The Animation: When it comes to animation, there are very few films that are going to crap out at this part of the movie. DC Super-pets has a nice flow that allows there characters to move in the heroic style you expect. It's smooth, it does not take too many clunky shortcuts to get the shot, and works well to match the style of the character and voice actor. While there is definitely some realism to it though, the designers did keep the comic book/cartoon mojo to it and I was impressed with how much of a little kid I felt in me while watching it. All of it works together to make the adventure fun and enjoyable to watch, without feeling stuck in an outdated computer game.
The Cute Factor: I could go on for hours about the cute factor of this movie, but parents rest in relief, because the movie is indeed very cuddly for your group. Cursing/semi-swear words are at a minimum, dark natured elements are toned down to G or PG levels, and there should be very few things to scare or scar your kids. The movie has plenty of family friendly moments that can melt many hearts, and will probably inspire you to be kind to your pets or adopt.
The Voice Acting: Alright now onto the people who brought the character part of the group to life. Voice acting is an amazing art as I've said before, and so many people accomplished the directions they were taking with various parties in the movie. John Krasinski as Superman was sensational in his fun and yet mature manner that was like serious Jim from the Office. While Natasha Lyonne may have been my favorite performance of the bunch with her balanced humor and turtle like mafia voice. Yet the big three get the focus, so let's center on them for a moment. McKinnon is a master of so many roles, and Lulu is no exception as the hairless guinea pig role that is like one of her SNL skits come to life, only censored. If you love seeing, or in this case, hearing her rants and overenthusiastic delivery, get ready for about 90 minutes of it. It works well for this type of movie and I had fun hearing her play the sassy self in animal form quite well. Hart is also pretty much playing his deck of cards again that he has made him so famous. He rants, does montages with the same type of fire, and his comedy about being put into situations was very fun, but I loved seeing the vulnerable side come out with it to help balance the comedy and character of Ace. He does well to play with the Rock as expected, and this movie keeps their friendship in real life well-integrated into the characters of Krypto and Ace to the point of being very entertaining. As for Johnson, he's still the same guy you love to watch on the screen, only in a CGI, white dog form. He does Krypto decently, giving the kid humor element the biggest punch of the actors, while sometimes nailing those overdramatic moments that a superhero film is noted to have. I can't say he did the best of the bunch, but his style of working with all the other voice actors was very balanced, and always maintained that comedic style I love to see. All in all, this cast did better than I thought and could play very well together for a future, most likely impending series.
The Humor: Now we are getting to my favorite elements of the bunch, the humor of the movie. The trailers show it's primarily for kids, and to be honest, it does have a lot of things geared towards a younger audience. Slapstick humor and annoying lines are in this movie, and as my showing showed are very repeatable by those who like to parrot lines. Fret not though parents, because surprisingly this film will have adult moments placed in as well, comedy lines and items that you'll quite enjoy at the fourth-dimension breaking or genre poking moments that are very funny. It's not quite like the 90s style of cartoons, but there are plenty of geeky humor moments that fans like myself will enjoy amongst the juvenile role. Hinted earlier was Merton, a turtle whose lines were probably the best example of them both. She is one of the most adult themed moments of the bunch and I was cracking up at the elevated jokes they wrote and put in for this film. Bleeped out cursing, references to history and even some other experiences she thinks about in the film. It's a nice balance and keeps the entire audience into the movie as opposed to watching your kids just laugh.
The Touching Moments: Perhaps the biggest surprise was how touching the movie was for me and how many things they put in for character development that actually made me feel moved. I can't say much, but the movie really addresses some relevant topics for me and a surprisingly healthy approach to solving them. Ace and Krypto have the most focus on the moments, alongside a few others getting surprisingly decent approaches to their character quirks. This was a great choice for me and I absolutely loved the development of the characters to elevate the movie past the kid element. I can't say you will have your eyes watering, but you might just say aww, a few times.
The Pace Balance: Kids movies kind of suck at pace balancing these days, doing their best to be the flash in the pan that modern attention spans are. They drop character development and story design for quirks or political moments and then hope your kids are prone to rewatching things. However, DC Super-pets surprised me again by keeping things running well and not sacrificing the storytelling elements that a good movie has. This pace again appeals to both older and younger audiences and I strongly appreciate not using this as a throw away movie for merchandising.
The Character Utilization: Yep, this part is important to me, and they did it quite well in the film. Almost all characters introduced have a significant impact on the movie and I loved having them balance things out, keeping them all a part of the grand adventure and bringing a good element to the film. Given how many characters they had to juggle, this is no easy merit and I was very pleased with the movie and how well they kept all character involved.
The Design Of The Human Characters: While the animation is smooth, I don't think the design was as much of a win for me in this film. Most of the animals in this film are what you expect a DC Super-Pets to look like and match the style I saw in the cartoons I used to be stuck on as a kid. However, the humans design seems a little more driven to be caricatures as if it's some warped perspective of the pets. There could be other design elements that inspired, but for the limited use they were in, the design did little for me compared to the pets they designed in this particular movie. Minor to some, but there are better superhero designs in other installments.
The Action Needs A Little Tweaking For Next Time: An action lover like me is not the biggest fan of seeing the amount of censorship that the world has become in this element. Super-pets is not the worst of the bunch to yield to modern tinkering, but it still has a long way to go to match what 80s-90s cartoons did. In a world about talking animals with extraordinary abilities, a little bit more zest to the fighting ups the suspense element that gives it a little more zest. Some fights utilize the comic design well, but a few that were supposed to be epic, were kind of meh in my book and given the cartoons I grew up with, don't need to be so pulled.
The Political Component That Snuck In: It seems we can't necessarily go a movie without diving a little more into the popular trend of being political. Super-pets dive into this part is much less than other films, I can't say that going out of our way to put it in was needed. We'll see if this springs at more, and fortunately does not get in the way of the story too much, but time will tell if this seed is going to sprout into an arc down the line.
A Few Moments Of Stale/Forced Humor: Yep, can't really get around this in a kid's movie when it comes to the forced elements of comedy. This film has plenty of moments that are timed well and a few that don't fit in and yet get hammered away to the point that nail is rusted and stale. Minor in most moments given all the balance of the film, but something that does get in the way.
Predictable: What movie really isn't anymore? Super-Pets main weakness is that it's a little more pronounced in the introduction of elements you know are going to be seen in the movie. It's not casual, it's not clever, and is so pronounced that you can't help but figure out where the movie is going to go with its plot, which sort of robs of the spectacle at the end. Again minor for the target audience, but something I tend to wish could be avoided.
When it comes to animated movies, this was a film that was a nice surprise and I really did enjoy the wonderful piece they brought. It is a kid's movie through and through, but the team managed to finally craft with it something all family members can enjoy. The film is balanced on many levels, helping to show you can have fun with the kids and still make a good story feature as well. Super-pets league has plenty to offer in the way of fun voice acting, good laughs, and animation that utilizes a lot of things that I enjoy in my movies. And though I enjoyed much, there are still a few shortcomings that the kid movie element has with it. This includes predictability, design elements, and some forced aspects like political popularity and humor. Still despite the punches that did not need to be pulled as much, the movie overall is one of the better animated films I've seen for the summer and would give this movie a solid movie theater going if you could. My scores are:
Movie overall: 7.5.
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