KRYPTO THE SUPERDOG: THE COMPLETE SERIES
Studio: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release Date: DVD – September 27, 2022; also available on Digital and HBO Max
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Description: In 2005, a new breed of Super Hero claimed its place of prominence among Saturday morning cartoons with the premiere of Krypto The Superdog Created by Chris Mitchell, the cute cartoon follows the adventures of the title character – Superman’s beloved pooch – who also acquires the powers afforded his original Earthbound master. Alongside allies like Ace The Bat-Hound and Streaky the Supercat, Krypto fights the forces of evil, which include the animal companions of Lex Luthor and Catwoman. And now the entire series is available on DVD as Krypto The Superdog: The Complete Series!
Sam Vincent (Ninjago, Sausage Party) voiced the title character to lead the robust cast that included Brian Drummond (Monster Beach) as Streaky, Scott McNeil (X-Men: Evolution) as Ace the Bat-Hound, Alberto Ghisi (Trick ‘r Treat) as Kevin Whitney, Tabita St. Germain (My Little Pony franchise) as Andrea, Terry Klassen (Dragon Ball Z) as Tusky Husky, Ellen Kennedy (Polly Pocket) as Brainy Barker, Michael Dobson (The Deep) as Bulldog. Additional cast members included Peter Kelamis (Beyond, Riverdale) as Tail Terrier, Mark Oliver (Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitsu) as Mechanikat, Trevor Devall (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe) as Hot Dog, and Nicole Bouma (Powerpuff Girls Z) as Snooky Wookums.
Scott Jeralds (Static Shock) and Alan Burnett (Batman: The Animated Series) served as supervising producers, and Linda Steiner (Pound Puppies) and Paul Dini (Superman: The Animated Series) were producers on the series. Sander Schwartz was the executive producer. Burnett and Dini also served as story editors, while Jeralds directed all 39 episodes of Krypto the Superdog.
By James Harvey
Directed primarily toward younger viewers, Krypto the Superdog spotlights the titular canine’s adventures in Metropolis with his human pal, Kevin Whitney, having adventures and helping those in need. While the show didn’t really break the mold, it was nevertheless an enjoyable cartoon for the younger kids that also held a neat little nod or two to the older viewers. With the entire series now available on DVD, viewers both new and old have the chance (again) to catch up with Krypto.
Krypto The Superdog: The Complete Series follows the adventures of Superman’s beloved pooch, who also happens to have the powers afforded his original Earthbound master. Alongside allies like Ace The Bat-Hound and Streaky the Supercat, Krypto fights the forces of evil, which include the animal companions of Lex Luthor and Catwoman, and help out those in need. The series was created by Chris Mitchell and developed by producers Alan Burnett and Paul Dini, lead by Sam Vincent as the voice of Krypto and Alberto Ghisi as his boy companion, Kevin.
To expand a bit more on Krypto The Superdog‘s premise, which the first episode of the series lays out, the cartoon follows the powerful pup’s journey from his early (adorable) days on Krypton to his current status as a heroic hooch. Narrated by Krypto himself, we follow the test pilot dog aboard a malfunctioning rocket ship built by Superman’s father, which eventually makes it to Earth. Now a full-grown dog, he searches for new friends and families, which he finds in Kevin Whitney, a young boy who discovers Kypto has superpowers. Thanks to a special intergalactic communicator, Kevin’s able to speak with Krypto, who uses his powers of super-strength, heat vision and flying to help the people of Metropolis.
From there the series builds up a supporting cast pretty quickly. Krypto and Kevin are eventually joined by the likes of Ace the Bathound (Batman’s caped canine), Streaky, the neighbor’s cat, and the super pets of the Dog Star Patrol on their adventures to save those in need. Together they spend the series solving problems and offer aid and understanding to whoever needs it. It’s a fun, light premise that results in some cute adventures for the younger crowd to enjoy with some life lessons mixed in, but there’s still the odd gag or joke directed at the older set. For example, there’s a chuckle-worthy gag with the pronunciation of Kevin’s neighbor’s name, Andrea, that fans of Batman: The Animated Series will appreciate.
Looking at the series as a whole and it’s quick to see that Krypto The Superdog is a legitimately solid cartoon from top to bottom, one with good, wholesome tales, really nice looking animation and a clear understanding of its primary audience. While the cartoon might not have the wide, cross-generational appeal of some of DC Comics’ other animated efforts, it’s obviously not concerned to be. Yes, there’s some clever writing and nods that parents and older viewers will catch, but the show’s target remains squarely on the younger audience. If anything, Krypto The Superdog is a rousing success for just how well it pulls in its earmarked viewers with its appealing premise, but it’s still watchable, at the very least, for parents and older spectators.
And really, it’s actually a little sharper than that, which isn’t a surprise given that Dini and Burnett (both veterans of assorted DC Comics’ animated series, including the aforementioned Batman: The Animated Series, among others) are on staff. Stuff like the show’s take on Ace the Bathound – here portrayed as so over-the-top intensely serious that it becomes a legitimately solid gag – or the Dog Star Patrol – whose headquarters is shaped like a fire hydrant – definitely land for younger viewers and should too for the adults in the room. Even one of the show’s recurring villains, Snooky Wookums, ends up being a real treat whenever she pops up.
In the end, Krypto The Superdog is still basically kiddie fare, but fare that’s still a pretty fine time for those outside the intended demographic. That said, any multi-episode marathon watching might push some patience. Episodes run about 11-12 minutes and generally zip by pretty quickly, so it actually takes a little while before the tedium kicks in. As long as older viewers realize and understand this show isn’t directed at them, despite the odd joke, they too should be able to pull some fun out of Krypto The Superdog.
If the show’s scripts don’t work for the older audience, and there’s no fault here with that, the animation just might. It’s bright, smooth and colorful, and clearly reminiscent of the old Hanna-Barbara cartoons of the 1960s and 1980s. From the animation style – particularly the background work and some of the character designs – to the sound effects, it almost plays like an updated take on those classic cartoons. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise given that veteran Hanna-Barbera designer Iwao Takamoto served as a creative consultant on Krypto The Superdog.
Krypto the Superdog isn’t a game-changer, but what it does it does really well. It’s a great cartoon for its audience, with bright animation and light plots that have characters working together to solve problems and help out others. It’s got some great messages and an enjoyable cast of characters that viewers will easily latch on to. The show might not work for everyone, but it succeeds in what it sets out to do.
And now, the entire Krypto the Superdog animated series, previously available on digital media and on a few single-disc DVD titles, can be picked up on physical media for the first time courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Long overdue, all 39 episodes are laid out in a five-disc DVD collection, though no bonus features are included.
Thankfully, the studio has put solid effort into the DVD’s video and audio quality. Despite being in standard definition, the show looks fantastic. It’s as bright, crisp and clear as the format allows, with only minor banding issues, but those are hardly noticeable. Krypto the Superdog is also presented here in its proper widescreen format and has not been cropped down to full screen. The audio handled well here, too, though doesn’t make any waves. It’s a simple center-focused transfer with occasional flourishes of directional audio for some of the show’s bigger moments. All in all, it’s an admirable showing for the DVD format.
The lack of bonus features isn’t a surprise, and isn’t remotely a deal-breaker, but a slight disappointment considering Krypto the Superdog‘s old single-disc DVD releases had some extra material. Also a shame is the lack of a Blu-ray release, considering the series is available for digital purchase in high definition elsewhere, but it’s somewhat understandable given this DVD title was angled as a tie-in product for Warner Bros. Pictures’ recent big-screen DC League of Super-Pets animated movie. Regardless, there still should’ve been a Blu-ray release.
However, if consumers are looking for more Krypto the Superdog tales after digging into this DVD collection, DC Comics released a six-issue tie-in comic based on the cartoon. It’s currently available in both print and digital, as a collection or in single-issue form, and features more good-humored romps starring the cartoon’s cast of four-legged friends.
A delightful cartoon for younger audiences, Krypto The Superdog: The Complete Series finally brings the entire cartoon to DVD and the end result is a fairly satisfying one. The show won’t appeal to everyone, though some of the parents and older viewers will likely find some enjoyment here, but it definitely hits all the right marks for the kids in the crowd. Plus, despite the limitations of the format, this five-disc DVD collection is unquestionably the best release available for the canine cartoon on physical media, and the one fans should aim to scoop up. Be it a long-time admirer of the cartoon or looking for suitable all-ages entertainment, Krypto The Superdog: The Complete Series comes Recommended.
Krypto The Superdog: The Complete Series is available to own on DVD and Digital. Share your thoughts here! Please note Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided The World’s Finest with a copy of this title to review.
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