Dog tale has more kissing, dating stuff than you'd expect.
  • Review Date: May 7, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

This film is meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive messages

Cinnamon learns that she should stop being selfish about Madeline's attention and that she shouldn't sabotage her relationship with Kevin, since he makes Madeline happy. Jordan learns to stand up to a bully and be truthful about his feelings for the girl he likes. Potentially blended families are portrayed in a positive manner.

Positive role models

Madeline and Kevin are caring, attentive parents and later thoughtful and loving partners to each other. They understand the challenges of dating after divorce/loss, and they work hard to overcome the obstacles they face (mostly from Cinnamon the dog).

Violence & scariness

Some mild pushing and shoving, and a few dog chase scenes. A dog nips at a man's pant legs to get him away from someone. A couple of characters get into verbal altercations -- like Madeline and her daughter's much older date or Jordan and his bully.

Sexy stuff

More kissing and innuendo than usual for a movie aimed at this age group. Cinnamon usually interrupts, but there's plenty of smooching between grown-ups Madeline and Kevin. Madeline stops her teenage daughter from dating an older womanizer. Madeline and her daughter, Chloe, each wear cleavage-bearing outfits, as does Chloe's dad's girlfriend. Madeline mentions that her ex "upgraded" to a much younger model. A girl wears a bikini in an Internet photo. Young Jordan has an obvious crush on his friend.


"Oh my God" and "geez" a couple of times. Jordan calls a bully's dog a "dog-pound mutt," which hurts the (talking) dog's feelings.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults have wine during dates; a character appears inebriated but doesn't do anything outrageous or inappropriate.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Cinnamon -- which is aimed directly at younger kids and tweens -- has a surprising amount of kissing for a movie targeted at that audience, as well as thematic material about divorce and widower-hood relationships, blended families, and the dating life of teenage daughters. But other than a few incidents of pushing and shoving, there's nothing violent, and this dog tale is ultimately about building a new, loving family unit.

What's the story?

CINNAMON (voiced by former Disney star Brenda Song) is a seriously spoiled Maltese who's used to getting her own way, particularly when it comes to her indulgent "mommy," divorced single mother Madeline (Cynthia Gibb). But things change for little Cinnamon when Madeline meets Kevin (Greg Evigan), a handsome widower with a 13-year-old son, Jordan (Kendall Ryan Sanders). Unhappy with the prospect of not being Madeline's center of attention, Cinnamon starts a strategic campaign to sabotage Madeline and Kevin's whirlwind romance. Eventually, Cinnamon must decide whether she wants Madeline to be unhappy -- but all hers -- or to share her owner with the man of her dreams.

Is it any good?


Family films require a delicate balance, lest "wholesome" quickly turn into "bland" and "kid friendly" become an adult snoozefest. While CINNAMON isn't completely boring, it's a strange hybrid of post-divorce romance, middle-school puppy love, and talking-dog comedy. The humor is pretty forgettable (mostly slapstick gags), and the story feels overlong for such a paper-thin plot (dog likes being the apple of her owner's eye and attempts to destroy her favorite human's chance at love).

For such a low-budget live-action film, Gibb and Evigan are surprisingly capable actors, but their on-screen kids come off as more annoying than relatable. Plus, let's face it -- there are only so many ways an audience can watch a dog come between her owner on a date before it (quickly) starts to fall flat. Just as Madeline and Kevin deserve their love to grow, families deserve movies that aren't just mediocre. Sadly, Cinnamon isn't nearly as tangy or sweet as the title implies.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of talking-animal films. Why are animals that speak so often featured in family films?

  • Although Cinnamon is a dog, her reluctance to share her "mommy" could apply to the way kids feel when their single parent starts dating. Is Madeline and Kevin's relationship a good example of how to handle a blended family?

Movie details

DVD release date:May 8, 2012
Cast:Brenda Song, Cynthia Gibb, Greg Evigan
Director:Michael Feifer
Studio:Arc Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild thematic elements

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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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Parent Written byPlugged-In Reviewer May 28, 2012

Sexual Content In A Kids Film

This movie had a girl whose dresses and clothes are low cut and her boobs are always showing! Kevin calls Chloe a "Sex Kitten". There's a scene where Jordan tells Chloe that he searched her online and found a picture of her in a bikini. It does show her from the head to her bras. Thers also a lot of kissing. In one scene Kevin and Madiline are kissing passionatly and even lay down on each other!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written byBatmanGuy1 July 25, 2012

Watching clouds is better than watching Cinnamon

Really boring movie. Watched 30 mins of it then went to play video games. And the movie is not even about the dog Cinnamon, it's about a stupid relationship between a man and a woman.
Teen, 14 years old Written byScreennameGirl May 27, 2012

Horrible, Don't Watch

This movie is horrible. First of all, it's not a good movie. My little sister, not even halfway into the movie yet, was running off to play with her toys. The movie is about a man and a woman starting a relationship, breaking up, and then getting back together. I think the dog was just added in to get kids to watch. Also, a woman's daughter is referred to as a 'sex-kitten'.
What other families should know
Too much sex


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