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‘DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year’ (review)

herooftheyearThe girls are back, or should I say, have arrived in DC Animation Studio’s latest all ages movie DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year. New versions of Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Bumblebee and even Big Barda star in this fun action adventure for everyone.

The class members of Super Hero High is gunning for the trophy of Hero of the Year, as principal Amanda Waller puts the girls in charge of finding out what is wrong with the school’s amethyst crystal.

Don’t worry, you’ll get to see Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld make an appearance because the main villain for this story is the creepy angular forehead of Dark Opal and a female version of Eclipso!

As is the case with most DC stories, the company’s history of rich characters and tapestry of toys are always front and center, with nods to such familiar tropes as the Batcave and Poison Ivy’s green thumb.

The Super Hero High based web series, now a direct to video movie property, gives enough story and DC characters to make geeks of any age interested with the familiar sights, sounds and cast of a more traditional DC Earth.

It should be noted that this isn’t a no-boys allowed club, as some of the male characters include fellow students Beast Boy and Cyborg and father figures Jon Kent (Dean Cain) and Commissioner Gordon and Crazy Quilt (Tom Kenny).

An all ages movie like makes it hard to draw comparisons to what is happening on the big or small screens for DC these days, but no matter what the target audience, the writing for the animation and DC Super Hero Girls is strong and always fun to watch.

By staying true to the core nature of the characters, we get a good story with conflict and each team member contributing with their special powers. A layer of encouragement and friendship lesson, á la My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is sprinkled on top of this one for good measure.

The story is a very simple one as the evil Dark Opal and Eclipso have a master plan that involves the school’s amethyst crystal and Supergirl’s crystal to make a staff that will give them awesome powers. We get to travel not only to Gemworld, but to Wonder Woman’s home of Themyscira in this picture.

Teen Titan Bumblebee (Teala Dunn) steals the show but also proves herself as heroic as the next girl as she beats the odds against a drained power battery as she gets stuck at a diminished size. Batgirl (Mae Whitman) uses an Oracle computer to get to the bottom of the mystery and helps Bumblebee regain stature. Wonder Woman (Grey Griffin) deals with the pressures of her mother with grace, and Supergirl (Anais Fairweather) is having trouble adjusting to Earth and The Kents, but has a Kryptonian crystal from her mother to keep her company.

When Dark Opal and Eclipso capture Hippolyta, The Kents and Commissioner Gordon, the team bands together to protect their family members. These actions go a long way in determining who gets the coveted Hero of the Year award.

Meanwhile, back at school, Hawkgirl is tutoring Beast Boy, whom she insists needs a horse whisperer to be tamed.

Boys or girls can and should entertained by this fun story, and I surely hope young ladies and daughters are brought in to the world of comics with these high school stories. That may or may not be the intent, it may be to sell toys, but regardless I can’t be mad at this attempt. The tone is light and positive and encouraging, the story was deeper than I had expected, and now I may have a new favorite Teen Titan in Bumblebee.

Keep it up, DC, if not for us, do it for the kids!

Learn more about DC Super Hero Girls at dcsuperherogirls.com

DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year is available on Digital HD and on DVD

 

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