Man and animal unites to save the day in decent ‘DC League of Super-Pets’

DC Comics arguably doesn’t have anything that sits shoulder to shoulder with the endlessly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Oh sure, the DC Extended Universe — a co-venture with Warner Bros. Pictures — has produced some hit movies, but it sort of exists in fits and starts. And two recent big hits involving DC intellectual properties, 2019’s “Joker” and this year’s “The Batman,” exist outside the DCEU.

On the other hand, you have to admire DC’s willingness to have a laugh at its own expense. Look no farther for evidence than the acclaimed irreverent animated series “Harley Quinn,” which this week debuts its third season on HBO Max. But be warned: This four-letter-word-filled affair is not a cartoon for the little ones.

They very much are among the intended audience, however, for another animated endeavor, “DC League of Super-Pets,” a fairly fun romp scurrying into theaters this week. And it gets laughs by poking gentle fun at Justice League heroes including Batman and Aquaman, along with making playful references to the live-action movies that have come before it.

At its core, though, it’s about the years-long bond between Superman (John Krasinski, “Shrek the Third”) and his pooch, Krypto the Super-Dog (Dwayne Johnson, “Moana”), as well as the new one formed between the latter and fellow dog Ace (Kevin Hart, “The Secret Life of Pets”), a rescue animal looking for a more fulfilling existence outside the animal shelter he calls home.

Early on, it’s Superman and Krypto, who as a pup traveled with Kryptonian infant Kal-El, the future Man of Steel, to Earth, nuzzling with the child along the way.

In the present day, Krypto has to work to rouse a storing adult Clark Kent from a deep sleep. It’s justified, though, as it is “walk o’clock,” and soon enough Supes and Krypto are out in Metropolis for that walk — which mostly involves flying, as well as some light heroics.

Superman (voiced by John Krasinski) and his pooch, Krypto the Super-Dog (Dwayne Johnson), go for their version of a morning walk in “DC League of Super-Pets.” (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

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