A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Doggone Adventure is a 2018 movie in which a group of kids try to keep a telepathic dog out of the hands of an evil multinational corporation. There are some brief moments of slapstick or action violence: bumbling characters falling down stairs, for instance, or kids trying to escape a slowly closing pod via space scooters. A young boy taunts a young girl, saying, "Girls don't host TV shows." It takes a good 20 minutes before the dog regularly appears in any scenes. The dog is cute enough to appeal to the youngest of dog lovers -- despite his annoying voice -- but anyone older will find this talking-dog movie difficult to get through.
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What's the story?
In A DOGGONE ADVENTURE, Professor Masters and his dog Murphy are on the run from Galactatek, an evil corporation that wants to use Murphy's ability to communicate through telekinesis for its own bad purposes. Steven Hill is the host of Unresolved Mysteries, a TV show about paranormal events that has just been canceled after three seasons. Steven's kids and their friends like to explore around a house they believe to be haunted and film their own version of Unresolved Mysteries on a video camera. Instead of being haunted, the house is a secret factory where two bumbling friends put stickers on shoes already made and call them "Sci-Fi Shoes." After Professor Masters sends Murphy to escape on his own to avoid capture, Murphy finds his way to the Hill household. The kids are shocked and delighted to discover that Murphy can communicate with them. Meanwhile, representatives of Galactatek are in hot pursuit of Murphy, and when they find him and take him back to Galactatek headquarters, it's up to the kids, Professor Masters, Steven, and the two would-be shoe manufacturers to find a way to rescue Murphy and reunite him with Professor Masters.
Is it any good?
This is a low-budget talking-dog movie marred by bad acting, a clunky storyline, and amateurish production throughout. A Doggone Adventure would all be fine if there was any real entertainment value, but unfortunately, there really isn't, and not even in a "so bad, it's good" kind of way. Attempts to reach the adults watching via jokes referencing Dirty Harry and the old television series Unsolved Mysteries not only fall flat, but also make the movie that much more excruciating for anyone but the youngest of dog lovers, who don't care about anything else but seeing a cute dog on the screen.
Furthermore, the dog doesn't even start to appear regularly until 20 minutes into the picture. Before that, the movie is trying to untie the Gordian knot of several confusing storylines happening at once. In terms of the acting, the kids are on par with the acting seen on Barney & Friends, and the adults aren't much better.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about talking-dog movies like A Doggone Adventure. Why are there so many, and why are they so popular with kids? What would you say to your dog if he or she talked?
What are some other examples of movies centered on dogs? Which ones are your favorites, and why?
Create your own talking-animal story. Where would your story take place? Which animals would be featured?
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