Tag Archives: movie

My Thoughts on: DC League of Super-Pets (2022)

*Note: this review was originally published on Patreon for subscribers in August

While real life pushed my plans back by about a month, I finally got to see DC League of Super-Pets in theaters and let me tell you it was absolutely worth the wait.

As I said when I first mentioned this film in my “Films to see in July” list, I am a sucker for just about any movie Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson appears in and this movie was no exception. It helps that I’m a huge superheroes nerd and I thought it was cool to see Krypto the Super-Dog on film, albeit in animated form.

As movies go, DC League of Super-Pets relies on an old but very reliable formula: arrogant superhero (Krypto in this case) gets his world turned upside down, (temporarily) loses his powers, falls in with a gang of (newly empowered) misfits, and in the end learns what it means to truly be a hero while making some new friends along the way. It’s a formula that’s been done a thousand times but when it’s done properly you can’t go wrong with it and this movie does it right. 

While predictable (I mean it is a kid’s movie after all) DC League of Super-Pets is super cute (sorry, couldn’t resist saying that). The animation style is really good, and the villain is somehow hysterically funny and terrifying all at the same time. I never thought I would say that about an animated guinea pig, but Lulu is a perfect example of “absolute power corrupts absolutely” because when she finally gets her hands on some real power…oh boy does she run wild with it. 

I also really liked how the Justice League is presented in this movie. While we don’t see that much of them, the way they’re presented you instantly get a feeling for how each character is and I was particularly a fan of Wonder Woman, Batman and Aquaman in this film, though to be fair I liked them all. With word coming out that this film will start a new franchise, I’m hoping this means we’ll get to see more of them.

And of course there’s the shelter pets who get their own respective powers. I loved them all but my two big favorites were Ace the Bat Hound (whose story broke my heart) and PB the pig who got the power to change her size. I especially loved how PB hero-worshipped Wonder Woman and the whole scene where she got to meet her was just perfection.

There’s not too much more to say about this movie. Again, it was cute, an enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half. If you’re a fan of animated movies and/or superhero movies, then you will like DC League of Super-Pets. I’m excited to see where the story goes from here.

See also:

Animated Film Reviews

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My Thoughts on: The Deer King (2022)

*note: This review was originally published on Patreon

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve been a fan of anime for years and will take almost any opportunity I can to see it in theaters when the chance arrives. Having not seen an anime movie in theaters since Belle (way back at the beginning of this year), I leaped at the chance to see The Deer King when my local theater announced it was holding a screening. 

The Deer King is adapted from the Japanese fantasy series of the same name by Nahoko Uehashi and takes place in a fictional realm dominated by the Kingdom of Aquafa and the Empire of Zol, the latter having recently taken over the former. As tensions simmer between the two nations, the dreaded Black Wolf Fever breaks out, killing hundreds and threatening to kill many more if the mystery behind it isn’t solved. One of these mysteries revolves around how Van, a near-legendary fighter who once defended Aquafa, was infected by the fever and didn’t die. Neither did Yuna, a young girl who becomes like a daughter to Van. The answers to these mysteries will change many things for both nations.

Let’s start with the good things about The Deer King. First of all, the film is beautifully animated. The character design and backgrounds are all gorgeous. The Deer King was directed by Masashi Ando who previously worked on such films as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Your Name and the Studio Ghibli influence definitely shows throughout the film. Yuna in particular looks like she leapt straight out of a Miyazaki film (and I mean that in a good way). 

The story of The Deer King is….good, but that’s also where we run into one of the film’s big problems. I couldn’t put my finger on what was bothering me at first, but as the story progressed toward the end I felt more and more like we were missing a big chunk of the story. One of the film’s primary antagonists barely gets any screen time, and when he DOES appear it’s built up like this big moment and yet the audience has very little reason to care about this character, not to mention they know next to nothing about him or his motivations. Actually there’s several characters and plot points that this flaw applies to. It’s almost like when they wrote the adaptation of the fantasy series, they left out too much when putting the screenplay together. Put simply: vital exposition is missing and I’m sure a director’s cut with said exposition put back in would improve things greatly.

Also, one other thing that bothered me about The Deer King, as much as I enjoyed it, is that I feel like this film doesn’t quite know what it is. The Black Wolf Fever I mentioned earlier is referred to as both a spiritual curse and a real disease in almost the same breath at times, which was pretty confusing to me. Like, most of the time The Deer King feels like a battle against supernatural forces but then at other times it feels like a medical mystery drama. Both are enjoyable, but the way the movie kept flipping back and forth did it no favors.

However, while the story is flawed in its presentation, I did ultimately enjoy it. There are several good morals in The Deer King about letting go of the past, enjoying found family, and sacrificing for those you love. Basically, I’m willing to overlook the flaws and enjoy the overall whole. If The Deer King is playing near you, I recommend going to check it out, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Let me know what you think about The Deer King in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Animated Film Reviews

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook