Beethoven's Big Break Movie Poster Image

Beethoven's Big Break



Fun, funny family dog movie has star moments.
  • Review Date: December 21, 2008
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

When Beethoven creates chaos, he puts adults and kids on a level playing field -- in other words, how authoritative can a person be when a St. Bernard is licking your ear? Some dog fart jokes.

Violence & scariness

Sal Demarco threatens to destroy Beethoven, and gets so far as leaning over him with a hypodermic needle full of a death agent. Some prat falls and comic violence, but nothing extreme.

Sexy stuff

Adults kiss twice.

Not applicable

Examples of Hollywood excess. The studio lot has fancy sets and limousines to spare. Beethoven gets a fancy trailer, a massage therapist, a hairstylist, and Cesar Milan at his beck and call when he makes it big.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this family dog movie has one scene where Beethoven is in peril (a man stands over him with a needle), some pratfalls, and a couple dog fart jokes. Also, adults kiss twice. To go with the Hollywood theme, Beethoven indulges in some celeb-style excess -- a fancy trailer, his own massage therapist, and more.

What's the story?

Billy (Moises Arias) is being raised by his single dad, Eddie (Jonathan Silverman), who subjects Billy to the dubious perks of bachelorhood. Dinner is convenient -- frozen macaroni and cheese. Breakfast is improvised -- cereal with water, when the milk runs out. Billy begins to suffer from the effect of his dad's long hours away from home and -- what else? -- he rebels. While skipping school one day, he encounters a certain gigantic slobberfest named Beethoven. Beethoven, a dog with a habit of wreaking chaos wherever he goes, befriends Billy and Billy asks his dad if he might be allowed to keep him. Though Eddie is an animal trainer he says "no." That is, until Beethoven lands an audition that makes him a star overnight.

Is it any good?


Kids will love the animal antics and the soulful performance of Moises Arias as Billy. Parents will crack up at Jonathan Silverman's portrayal of a beleaguered dad, whose response to chaos is an exasperated, "Really?" Cesar Milan, dog guru behind The Dog Whisperer, gives some wise words in a cameo performance.

But much of the movie's success hinges on Stephen Tobolowsky as Sal Demarco, the animal trainer turned villain. In fact, all of the lead actors inhabit their roles fully and play them to the comedic hilt. Not to mention the fact that Beethoven himself is pretty irresistible. Throw in a litter of St. Bernard puppies, an impish lizard, some laugh-out-loud scenes on the set, and you've got a good movie choice for the whole family.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about stardom. Do you think Beethoven needed a fancy trailer and massage therapist once he hit it big? Do you think even dogs like the glamorous life? Also, are pets supposed to have boundaries in the household, as other members of the family do? Where does Beethoven overstep his boundaries?

Movie details

DVD release date:December 26, 2008
Cast:Jonathan Silverman, Moises Arias, Stephen Tobolowsky
Director:Mike Elliot
Studio:Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:101 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some mild rude humor.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written bydsloanak March 7, 2009

I really liked this movie.

My family and I watched this together and we all enjoyed it. It is a little funny a little realistic and His dad has way to many But all in all the story has a great message about a father and a son and how they end up bonding threw Beethoven. I absolutely recommend it for a family movie night.
Teen, 13 years old Written bycats101 June 3, 2012

beethoven's big break

well, it is not as good as the first one,
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bygoodgirl November 14, 2015

i liked it.

and Jonathon Silverman was cute in the movie. the movie is clean cut with no bad words. I liked this movie.
What other families should know
Great messages


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