Animal shelter

‘DC League of Super-Pets’ Origin Story Involves Real Animal Sanctuary

This story is part I’m so obsessed (sign up here)our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creatives about their work, careers and current obsessions.

The new DC animated film League of Super-Pets follows Superman’s dog, Krypto, who has powers just like his guardian, as he takes it upon himself to help the Man of Steel and the rest of Justice League when they are kidnapped.

To get help, Krypto recruits pets who, through an accident, gain their own superpowers. The film, which hits theaters Friday, features voice work from John Krasinski, Dwayne Johnson, Vanessa Bayer, Kate McKinnon, Diego Luna, Keanu Reeves and others.

While star power and a thrilling plot are enough to hook most of us, DC League of Super-Pets also has a touching origin story.

Jared Stern, who wrote, directed and produced the film, shared that he got the idea for the film while volunteering at an animal shelter with his wife while they were still dating. In front of the shelter was a room full of adorable kittens. But there was also a back room to the rescue with all the “lifers” who would probably never be adopted.

“Some of them are older. Some of them were going through various issues. And I was like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be harder for those to get adopted. And I don’t know why, but I thought, ‘What if they have superpowers?’ And maybe because they seemed so helpless, I wanted them to be powerful.” Stern said on CNET’s I’m So Obsessed Podcast. “That was the seed of the idea of ​​that day at the pet shelter and then thinking about the different DC Super-Pets and breaking it all together.”

Stern, who also created the Netflix animated series Green Eggs and Ham, co-wrote The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie, and had access to various Warner Bros. superhero properties. DC.

In the comics, Superman has a dog named Krypto who has all the same powers as Superman like heat vision and the ability to fly. But there are actually a bunch of superhero pets that are part of DC comics like Ace the Bat-Hound who, in DC League of Super-Pets, is voiced by Kevin Hart. One of Stern’s favorites was a turtle.

“There’s a pet that comes from a classic old-school DC comic called Merton McSnurtle the Turtle. This turtle ended up being Flash’s turtle and getting super fast,” Stern said.

Merton is portrayed by Natasha Leone in the film.

You can listen to my entire conversation with Stern in the podcast player above. He also discusses making Keanu Reeves, what he learned working at Disney, and his love of trail running.

Subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, CNET’s Connie Guglielmo and I meet an artist, actor, or creator to learn more about their work, career, and current obsessions.