The main focus is on Jonathan Kent (Jack Dylan Grazer): an ordinary junior high student, growing up in Smallville. He has all the typical pre-teen kid problems. He struggles on the baseball team, he’s bullied by some of the other students, and he wonders why his parents seem more devoted to their jobs than they do to him. Is reporting really that great? Especially his dad, Clark Kent (Travis Willingham). He always seems to be running off to cover a new story.
Oh, yeah—Jonathan has no idea his dad is Superman. Then one day, all of a sudden, one of his own superpowers kicks in, and the cat’s out of the bag. So, Superman takes Jonathan to Gotham City to see his friend, Batman (Troy Baker), who can give him a thorough analysis and see if there’s anything to be concerned about, now that his powers are manifesting. Jonathan is thrilled to meet Batman. Batman’s son… not so much.
Jonathan Kent was raised in a loving home, with two loving parents who tried to give him as ordinary a life as possible, in spite of his super heritage. Damian Wayne (Jack Griffo) was raised by Ra’s al Ghul to be an assassin from the time he was just a baby. For Jonathan, even the people who bully him could eventually become friends, given the right circumstances. For Damian, even the people who seem to be friends are not to be trusted. Needless to say, the two don’t really hit it off upon first meeting.
But then danger rears its ugly head—as danger is wont to do. Some sinister, new threat has taken out the entire Justice League, including Superman and Batman. In fact, soon there are few people left anywhere who aren’t taken out by this threat—except, of course, for our two Super Sons. Now, they’re forced to put aside their differences and work together, to save their dads, and save the world—as Jonathan slowly discovers one new power at a time.
A little corny and clichéd? Absolutely. Marvelously fun to watch? Very much so. The evil they’re called upon to thwart barely matters in this movie. It’s all about the characters. I’m a sucker for a good enemies-to-friends story, and the dynamic between the two leads is what makes the whole thing work.
As a side note, did you know that Damian Wayne canonically has a pet cow called Bat-Cow? I did not know this, but Bat-Cow makes an appearance in this film, and it makes me unreasonably happy. If they decide to make a sequel to League of Super Pets, I really hope they find a way to work Bat-Cow in somewhere.
As per usual, special features on the Blu-ray include two classic episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. In this case, it’s the two-part saga, “The Demon’s Quest,” which introduces us to Ra’s al Ghul. I still remember watching this one for the first time when I was around nine years old, and it definitely holds up today.
As far as character arcs go, it helps that the script is by Jeremy Adams. He’s an excellent writer, and as I’ve said before, I always look forward to his films. Director Matt Peters has also worked on several DC Animated films that I’ve enjoyed in the past. So, there’s talent all over the place in this movie.
Al in all, this is a good film with great character arcs for characters we don’t normally get to explore. If you’re a fan of the DC Universe Animated Films, you’ll want to check this one out.
Creative Team: Matt Peters (director), Jeremy Adams (writer), James Krieg (producer), Kip Brown (post producer), and Rick Morales (supervising producer)
Released By: Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment
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