Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

The Shaggy Dog

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
4 out of 10
Extras Rating:
6 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: PG

Starring:
Tim Allen as Dave Douglas
Kristin Davis as Rebecca Douglas
Zena Grey as Carly Douglas
Spencer Breslin as Josh Douglas
Danny Glover as Ken Hollister
Robert Downey Jr. as Dr. Kozak
Joshua Leonard as Justin Forrester
Shawn Pyfrom as Trey
Bess Wohl as Dr. Gwen Lichtman
Jarrad Paul as Larry
Annabelle Gurwitch as Justin Forrester's Attorney
Jane Curtin as Judge Claire Whittaker
Philip Baker Hall as Lance Strictland
Joel Moore as Pound Employee
Jeanette Brox as Janey
Kevin Cooney as Doctor
Rhea Seehorn as Lori
Craig Kilborn as Neighbor

Special Features:
Bone-Tickling Bloopers

Deleted Scenes

Audio Commentary with Director Brian Robbins and Producer David Hoberman (Widescreen Version Only)

Bark-Along Bone-us Feature for Your Dog to Enjoy

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.40:1) and Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French (Dolby 2.0 Surround)
Spanish (Dolby 2.0 Surround)
French, Spanish Subtitles
Disney's FastPlay
Running Time: 99 Minutes

Synopsis:
This is a remake of the 1959 film "The Shaggy Dog" and the 1976 film "The Shaggy D.A.". The following is from the DVD cover:

"Comedian Tim Allen unleashes all the outrageous fun in this doggone hilarious update of Disney's comedy classic! The adventures begin when workaholic Dave Douglas (Allen) is accidentally transformed into a lovable dog. Now as Dave digs to uncover the mystery, this overworked dad wants nothing more than to stop fetching ... and get back to fathering. But before he does, he's about to discover that being man's best friend gives him a curious insight into what it takes to be a great dad! The tail-wagging fun continues with bonus features to howl about including bone-tickling bloopers, deleted scenes, and a special bark-along bone-us feature dogs will love!"

"The Shaggy Dog" is rated PG for some mild rude humor.

The Movie:
"The Shaggy Dog" did have a few chuckle-worthy moments. Towards the end of the film when Dave and a bunch of genetic experiments break out of the lab, they go on a ride down the highway that generated a lot of laughs. There were a few other laughs here and there, but not as many as you might hope for.

Still, my kids loved the film. My daughter and son loved the movie any time Tim Allen acted like a dog or when the dog actually appeared on the screen. My younger kid got bored here and there during the "serious" moments, but overall he enjoyed it. That's about the only thing that makes "The Shaggy Dog" worthwhile. The rest is doggone awful.

At one point early in the film, Tim Allen is seen in a courtroom. In the audience are Danny Glover and Robert Downey, Jr. Playing the Judge is Jane Curtin. At this point I thought, "Ooh, this is going to be good. What a cast!" Earlier in the film we had also seen Kristin Davis as Allen's wife and Craig Kilborn as his neighbor. Throw in Alan Menken doing the music and you certainly have an A-Team of talent assembled. Unfortunately, it never panned out. Kilborn acted like an idiot, Curtin was barely used, and Glover barely had any screen time. And I don't know why in the world Downey took this role (or was cast in it for that matter). In short, "The Shaggy Dog" never lived up to its potential and the talent they recruited was wasted.

Disney needs to forget about doing remakes of its old films and start doing more original material. This is simply a poor rehash of the previous (and better) films "The Shaggy Dog" and "The Shaggy D.A." At least the 1976 sequel has the decency to continue the storyline from its predecessor rather than remake it. They also stuck with the magical theme rather than try to use scientific explanations for the transformation. This 2006 film could have easily continued the story from the previous films and broken new ground. Instead the same old jokes and storylines are retread and they are done so less amusingly. Actually, a few new jokes are thrown in. We get to see Tim Allen lift his leg and pee in a urinal, make a joke about his wife smelling like she's in heat, have a dog nuzzle his crotch, and make a crack about how in the pound his cellmate sold him for dog biscuits. The only thing missing were bestiality and poop jokes. These crude jokes that do appear sail right over the heads of young kids (except for the pee jokes), but they were a little much for a Disney family film. Take note of the PG rating.

Besides being generally unfunny to adults, "The Shaggy Dog" is overly sappy much of the time. For a movie that features a man scratching, eating out of a bowl, and popping up naked in public, it takes itself way too seriously at times. There are numerous Hallmark card moments where the sentimental music plays and the dog looks doe-eyed while Allen says he wants to be a better man-dog. My eyes ached from all the rolling they did.

The Extras:
For a Disney kid's film, this DVD is rather light on the bonus features. Here's what you'll find:

Bone-Tickling Bloopers – This is about 2 and a half minutes of Tim Allen making faces at the camera and clowning around on the set. It's you standard blooper reel.

Deleted Scenes – There are four deleted scenes and none of them are particularly noteworthy. One shows more of the sick boss at the pharmaceutical company. Another scene shows an alternate ending where Robert Downey Jr. grows a dog head in the courtroom. It wasn't a particularly good effect and was wisely dropped. The other two deleted scenes were rather minor.

Audio Commentary with Director Brian Robbins and Producer David Hoberman (Widescreen Version Only) – This is your standard audio commentary and it was pretty dry. The creators talked a lot about the technical aspects of making the film and writing the script. They really needed Tim Allen in to spice things up.

Bark-Along Bone-us Feature for Your Dog to Enjoy – This was a baffling feature. You can play a music video for a re-write of the "Whoop, There It Is" song. If that weren't bad enough, you can play the video again with an alternate audio track featuring nothing but barking. But as stupid as this idea was, my 1 year old was fascinated by the dog barking track. Go figure.

The Bottom Line:
"The Shaggy Dog" will entertain children, but adults will probably think the original Disney films were better. The lower you set your expectations, the better off you are.

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