Parents' Guide to

Cats & Dogs

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Plenty of heart and hijinks mixed with litter box humor.

Movie PG 2001 87 minutes
Cats & Dogs Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 12 parent reviews

age 10+

If Adam Sandler made animatronic movies he'd make this one. In a bad way.

Family movie night often involves films which as an adult you just have to go with, perhaps enjoying the odd moment, hopefully with something to talk about afterwards. But this movie offers nothing. It's just dreadful. Watch something else instead. Other reviewers have mentioned rude language and violence. I agree with these criticisms but the bigger problem is that the film lacks plot and characterisation and isn't actually funny. It's formulaic, based on old "evil villain"-type narratives, which kids won't get and didn't really work for us as adults either. Random ideas (ninja cats, underground tunnels to HQ) are thrown in for no good reason and without any sense that a premise is being developed. Characterisation - none, at all, except that parents were absent because of work, and the kid (not at school for some reason) was rude to his mum without adverse effects for either of them. Positive messages - er... to painful to list at this stage. I can't go on - anger is being replaced by defeat and despair. Please just watch something else.
age 12+

Meh animal comedy

Pets goes high tech in this comedy. It's innoncent enough, but some scenes are so out context as I give this a 12 and up. Just something for a boring saturday among the furry loving family.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (12):
Kids say (23):

CATS AND DOGS is silly fun, a throwback to the classic Disney days of The Absent-Minded Professor and The Shaggy Dog. It moves along swiftly thanks to a brief running time (less than 90 minutes) and spectacularly seamless special effects work. It also benefits from outstanding voice talents: Tobey Maguire (Lou, the young pup called upon to save the world), Alec Baldwin (Butch, the senior agent, using some of the same world-weary courage and avuncular twinkle that he gave to James Dolittle in Pearl Harbor), and Susan Sarandon (kind-hearted canine femme fatale Ivy), as the good guys, and Sean Hayes (enjoying the role of evil villain Mr. Tinkles), and Jon Lovitz (his sidekick) as bad guys. Live-action duties are undertaken with good spirits by Elizabeth Perkins, Jeff Goldblum, and Miriam Margolyes, who does a funny twist on her role as the nurse in the Leonardo DiCaprio version of Romeo and Juliet.

All of this is aimed at 8-year-olds, so expect some PG-rated litter box humor, a couple of mild references to whether a male dog has been fixed, and a lot of slapstick pratfalls and head-bonks -- always a hit with kids. They'll also get a special kick out of the ninja cats (with a now-obligatory Matrix joke). There are a couple of good moments for parents, too, including a dog who explains that she is not homeless, just "domestically challenged," a canine news commentator named (of course) Wolf Blitzer, and having the dogs read the Miranda warning to thousands of arrested mice. The movie comes down on the side of loyalty and families. And Mr. Tinkles' punishment is both funny and (literally) fitting.

Movie Details

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