The Dog Who Saved Halloween

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
The Dog Who Saved Halloween Movie Poster Image
Slapstick Halloween comedy with lots of potty humor.
  • PG
  • 2011
  • 88 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Intended to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

An argument could be made that the family works together to find out the truth about the "haunted house" in the neighborhood, but they solve this conundrum more through bumbling luck than actual teamwork.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The adults are bumbling and clumsy, the kids don't bring too much to the story, and the dog just contributes cutesy one-liners.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of characters trip and fall. One of the crooks pokes his foot with a trash picker. Some mildly spooky Halloween imagery in a haunted house -- spiders, cobwebs, bats, etc.

Sexy Stuff

When a blonde bombshell in a short skirt visits the Bannister family, both father and son are entranced by her beauty, staring at her googly-eyed while trying to flirt.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

At the Halloween party, adults ladle punch (that may or may not be alcoholic) into plastic cups.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this slapstick Halloween comedy has lots of potty humor. The bumbling crooks find work picking up dog excrement in the park, and the larger of the two crooks (who's also prone to flatulence throughout the film), at one point smears what could be either mud or dog poop on his face. There's mild farcical violence throughout, a brief scene with sexual undertones, and typical Halloween scary fare like lightning, bats, cobwebs, tarantulas, etc.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBob marshal November 18, 2020
Adult Written byAutumn M. October 9, 2016

Great Halloween movie!

I would rather my children watch this cute Halloween kids movie more than 90% of the trash that's out there for them to watch. I watch it myself rather th... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byAnna B. November 4, 2020

not a fan

This movie is so disappointing it looked like a great movie but it was so horrible the plot was boring and the characters were basic. Wouldn't recommend.
Teen, 13 years old Written byKinbJune October 28, 2011

An Annoying Time-Killer

Even for children, this film proves to be leagues beyond a minor nuisance to endure; not only will the most elementary of human beings be able to point out the... Continue reading

What's the story?

In this sequel to The Dog Who Saved Christmas and The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation, the Bannister family moves to a new street, where George Bannister (Gary Valentine) starts to suspect that their neighbor, Professor Cole (Lance Henriksen), is a mad scientist. Meanwhile, bumbling crooks Ted and Stewey (Dean Cain and Joey Diaz) have been released from jail, only to be given work by their parole officer picking up after dogs in the park. The Bannisters' dog, Zeus (voiced by Joey Lawrence), tries to help George find the truth behind the "Countdown to Zero Hour" timer that they spy in the window of Professor Cole's mysterious attic.

Is it any good?

For pure mindless entertainment, THE DOG WHO SAVED HALLOWEEN is as farcical, slapstick, and silly as it gets. The adults who appear the most in the film are doltish and clumsy, the kids don't bring much to the overall story, and the pets are there to say cutesy things and cover their eyes when the oafish adults get into jams. The haunted house is filled with all of the typical "scary" accouterments -- lightning, bats, eyes moving in framed portraits on the walls, and so on.


The characters are one-dimensional, and while an argument could be made that the twist to the ending promotes a positive message about what Halloween means for adults and kids, by the time that ending happens, the audience is so overwhelmed by slapstick, flatulence, and pets spouting precocious one-liners that it's almost impossible to imagine that message resonating.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reality versus imagination. What was the difference between what Mr. Bannister thought Professor Cole was doing and what he was actually trying to do for Halloween? How can you test your assumptions before acting on them?

  • Was anything in this movie scary? What's the difference between things and people who might be actually scary and the monsters we see during Halloween?

  • What's so funny about potty humor?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Halloween

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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