly does the film a level of justice that simply can’t be matched by the Blu-ray. This is a film that has an animation style that matches the film’s fun tone, and it’s given the richness it deserves at home when viewed in 4K.

The audio arguably surpasses even the superb visual presentation, which help make this an incredibly strong 4K delivery for those who bring the film home in this format. The Dolby Atmos shines through with the great voice acting shining through with clean and clear dialogue, accompanied by a great score and top tier sound effects throughout. As a whole this is an audio mix that truly brings the theater experience into your home.

Special Features:

How to Draw Krypto – This is a 7-minute featurette that sees animation supervisor Dave Burgess give a tutorial on how to draw the film’s four-legged protagonist the old-school way.

Behind the Super Voices – This is the bread and butter of the special features, which gives us a 15-minute piece that focuses on the voice cast, where we get to hear from all the main Super Pets, as well as the film’s writer and director. They all touch on what it was like bringing this characters to life, being cast in the roles, as well as a showcase of them voicing the characters as well.

Super-Pets Animation 101 – This featurette comes in at just over 8-minutes in length and various crew members talk about the original pitch for the film back in 2018, creating and establishing characters, the design process and the likes.

The World of Super-PetsThis featurette is just under 8-minutes in length and we get to see a lot of the same crew return to talk about building this animated world using the extreme amount of DC lore they had available to them.

Find the Easter Eggs – We get to see writer/co-director Sam J. Levine and writer/director Jared Stern go through various Easter eggs found within the film, which is a great watch for DC fans who may not have caught everything while watching.

Deleted Scenes – We’ve also got a dozen deleted scenes here for those who are interested.

Disclaimer: A review copy of this Blu-ray was sent to me to cover in honest and truthful fashion.

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents DC League of Super-Pets. Directed by: Sam J. Levine, Jared Stern. Written by: Jared Stern, John Whittington. Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, Marc Maron, Keanu Reeves, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Schwartz, Olivia Wilde, Jemaine Clement, Jameela Jamil, John Early, Dascha Polanco. Running time: 105 Minutes. Rating: PG. Released on 4K Blu-ray: Oct. 4, 2022.

Brendan Campbell was here when Inside Pulse Movies began, and he’ll be here when it finishes - in 2012, when a cataclysmic event wipes out the servers, as well as everyone else on the planet other than John Cusack and those close to him. Brendan’s the #1 supporter of Keanu Reeves, a huge fan of popcorn flicks and a firm believer that sheer entertainment can take a film a long way. He currently resides in Canada, where, for reasons stated above, he’s attempting to get closer to John Cusack.