Underdog

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Underdog Movie Poster Image
Not too many new tricks left for the old Underdog.
  • PG
  • 2007
  • 84 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 20 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Underdog uses his superpowers to help the people of Capitol City.

Violence & Scariness

Cartoonish violence: Cad is dragged through the street, crashes into bus stop; thieves get hit with trash cans and ladders; characters are tied up, surrounded by violent dogs; a girl and her dog are tied to a building right next to a bomb; Dr. Barsinister tries to blow up a building.

Sexy Stuff

Dogs flirt and cuddle; a couple on the street kisses briefly; teenagers flirt, hug.

Language

Mild insults: "imbecile," "screw it up," "idiot."

Consumerism

Time magazine, People magazine, Jay Leno, The Tonight Show.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that they might be more excited to see a beloved old cartoon transformed to a film than their kids. But even children who've never heard of the super crime-fighting dog will be drawn to a talking-animal movie. Although it's lighthearted, there is some mild, cartoonish violence involving characters being dragged through the street, getting hit with objects, and beging threatened by German Shepherds and a mad scientist and his sidekick. Dog owners: Don't be surprised if your young child pretends that your pet is Underdog.

User Reviews

Adult Written bytrhybeck April 9, 2008
Parent of a 13 year old Written byDr. Weird September 11, 2010

There's no need to fear.

Nothing speacial, but it works.
Teen, 14 years old Written byThecoyote July 9, 2011

There's no need to fear... Jason Lee is voicing Underdog!!!

Jason Lee and Peter Dinklage were excellent as Underdog and Simon Barsinister and the songs and action were well done, but the film isn't as good as it cou... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymkalv February 4, 2009

Best animal film ever!

Unlike most animal films, this one has fighting. 'nuff said.

What's the story?

Jason Lee voices the titular beagle, who abandons his post as a police dog, gets zapped with superpowers by Capitol City's resident mad scientist, Dr. Barsinister (Peter Dinklage), and unexpectedly lands at the home of security guard Dan Unger (James Belushi) and his mopey teenager Jack (Alex Neuberger). Jack, who initially dismisses the new pet his dad names Shoeshine, soon discovers the rescue dog is anything but normal -- he's got superstrength and can inexplicably talk human. Together they decide to use Shoeshine's abilities to keep their city crime free. With a cape, an undersized "U" sweater, and a penchant for speaking in rhyme, Underdog is born.

Is it any good?

UNDERDOG is back, but instead of capturing the kitschy fun of the long-running animated series, the rhyming canine has been rather blandly transformed into a gabbing live-action dog. Never fear, however, as most kids won't know the difference since it's parents and not children who remember the beloved original.

But aside from a couple of laughs coaxed from slapsticky antics, the predictable action seems squarely aimed at very young children. There's nothing remarkable about the special effects, nor does the story line build to a thrilling dramatic showdown. Underdog obviously saves the day, but it's not all that heart-stopping. Still, young ones love talking animals, and they'll overlook the film's shortcomings when they see a flying superdog.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of helping others -- especially the people you love. How does Underdog help bring Jack and his dad together? How do they help Underdog? Kids: What would you do if your dog had superpowers? Families who've seen episodes of the old TV show can also talk about how it compares with this version.

Movie details

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