CORPORATE LINE: Directed by Brian Robbins (VARSITY BLUES, THE PERFECT SCORE), this updated spin on THE SHAGGY DOG and THE SHAGGY D.A. features Tim Allen as Dave Douglas, a Deputy District Attorney who spends way too much time at the office and way too little time with his family. His son, Joe (Spencer Breslin), feels completely misunderstood, and his wife, Rachel (Kristin Davis), feels like a single parent. To make matters worse, his teenage daughter, Carly (Zena Gray), considers Douglas the enemy because he is representing a pharmaceutical company, Grant and Strickland, in their case against her social studies teacher, who is accused of burning down their lab to protest animal testing. Douglas’ life changes in an instant when animal-loving Carly brings home a friendly shaggy dog that bites the dog-disliking D.A.
What Douglas doesn’t know is that the dog has a secret. This Tibetan wonder dog is 300 years old, as smart as a human, and as playful as a pup. Soon, Douglas is exhibiting canine tendencies himself – a heightened sense of smell, a tendency to growl at opposing counsel in court, and an overwhelming urge to defend his front yard. His full transformation to a dog allows him rare insight into what his family really thinks and feels, and gives Douglas the opportunity to decide what is truly important. To further complicate matters, Grant and Strickland – the very company Douglas is representing – are certain that the dog that bit him holds the secret to the Fountain of Youth, and are determined to learn what it is. Robert Downey, Jr. stars as Dr. Kozak, Grant and Strickland’s evil mastermind, and Philip Baker Hall plays head honcho Strickland. Jane Curtin and Danny Glover are also featured.
THE REVIEW: Sure, adults will find The Shaggy Dog weak and a bad remake—but that is because we saw the original and in many ways cherished it. But if you watch Tim Allen in the remake of The Shaggy Dog with a child it’s an entirely different movie. Parents probably thought the original The Shaggy Dog was silly and worthless—but we ate it up.
Since receiving The Shaggy Dog DVD and watching it with my kids—it’s surprising to find them watching it over and over again., Even though I didn’t find the movie particularly funny, The Shaggy Dog was made for kids. Not only are kids attracted to the wackiness of The Shaggy Dog, but the message. The notion of going after your dreams is certainly one that all parents want their kids to believe in.
THE EXTRAS: There is an audio commentary with Director Brian Robbins and the film’s producer. There are also bloopers and deleted scenes.
FRANKLY: The message is clear and positive and at the end of the day it’s Tim Allen as a shaggy dog that makes kids giggle and coming back for more. This is sweet family fun on film that parents are looking for.
+ Charlie Craine