Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Krypto the Super-Dog



Oh. My. Goodness. Somehow I missed the existence of the new Cartoon Network show Krypto the Super-Dog, from the famous DC animation team of Alan Burnett and Paul Dini!

For those who are unfamiliar with Krypto, Superman (or Superboy -- that DC stuff
always confuses me) used to have a dog. Who was also from Krypton. Who also could fly, use superstrength, and had X-ray vision and heat ray eyes. For whom Supes made a cute little cape and collar.

The new cartoon for some reason has Krypto living in a suburb of Metropolis with an ordinary boy named Kevin. Krypto can not only fly but talk, although he apparently only reveals this ability to Superman and Kevin. He has cute adventures. For example, exposure to red kryptonite makes him switch bodies with Kevin on a day when the boy is slated to attend a birthday party. Krypto also can talk with other animals. In today's episode he teamed up with Batman's dog Ace to defeat a plot by the Joker's hyenas Lou and Bud. (No, continuity with the other DC cartoons does not seem to be an object here. In case you were expecting some. In which case you are even sadder than I am.)

It's cute. It's funny. It's possibly the most non-violent superhero cartoon ever (in a non-lame way). But it's smart comedy for kids. The body-switching episode covered almost every implication you could think of, and the dog behavior in a kid's body was well thought out. (In Kevin's body, Krypto went to sit down and circled a chair several times before sitting down on the ground.) Batman's dog had a utility collar in which he kept endless amounts of clever gadgets, and interrogated a street rat snitch. If Krypto wags his tail too hard, he creates gale force winds. (Hey, I laughed!)

The primary reason I didn't realize the cartoon was on the air seems to be its airing time. Cartoon Network shows it at 9 AM on weekdays and 7 AM on Saturday. This is a cartoon for younger kids, and is being aired accordingly. But if you've got kids at home or you care to let your VCR do the watching, I think you'll find it's a pretty fun little show.

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