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Bark Kent: DC's League of SuperPets lands in Mile Zero

Good for parents, great for their kids.
DCSuperPetsDawson Creek
Clark Kent, meet Bark Kent.

This cartoon, like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse is a surprising revelation and a breathe of fresh air. 

Like Spider-verse, there is just enough nods to the source materials to keep adults and parents interested.  Make no mistake, this is a Seven Bucks production, and you’ve got The Rock wearing one of the producer's hats as well. It is a high end, Cadillac level of a summer production.  

The opening ties so well to Richard Donner's Superman from 1978 – when Superman as a baby is put into the spaceship by Marlon Brando (here Alfred Molina doing a strong Brando) – and at the last second Krypto the dog jumps into the rocket with  baby Kal-El.  

From there you you have a classic 1980s SuperFriends story with 2000s-era looking Superman and Lex Luthor in a weekly battle.   The plot soon finds the SuperFriends out of action and the plot relies on Krypto with no powers meeting up with a ragtag group of adoption pets long abandoned.  

The point of view of the pets, specifically the back stories and “Wizard of Oz” characterizations, each missing key character trait for each to develop over the arc of this film.   All of them are great lessons for kids,  Ace the dog’s backstory is as tragic (from a dog’s POV) as Bruce Wayne’s often told story of losing his parents in a back alley after a show.  

While this is clearly a ‘Rock and Hart’ vehicle in the middle of the summer – there are all kinds of great actors and talent voice work here, from Olivia Wilde, to Marc Maron, to Keanu Reeves and more.   DC League of SuperPets is certainly aimed right at kids – but parents can glean enough from the story to keep entertained for the run time.

The cartoon aspect of the genre allows the film to be extremely self-referential. Shout outs to Lucius Fox and Morgan Freeman, and the fact that glasses are Superman, and Krypto's only attempt at hiding their identity.

To me it sets the tone for a Bruce Wayne/Lex Luthor Wall Street-type story with dueling billionaires - or a story about a newspaper reporter who is never on scene - but has better stories and photos than anyone on this planet, daily.

DC League of SuperPets plays this week in Dawson Creek – except for Monday - when a local full length film Sukunka takes over the Mile Zero big screen for two shows - at 7 and 9pm.