A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that because this story involves animals, there's a lot of butt-sniffing and slapstick jokes. While no animals are harmed, an injection with a large needle and cattle prod are used to threaten them and -- since he's a dog --Tim Allen. Allen inadvertently appears nude in front of the courthouse (although no nudity is shown) and mutters, "Everyone's gonna need therapy after this."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In this latest version of the Disney fantasy-adventure, ambitious Deputy District Attorney Dave Douglas (Tim Allen) is so ambitious that he often ignores his lovely wife (Kristin Davis), their idealistic teenage daughter (Zena Grey) and conflicted son (Spencer Breslin). He's tackling a complicated legal case involving animal testing run by evil Dr. Marcus Kozak (Robert Downey Jr.) when he's accidentally infected with an experimental gene-mutation serum by a stray sheepdog. His weird affliction first manifests itself with growling and barking in the courtroom, but soon he's sniffing, scratching, licking and romping around, transformed into a replica of the sheepdog. Confused and no longer able to communicate in human language, he befriends a motley menagerie, including a chimp, rats, rabbits, and a cobra and, in doing so, gets his priorities straight.
Is it any good?
Tim Allen wreaks hilarious havoc with an uncanny canine-like performance; there's lots here to entertain kids, who will be amused by all the silliness. Writers Cormac & Marianne Wibberley, Geoff Rodkey and Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, working with director Brian Robbins, have the added advantage of advanced computer technology to enhance the outrageous episodes and slapstick comedy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it would be like to live, albeit briefly, as someone or something else. If your kids could transform into anything, what would they pick and why?
For the more adventurous, you might ask what your kids think about cruelty in animal testing, which the teenage daughter is actively protesting. Are there ever circumstances when it's necessary to test on animals?