Firehouse Dog

  • Review Date: July 30, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 111 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Equal parts dog adventure and father-son tale.
  • Review Date: July 30, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 111 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Rex discovers that he prefers helping people as a firehouse dog than entertaining them as an overindulged Hollywood star. Shane has behavioral issues, but he and the captain finally communicate and work through their father-son problems. A female firefighter is a good role model: She's just as tough as her male counterparts but can also dress up in a fancy outfit.

Violence & scariness

A few flashbacks to the day a firefighter died and a couple of intense fire scenes that might frighten younger children, even though no one ends up hurt.

Sexy stuff

The two fire captains, their kids, and their dogs all flirt with each other. Rex's original owner and manager hug and hold hands. A female firefighter wears a sexy gown that makes her colleagues stare.

Language

Basic PG curses: "suck," "crap," "jerk," "stupid," "dumb," "hell," etc.

Consumerism

Shane owns all of the following: Mac laptop, iPod, PSP, Play Station 2, Tony Hawk T-shirt, Green Day poster.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A benefit gala includes a brief glimpse of partygoers drinking champagne.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this doggy adventure includes unexpected dramatic elements -- like Shane's fear that his fire-captain dad will die. Known for ditching school and disobeying his father, Shane has behavioral and communication issues. He and his father also both deal with grieving the recent loss of a relative. A few fiery sequences may be too intense for very young kids, even though no one gets hurt. As for canine antics, Rex is so pampered that he's even set up with three female poodles waiting on a doggy bed. But he doesn't indulge, instead running to help save people from a fire.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Shane (Josh Hutcherson, whose considerable on-screen charm and expressive face make him destined for at least an entire adolescence in Hollywood) is asked by his fire-captain dad (Bruce Greenwood) to take care of an outgoing mutt who was saved from a local fire. But Dewey is no ordinary dog -- he's really Hollywood top dog Rex, star of such blockbusters as The Fast and the Furriest and Jurassic Bark. Presumed dead after a film stunt gone awry, Rex starts to dig his new life as Shane's -- and later the firehouse's -- wonder dog.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

FIREHOUSE DOG is a sweet enough pooch pic with just enough laughs -- and heart -- to save it from the formulaic mediocrity of many family-friendly flicks. While the movie's marketing emphasizes all of Rex's dog tricks -- and there are plenty -- Firehouse Dog also touches on some heavier themes. Shane and his dad are still mourning the death of a relative who died in a mysterious fire. Shane skips school and disobeys his father's rules, and the captain's squad is quickly devolving into the fire department's "last on the scene" joke.

But fear not, families, it's still a kids' flick -- so Shane, Rex, and the eclectic crew of firefighters eventually come to the rescue. Before the final fire is put out, father and son have a touching heart-to-heart, and Rex decides that living like a star (one whose celebrity extends to tabloid gossip about his dalliances with Paris Hilton's Chihuahua, no less) is nothing compared to being a hero. And that's not a bad message for media-saturated kids ... or their celebrity-obsessed parents.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the movie deals with gender roles. When Pep shows up at the party in a dress, her friends act surprised that she looks like a girl. Is being a firefighter only for boys? Also, what messages does the movie send about society's values by contrasting Rex's Hollywood life with his adventures as a fire dog? Kids, would you rather be a Hollywood star or a firefighter? Why? Can you think of other movies that feature heroic dogs?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 4, 2007
DVD release date:July 31, 2007
Cast:Bill Nunn, Bruce Greenwood, Josh Hutcherson
Director:Todd Holland
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:111 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:sequences of action peril, some mild crude humor and language.

This review of Firehouse Dog was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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 year old Written byLyndsaylou82 October 26, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Could work for older kids . . . not for younger ones . . . **language**

I am a teacher at a Christian school and wanted to use this movie for my kids during Fire Safety Month. I started showing it in class today (not thinking anything of it, because it was labeled a "kids" video) and in the first 25 minutes of the movie the words "dog from hell," suck," and "butt crack" were used. In my opinion those words are completely inappropriate!!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bymonkey roxx April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Teen, 13 years old Written byKyle1414 June 29, 2013
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Can be a little too intense for younger kids, but excellent

Movie can be intense with the big fire scenes, but it has a good message, and I think it's a great.Movie!
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence

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