A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Owen demonstrates that people can be kind, accept differences, and maintain dignity in the face of bullying.
Positive Role Models
Owen is a clever and resourceful 11-year-old boy who admires da Vinci, loves dogs, and builds a fort by himself in the woods. Just as his parents leave town for business, Owen uses his wits to face down three inept crooks smuggling diamonds inside a sympathetic golden retriever mix.
Violence & Scariness
Most threats of violence are comic, although smaller children may take the imminent danger more to heart. A bad guy wields a switchblade as he unsuccessfully attempts to cut smuggled diamonds out of the belly of a dog. Owen belts the criminals with catapulted tennis balls. He glues them to a small sled and sends it careening dangerously down a steep hill. He bonks them on the head with rocks and slams doors on them. No one incurs injuries more serious than bruises and blows to the ego. A bad guy punishes his underlings by giving them wedgies. Bullies throw Owen's pants and bicycle into a river.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Owen has a crush on a girl, and at movie's end he kisses her chastely.
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"Dork" and "heck."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dog Gone (which in some releases was known as Diamond Dog) is a comic rip-off of Home Alone, violent in the same comic way, with equally bumbling criminals chasing a heroic and strategically superior child. But here, the parents are eliminated from most of the action by way of a business trip, forcing Owen to rely on his many mental resources. Two maddeningly dense henchmen hunt for a dog in which they've smuggled $5 million worth of diamonds. The goons' collective stupidity nullifies any real threat their nefarious mission might otherwise pose. Owen also has been bullied, and the plot simultaneously brings comeuppance to his bully as the criminals are arrested. Some mild name-calling ("dork"). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Every single component in Dog Gone was stolen, copied, or otherwise purloined from another, better movie. Although Luke Benward does a decent job of embodying the good-hearted Owen, the rest of the cast is as lackluster as the script. Even younger kids will know the difference between the boisterous fun of Home Alone and the plodding desperation of this lesser knockoff.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.