|DC League of Super-Pets|
|Directed by||Jared Stern|
|Music by||Steve Jablonsky|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$86.7 million|
DC League of Super-Pets is a 2022 American computer-animated superhero comedy film based on the DC Comics superhero team Legion of Super-Pets. It is directed by Jared Stern, who co-wrote the script with John Whittington. The film follows Krypto (voiced by Dwayne Johnson), the pet dog of Superman, who teams up with shelter dog Ace (voiced by Kevin Hart) and other animals to rescue several captured superheroes from Lex Luthor. Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, Marc Maron, Keanu Reeves, Ben Schwartz, and Thomas Middleditch also star. It was animated by Animal Logic.
DC League of Super-Pets premiered in Los Angeles on July 27, 2022, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 29, 2022, by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed over $86 million worldwide on a $90 million budget.
During the destruction of the planet Krypton, a Kryptonian Labrador Retriever ends up in the escape pod of fellow infant survivor Kal-El, comforting him as they head towards Earth. Years later, the dog and Kal-El, now known as the famous superheroes, Krypto the Superdog and Superman, live in the city of Metropolis under their dual identities Bark and Clark Kent. Clark is a reporter and journalist at the Daily Planet, a newspaper company.
Clark is dating Lois Lane, a fellow journalist, whom Krypto is jealous of. Thinking that Krypto needs a friend, Clark heads to an animal shelter to find one for him. A Boxer named Ace is trying to escape the shelter, when Krypto stops him. Later, Superman and Krypto spot their archenemy, and the CEO of Lexcorp, Lex Luthor reeling in a meteorite strapped with orange kryptonite with a tractor beam, intending to gain superpowers. He is easily defeated by the two, who are aided by the superhero team, the Justice League.
Meanwhile, Lulu, a guinea pig tested by Luthor, manages to reel in a piece of kryptonite with her own tractor beam, which gives her superpowers. Unbeknownst to her, everyone else in the shelter also gains superpowers. Ace is now super strong and indestructible; a potbellied pig, "PB", can shrink and grow; Merton, a turtle, becomes super fast; and Chip, a squirrel, gains electrokinesis.
While at home, Superman and Krypto have an argument when the former plans to go on a date with Lois in order to propose marriage. However, Clark is captured by Lulu. Krypto tries to save him, but due to a piece of cheese he ate laced with green kryptonite, he loses his powers. Later, Krypto comes across the shelter pets who, besides Ace, agree to help him, with Ace only agreeing after Krypto blackmails him.
Meanwhile, Lulu recruits an army of guinea pigs, captures the Justice League, and heads to Stryker's Island in an effort to free Luthor. The shelter pets try to stop her, but fail miserably. They regroup in the Hall of Justice, where Ace tells Krypto he used to be the puppy of a family with a young child. One day the toddler nearly fell down the stairs, when Ace bit her arm and pulled her to safety. Upon seeing the bitemarks, the parents assumed Ace attacked her and sent him to the shelter. Ace, however, stands by his actions. While there, Whiskers, a kitty cat with the power to harness explosives and artillery from body traits, tries to stop them. The pack works together and defeat her, before heading to Stryker's Island to try and stop Lulu. At the prison, the shelter pets confront Lulu, but put themselves in prison cells when she threatens to harm Krypto. Lulu frees Luthor, who betrays her. She breaks out easily and decides to end the Justice League herself.
Krypto gets his powers back, asks his friends to stay out of harm's way and heads to LexCorp. He defeats the guinea pigs with ease while Lulu captures Luthor and launches a rocket from the building. This forces Krypto to choose between the Justice League or Lois, who is in a nearby helicopter. He decides to save Lois while his friends help the League. Enraged, Lulu puts the orange kryptonite in her brain, becoming a giant monster. The Justice League and the pets team up to stop her. Realizing she has become too powerful, Krypto decides to use the "Solar Paw Punch", a move that can destroy any supervillain, alongside the hero that uses it. The attack removes the kryptonite from Lulu's brain and traps her in a hot dog stand. Krypto accepts his fate, but Ace uses his invulnerability to save him.
In the aftermath, Krypto allows Clark to marry Lois, and the shelter pets, minus Lulu (who is kept by Luthor's assistant Mercy Graves in a mid-credits sequence), get adopted by the rest of the Justice League. Some time later, the pets have formed their own superhero team called the "League of Super-Pets".
In a post-credit sequence, Superman and Krypto encounter Black Adam along with his own super-powered dog Anubis.
In July 2018, Jared Stern was hired to write and direct an animated film about DC's Legion of Super-Pets. In January 2019, it was announced that Sam Levine would serve as co-director with Stern, and that Patricia Hicks had signed on as producer. Stern developed a pitch for the film after working in an animal shelter, where he noticed how older animals were less likely to be adopted and wondered "what if those pets got superpowers?".
In May 2021, it was announced that Dwayne Johnson would star as the voice of Krypto the Superdog. In addition to starring in the film, he, alongside Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, and Stern would be joining Hicks as producers; while John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, and Nicholas Stoller were set to executive produce.
In June 2021, additional cast members were announced, with Kevin Hart starring as the voice of Ace the Bat-Hound in the film. Additionally, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, and Keanu Reeves were cast in undisclosed roles. The following week, Jameela Jamil joined the film. By September 2021, Marc Maron had joined the cast as the voice of Lex Luthor. By November of the same year, additional roles were revealed to be: Chip, Green Lantern's squirrel (Luna); Merton, The Flash's turtle (Lyonne); PB, Wonder Woman's pig (Bayer), Superman (Krasinski) and newer additions, Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz. In March 2022, Reeves was revealed to be voicing Batman. The following month, it was revealed that Dascha Polanco would be voicing Jessica Cruz / Green Lantern. Three weeks before the film's release, the remainder of the cast for the Justice League and Lois Lane were announced in July 2022 through posters.
The animation was provided by Animal Logic in Sydney and Vancouver, which also provided animation for the Warner Animation Group's The Lego Movie series. Approximately 70 animators worked on the film. Animators worked on the film for 2 years, as well as an extra 3–4 months after the film's release date was delayed by a year.
The film's art style was inspired by Art Deco architecture and illustrator J.C. Leyendecker. Stern wanted the characters and environments to have both visible brushstrokes and "chunky heroic shapes". Character designers Mayumi Nose and Matt Williamês drew inspiration from the Superfriends animated series and Superman comics from the Silver Age of Comic Books for the designs of the characters, while still having a comedic edge to them.
The film's original score was composed by Steve Jablonsky.
On May 24, 2022, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Comics announced the release of merchandise inspired by the film in collaboration with Fisher-Price. The products include apparel, pet accessories, toys, collectibles, costumes, and furniture. McDonald's also announced that their Happy Meals will have toys based on the film.
In January 2019, the film was scheduled to be released on May 21, 2021. The release date was later pushed back to May 20, 2022, in favour of The Matrix Resurrections, another WB film starring Reeves. It was then pushed back to July 29, 2022 (taking the release of Black Adam, which also stars Johnson), among other films from Warner Bros. getting pushed due to production delays. The film's premiere was held on July 27. It is eligible to become available on HBO Max and/or premium video on demand 45 days after its theatrical release, under a plan announced by WarnerMedia in 2021, though subsequent announcements by new parent company Warner Bros. Discovery suggest that streaming timing will be considered on a "case-by-case" basis going forward.
As of August 8, 2022[update], DC League of Super-Pets has grossed $46.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $38.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $84.6 million.
In the United States and Canada, DC League of Super-Pets was released alongside Vengeance, and was projected to gross $25–30 million from 4,315 theaters on its opening weekend. The film made $9.3 million on its first day, including $2.2 million from Thursday previews. It went on to debut to $23 million, topping the box office, though coming in at the low-end of expectations. The film made $11.2 million in its sophomore weekend, finishing second behind newcomer Bullet Train.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 72% of 121 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.3/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Although it never quite soars, DC League of Super-Pets is a more than satisfactory diversion for families in search of four-legged fun." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 56 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
A video game based on the film titled DC League of Super-Pets: The Adventures of Krypto and Ace was announced during DC FanDome, and was released on July 15, 2022, and received mixed reviews.
The movie cost $90 million to produce, so it’ll need to resonate with young kids (and comic-book lovers) to become profitable.