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DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: INTERGALACTIC GAMES ANIMATED FEATURE REVIEW

DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games
Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
Release Date: May 2, 2017 - Digital; May 23, 2017 - DVD

Synopsis: Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Bumblebee and Katana square off against Korugar Academy in the Intergalactic Games, but trouble is in the air as Lena Luthor takes advantage of the gathering of the Supers to enact her villainous plan. It’s up to the DC Super Hero Girls to fight the forces of evil and protect their school. With Wonder Woman’s strength, Supergirl’s speed, Batgirl’s strategic knowledge, Poison Ivy’s ability to make things grow, Harley Quinn’s energy, Bumblebee’s ability to shrink, and Katana’s fearless personality… anything is possible.

DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic GamesDC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games features some of the top voice actors in the industry. Grey Griffin (Wonder Woman), Tara Strong (Harley Quinn/Poison Ivy), Anais Fairweather (Supergirl), Mae Whitman (Batgirl), Teala Dunn (Bumblebee), and Stephanie Sheh (Katana) join forces to portray the youthful versions of some of the world’s best known Super Heroes. Cecilia Aranovich Hamilton directs from a script by Shea Fontana. Jennifer Coyle serves as producer with Sam Register as Executive Producer.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
– “That’s My Girl” by Fifth Harmony Music Video (DVD only)
– Animated Shorts
· New Beginnings
· Hero of the Month: Supergirl
· Batgirl vs. Supergirl
· Quinn-tessential Harley
· Doubles Trouble
· Franken-Ivy
· Dude, Where’s My Invisible Jet


DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games Review
By Andrei Logigan, James Harvey

DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games is another solid entry in the DC Super Hero Girls franchise, which has continued to be such a fun, enjoyable spin on these classic DC Comics icons since its inception. While it feels a little rushed, it's still a movie that fans will undoubtedly get a kick out of.

Just to quickly provide some background on DC Super Hero Girls, the franchise started in 2015 with a series of animated shorts released online, as well as a line of action figures. It's been an incredibly successful venture so far, resulting in comics, novels and animated features (and so much more) along the way. As the name suggests, DC Super Hero Girls focuses primarily on super-heroines from the DC Comics Universe, with the likes of Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl usually being in the spotlight. And this is all set in a unique continuity where these heroic characters (and many more) attend Super Hero High alongside others who are usually regularly depicted as more villainous (like Harley Quinn or Poison Ivy, to name a couple). It's a neat idea to mix these characters together like this. While the franchise is aimed at a younger audience and primarily at girls, I think most of the animated projects released so far have a certain charm that makes them entertaining enough for nearly any audience. Whether it's adults watching these with their children, or on their own like myself, I think the cartoons are enjoyable, delightful and actually pretty fun.

To swing this back to DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games, the movie rolls along nicely for the most part, though the third act feels a little rushed. I think most of the characters are handled well enough, and the movie does a decent job at juggling this rather large cast. However there are times when the cast just feels too large, and the movie too crowded. As a result, not all the characters get an equal amount of screen-time, though they still get some nice side-stories with pretty satisfying conclusions. The story is fairly simple - the Intergalactic Games are starting and Super Hero High is competing against Korugar Academy. Bringing in the Korugar students resulted in some fun conflict for the movie, especially since their ranks includes fan-favorites like Blackfire and Lobo under the guidance of their principal Sinestro, resulting in some great moments between their school and our heroes.

Wonder Woman (voiced by Grey Griffin) gets a good story line, with her trying to appease Ambassador Bek (John DiMaggio) and receive the title of ambassador herself. This leads to some pretty amusing scenes throughout the movie but I didn't care that much for Hippolyta's role in all of this. I think the tensions between Diana and her mother are getting a little too frequent. It seems like every other project made these days has a scene where the two have different views in regards to something or other. The way Diana chooses to help her friends at the risk of loosing this opportunity was predictable but in-line with the morals this series tries to offer. I liked how the movie still focused on Diana's story but it didn't overshadow the other sub-plots going on.

Personally, the best part of the movie was the focus on Starfire and her relationship with her sister, Blackfire. Both characters are voiced by Hynden Walch. From the beginning you can see Star being her usual optimistic self, looking forward to the reunion with her sister, who unfortunately doesn't seem to feel the same way. It can get a little emotional at times and I was pleasantly surprised to see them starting to get along better by the end of the movie. There's also that scene where Blackfire chooses to stay behind and help her sister, instead of running away with her classmates, which was nice to see. That's something we never really had in other animated projects, so it's a pretty refreshing change of pace.

Just to note, Warner Bros. released a DC Super Hero Girls webisode online shortly after the release of this movie, titled "Day of Fun-Ship", which acts as a nice epilogue to Blackfire and Starfire's subplot.

Also thrown into the mix are the Female Furies, lead by Granny Goodness, who are trying to get their revenge on Big Barda for joining Super Hero High. I admit I wasn't really in any hurry of seeing these characters again, and their subplot in this movie doesn't really feel all that important. Besides, we know Barda won't be swayed into rejoining the team and stay with Super Hero High. If that wasn't enough, there's another sub-plot going on, with the introduction of the Metal Men, invented by Doc Magnus. Only three of these robots appear in the movie (fans of the comics might know there are usually six of them), and only Platinum (also voiced by Grey Griffin) really gets a chance to stand out. Her arc is decent - she's saved from destruction, but Lena plans on using her as a weapon. As you can likely guess, Platinum ends up choosing to side with the heroes and helps them in the final battle.

Lena (Romi Dames) is a somewhat recent addition to the cast - she debuted in the web-series earlier this year - as the school's new IT girl, and I liked how they avoided mentioning her last name until this movie. I presume even the target audience thought there was something suspicious about her prior to all this. The online shorts featured her as more of a villain, with the creation of the Kryptomites, but her name was still a mystery. The big reveal that Lena is actually Lex Luthor's sister was handled pretty well. I also thought it was neat how her surname was Thurol in this, since I expected her to use the classic Rohtul spelling. Her creations, the Kryptomites and army of robots were pretty cool and did result in some nice action scenes towards the movie's climax. I did find it kind of odd they didn't bring in the other versions of Kryptomites that have appeared in the shorts, like the Red version, which could've made things a little more interesting.

Then we also get Brainiac (Fred Tatasciore), who turns out has been helping Lena with some of her plans, but he has some plans of his own once he arrives on out planet. It's with his introduction that the movie kind of falls apart - granted the action scenes are pretty entertaining, but they get tedious fast enough and just feel like filler to make the movie last longer. Perhaps only hinting at Brainiac's arrival and having Lena as the villain of this movie might have been a better way to go around it. The last scene of the movie even shows Brainiac escaping and vowing revenge on the heroes. The events of this story might make his return a little more personal, but but he definitely could've been saved for the next feature.

Apart from all this, the actual Intergalactic Games are fun. It was nice seeing these characters competing in some pretty interesting events, and I think they used their powers and abilities in creative ways to achieve their goals. And of course, Harley Quinn (Tara Strong) and Beast Boy (Greg Cipes)'s color commentary during the events manage to garner a good chuckle or two. The humor in DC Super Hero Girls works most of the time, but I like how the movies in this franchise are trying to focus more on action and character development rather than just comedy, as sometimes the web shorts can be a shade too comedy-driven.

All things considered, DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games is a pretty good movie. Younger viewers will definitely find plenty to enjoy here, and might even get a kick out of the new characters the film introduces. Plus, the DVD release comes with a fun music video and another batch of DC Super Hero Girls animated shorts, which are great to have on a physical media release. Still, if I had to compare, I personally found the DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year animated feature a shade better. It seemed to balance all the plots and characters in a more appealing way and didn't feel as busy as this one. That said, DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games is still a solid, fun movie and another successful addition to the franchise. DC Super Hero Girls fans will definitely enjoy it, and it's also a great movie for those looking for a safe, all ages DC Comics movie to show to a younger audience. Recommended