If you’re surprised I’m discussing a preschool superhero show about crimefighting kittens…hi, welcome to my site.
While “grown-up” superhero fare seems to either favor the villains or uses superhero characters in a comedy that really didn’t need to be about superheroes, the kids shows seem to be more interested in having heroic heroes versus bad villains. Batwheels, a show about Batman’s cars coming to life to fight crime, has a more fun take on Batman than anything being put out for adults outside of that Webtoon that’s just about the Batman family in a slice-of-life between cases kind of story. I live in a world where the Batmobile is more interesting that Batman. What is even life anymore? You can’t tell a Batman story without a gory body count in the hundreds anymore?
Disney Junior, despite the current directions of the MCU and the main Marvel comics, now has three superhero shows. I couldn’t get into PJ Masks but there so much worldbuilding in this show for elementary school kids that I’m surprised MatPat hasn’t done at least three videos on it by now. Spidey And His Amazing Friends, for all its adaptation errors, seems to be doing a better job with Peter and pals than the mainline comics that kicked kids to the curb a long time ago. Other attempts, like the odd-choice filled The Rocketeer that decided to be a kids show about the descendant of a superhero their target audience never heard of and the original audience wanted to see something besides an underrated movie, haven’t done as well, but now we have SuperKitties.
Created by Paula Rosenthal, SuperKitties takes place in Kittydale, as four kittens follow the PJ Masks idea of secret crimefighters, and the Puppy Dog Pals idea of animals saving the day, just replace the pug dogs with kittens. The show just started on Disney Junior, and their YouTube channel has three stories to tease the new show, two from episode one (because that’s how kids shows and comics run now…not doing a full-length tale) and one from episode two, possibly more by the time you read this but I’m going to show the two from episode 1. After all, I’ll be surprised if you indulge me that long. So I can show what I’m talking about for as long as they keep these. I’m really hoping they fixed that one part of the intro I didn’t like, but let’s see how this stacks up as a superhero show. I’m already expecting to say this isn’t for me, but that doesn’t affect the quality of the show itself.
Episode 1, Story 1: “The Great Yarn Caper”
ARGH! NO THEY DIDN’T! Okay, intro review first! Holding “Kittieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees” for that long at that octave is a torture method! One of the ads had this at half the length and that was just fine. At some point you just want it to shut up! That is not a good way to start your theme song!
As a connoisseur of suit-up transformation sequences (who needs spell check to spell “connoisseur” correctly), I kind of like this one. This show is totally banking on the cute kittie angle, like they made a superhero show out of cute cat videos. Oh, tell me that wasn’t her inspiration. Unless she tells me herself I ain’t believing it. That’s not a bad thing, mind you. Remember, Disney Junior targets pre-and elementary school age kids. If you’re trying to appeal to them that’s not a wrong place to start. Somebody likes those things.
The episode also gives us a good view of the SuperKitties’ powers as they chase Cat Burglar. (Not a well-imagined name but points for accuracy. He’s a cat who is also a cat burglar.) Buddy apparently does the Sonic Spin, Bitsy has superspeed, Sparks doesn’t seem to have powers so much as technology, and…Ginny’s the leader. I have seen ads that shows she also has superstrength, which maybe we’ll see in the second story of episode 1. You get a good sense of Bitsy’s character since she’s part of the moral of the episode, that it’s not nice to take someone’s favorite thing from them. It’s not a bad start, but let’s see what the second story of the episode has in store.
Episode 1, Story 2: “Get The Boot”
One good thing to the TV version should be not having to put up with the ear slayer that starts the theme song nearly as often as watching it story by story on Disney Junior. Another good reason to just look at the two stories. It’s not even that she’s a bad singer; she’s quite good and I do like the style of the song. It’s just that way too long part at the beginning and that glass-shattering final note that should be on a Memorex commercial parody.
Okay, Bitsy’s running gag in the suit-ups…adorable. Again, that’s what this show is going for and it succeeds. Whether that’s your thing or not is another story, but I do like when a show succeeds at what it’s trying to do…depending on what it’s trying to do of course. Lucky it’s a good thing for this show for the first episode. Also…brave,smart, strong, and kind are what I want out of my superheroes. Note the lack of “quirky” or “brooding revenge driven rage monster”.
Yes, I laughed at the reveal music “and Otto helped”. It’s an interesting way to introduce that episode’s villain, though we saw them before the official reveal, but I do hope they don’t do that every time unless it’s a new villain. That tells the kids this is their first appearance.
So, Bitsy is going to spell out the episode’s moral like some of the old Filmation shows. I can get behind that if done right. Her using a diary to give out the moral is fine, a bit of reinforcement of the theme. We still didn’t get to see Ginny’s powers, but we do get some more gadgets. This one was Sparks’ story and I see a pattern. The kitties get a quick intro to the episode’s moral, then the villain is someone wronged who has a rather extreme response and the heroes have to set them back on the right track. This may or may not be true for the rest of the villains but if it is, consider the target age group and it’s not a terrible approach. They did it better than Superfriends season 1, before it rebooted into a better show. So win for the cuddly kitten crimefighters.
I went ahead and watched the third story, the first part of episode 2, “Fireworks Fright”. Here’s a link if you want to watch while it’s still up. It continues the show’s main theme of being kind to everyone, something the “adult” heroes seem incapable of unless you share their viewpoint. Overall, SuperKitties is a really good superhero show for kids, teaching kindness while also having a decent superhero adventure. As for me, this is one of those shows I’d watch if nothing else was on and this was what I stumbled on, but I don’t know that I’d go out of my way to watch it. I have no problem with that. I’m not the target audience and I don’t demand that everything in existence play to my tastes alone, like the everything for meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeow crowd. (Sorry, blame what I’ve been watching all afternoon.) The show works for the target age group and gives them a superhero show they can enjoy with heroes they can aspire to be. That’s more than what I can say for the superhero shows that actually target adults.
[…] a recent Disney Junior animated series about kittens who are secret superheroes in a human world. I recently did a review of the first few episode of the show, which is why I got concerned listening to my favorite wake-up […]