A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bailey's Billion$ is a farcical 2005 talking dog movie with some iffy humor. A romantic scene is broken up by the dog urinating on a nearby tree while announcing "Oh sweet relief!" There are also two instances of sexual innuendo, either as voiced by the dog himself, or translated by the dog's owner. Two antagonists pass a flask back and forth. Overall, this is a ludicrous premise wrapped in a formulaic plot, but in the midst of the silliness, characters are shown protesting animal testing in the cosmetics industry, and characters openly discuss the horrors of puppy mills. Even though the puppy mill shown in the movie is presented in a cartoonishly evil manner instead of how it really is, this movie does open the possibilities of discussing weightier matters concerning animal rights and environmental protection.
What's the story?
In her will, the late Constance Pennington has left her billion-dollar fortune to her dog Bailey (voiced by Jon Lovitz), much to the displeasure of her greedy nephew Caspar (Tim Curry) and his greedier wife Dolores (Jennifer Tilly). Bailey also becomes CEO of the animal rights organization ARRF, where his guardian Ted (Dean Cain), an animal behaviorist with the ability to understand what Bailey is saying, translates Bailey's thoughts and opinions to his employees. Caspar and Dolores hatch a scheme to steal the inheritance from Bailey, and it's up to Ted -- with help from ARRF employee and animal-rights activist Marge, her daughter Sam, her friend Max, and Sam's dog Tessa -- to protect Bailey and stop ARRF from being turned into a clandestine puppy mill.
Is it any good?
While the actors certainly tried to make the best of it, BAILEY'S BILLION$ is hampered by a trite storyline and stale comedy. The ludicrous premise (a dog inherits a billion dollars and gets to be in charge of an animal welfare organization) would be more palatable if the titular dog had a unique personality and said things more entertaining than "Oh! What a sweet relief!" after urinating, but as it is, the dog has some of the most predictable lines in an already formulaic script.
Aside from the gleefully over-the-top acting (from Tim Curry and Jennifer Tilly, especially), the only other bright spot to this movie is a willingness to discuss weightier issues like animal rights, puppy mills, and single parenthood. Unfortunately though, these attempts at bringing these issues to the forefront are drowned out and constrained by the farcical overarching story and the attempts at keeping this movie sillier than it needed to be.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about dog movies. How is this movie similar and different to other movies where dogs are the "lead characters?"
Do you agree with Marge's approaches to protecting the environment and protesting animal cruelty? Why or why not?
How is the puppy mill showed in the movie a cartoonish, over-the-top parody of real puppy mills? When does the film accurately discuss the terrible realities of puppy mills?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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