A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In this feature length film based on Disney's animated TV series, Spot (voice of Nathan Lane) is a highly intelligent and articulate dog who dreams of becoming a boy. But then he wakes up. All he can do is pretend to be a boy, disguising himself as "Scott" and going to school with Leonard, the boy he lives with. Leonard and his mother go to Florida so she can participate in a teacher of the year competition, and Spot follows them after he sees a television interview with Dr. Krank (voice of Kelsey Grammar), who says he can change animals into humans. So far, his experiments on swamp creatures have produced some bizarre mutants. But Spot helps Krank make some adjustments and gets turned into a human. Unfortunately, since they forgot to figure in the effect of dog years, Spot becomes not a boy but a middle-aged man "with hairy knuckles and lower back pain." After many complications and adventures, a lot of sly humor, and several deliciously witty songs, everything is happily resolved.
Is it any good?
Kids will enjoy the wild characters, silly plot turns, bright colors, and vivid images of TEACHER'S PET. The animation style is distinctive and unusual. While it is apparently simple, even childlike, with basic shapes and bold colors, it is actually quite sophisticated, designed by award-winning artist Gary Baseman.
Older kids and parents will appreciate the wisecracks and the self-aware pop culture references from the Jetsons to Disney movies, and everyone will enjoy the music. While most movies directed at the youngest children have almost interchangeable soundtracks filled with watered-down rock and hip-hop or syrupy jingles, Teacher's Pet has first-rate Broadway quality songs, beautifully sung by Tony-winner Lane and an able supporting cast of voice talents. Witty (and vocabulary-building) lyrics rhyme "defiance" with "science," "appliance," and "giants" and "foe" with "status quo." One song hilariously lists all of the states and another reminds us that even the small among us can be mighty.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: January 16, 2004
- On DVD or streaming: June 15, 2004
- Cast: Kelsey Grammer, Nathan Lane, Paul Reubens
- Director: Timothy Bjorklund
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- Run time: 68 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some mildly crude humor
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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