A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Abner the Invisible Dog is another familiar tale of a boy and his dog running from wacky criminals who are trying to get back a secret formula. The nonstop cartoon action shows the villains under attack from doors, windows, smoke bombs, pepper spray, and each other's carelessness and stupidity. Insults fly; elderly folks are the butt of numerous jokes; there are farts aplenty and some mild sexual innuendo; and the requisite bullies get their comeuppance. The adults are clueless, inept, mean-spirited, or a combination. The hero (a 13-year-old boy) and his female tween friend are chased, taken captive, and threatened at gunpoint but always unharmed when the invisible dog inevitably saves the day.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
On the very morning of Chad's 13th birthday in ABNER THE INVISIBLE DOG, two witless crooks manage to steal a secret formula from a nearby government laboratory. In an amazing happenstance, the crooks hide their top-secret vials in a toy store's chemistry set...which Chad's father buys for his son! It isn't long before Chad's initial experiments find Abner, Chad's beloved English sheepdog, drinking the liquid in the vials. Imagine Chad's astonishment when the dog begins to talk and then vanishes, becoming invisible. Meanwhile, the crooks trace the chemistry set to Chad's house; the security team from the lab follows the crooks to Chad's house; and the chase is on. Chad, his friend (and crush) Sophie, and Abner are all threatened by the villains and must team up to save themselves and the secret formula and foil the mastermind behind the crime.
Is it any good?
Sadly, this movie has a nonsensical story in which every move, along with the stunts and characters, is predictable and stale. The film's appeal also is limited by the amateurish production, painful overacting, and sub-par music and editing. A time waster for all but those kids who think it's hysterical to hear dogs fart and watch brainless grown-ups trip on banana peels, smash their fingers in doors, and react to stink bombs.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss the cartoon-like comedy in this movie. Why do you think kids (and sometimes grown-ups, too) like to laugh at characters who trip, fall, bump into things, and light up with electricity? What would happen to real people if they actually tripped, fell, bumped into things, and felt electric shocks?
Why do kids like to laugh at farts, belches, and jokes about pee and poop? Could it be because those are private (or embarrassing) occurrences in real life?
How did Chad finally get the bullies to stop bothering him? Was that a good choice? What are some other, better ways to deal with bullies?
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