Cartoon Network drops the trailer for its new movie, DC Super Hero Girls: Sweet Justice. The franchise originally launched in 2015 as a series of YouTube shorts distributed by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The channel has produced over 100 shorts, and accumulated more than half a million subscribers, over five seasons since. While many classic DC characters have appeared throughout the series, Supergirl,Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Batgirl, Katana, and Bumblebee, who attend Super Hero High School together, are the main protagonists.
DC has produced multiple well-received animated shows centering around teams of superheroes, such as Justice League, Teen Titans, and Young Justice. However, women and girls have made up the minority of team members throughout the shows, which the series have occasionally pointed out. A season 1 episode of Young Justice involves the Justice League nominating new members, and Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl reference the fewer women in the League. In a season 2 episode, Batgirl, Wonder Girl, Miss Martian, and Bumblebee call out Nightwing for only dispatching an all-female response team because their adversary, Queen Bee, can control the minds of men. While DC Super Hero Girls has brought life to an all-female DC super story, the expansion from YouTube to a network means a major investment in growing the series.
Led by award-winning executive producer Lauren Faust (My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic), DC Super Hero Girls: Sweet Justice will premiere as a one-hour movie on Cartoon Network, followed by a DC Super Hero Girls series that will air on Sundays at 4 pm ET/PT. Check out the trailer and official description below (via Deadline):
“The world may know them as Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl, but not-so-typical teenagers Diana, Kara and Barbara, alongside their Super Hero friends have much more to deal with than just protecting the citizens of Metropolis from some of the most sinister school-aged Super-Villains of the DC Universe. After all, being teens is tough enough, what with school, friends, family and the chaos that comes with managing a social life. But add super powers and a secret identity to the mix, and things can get a lot more complicated.”
The cast includes voice actors from original series Tara Strong (Batgirl) and Grey Griffin (Wonder Woman), as well as Kari Wahlgren (Zatanna), Nicole Sullivan (Supergirl), Kimberly Brooks (Bumblebee), and Myrna Velasco (Green Lantern/Jessica Cruz). As seen in the trailer, the series will take place in Metropolis, and Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy appear to be adversaries, along with other iconic DC villainesses. The YouTube shorts will reportedly continue to run alongside the television series.
The project, fresh with new animation styles, looks to be following in the footsteps of other world famous all-girl crime fighting shows like Powerpuff Girls and Totally Spies. With the core cast still in discovering their powers, fighting enemies, and being forced to overcome the trepidations of surviving high school, the show has the opportunity to empower Cartoon Network's female audience through formidable heroes with more relatable problems.
The success and hype behind women-led DC features like Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Birds of Prey, and Batgirl have helped tip the scale for better representation of women in superhero features. DC Super Hero Girls coming to network television hopefully indicates more progress at a faster rate.