Parents' Guide to

Jim Henson's Dog City: The Movie

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Jim Henson's film noir spoof is full of doggy gags and guns.

Movie NR 2010 40 minutes
Jim Henson's Dog City: The Movie Poster Image

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Any kid -- or adult -- who's a fan of Henson's puppetry genius will delight in this short little take off on old-Hollywood gangster flicks. Narrating the action with his grown-up-friendly jokes is none other than Rowlf (Henson), since this is, of course, set in a city of all dogs. The voices are, as always, perfectly suited to the setting -- the crime-syndicate boss sounds a bit like Marlon Brando, the anti-hero has a deep, velvety voice, and the moll has that unmistakable high-pitched, nasally voice that gangster molls always have in films. Occasionally you can see the puppet strings, but that's not uncommon in Henson productions, and if anything is just a reminder that unlike the standard CGI fare, these creations required a human to manipulate and voice them at all times.

The only reason this isn't a four-star movie is that many kids just won't be in on the jokes. Unless they've seen Bugsy Malone, many children won't understand the time period, the costumes or the character types that make the 40-minute film so funny and spot-on for adults. There are also some puns and double-entendres that will go over kids' heads -- mostly courtesy of Rowlf or Bugsy (both of whom are voiced by Henson). If you have a Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Muppet devotee in your family, this is a great way to discover one of Henson's lesser-known (and final) films.

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