Underdog

  • Review Date: December 17, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Not too many new tricks left for the old Underdog.
  • Review Date: December 17, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:August 3, 2007
DVD release date:December 18, 2007
Cast:James Belushi, Jason Lee, Peter Dinklage
Director:Frederik Du Chau
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Superheroes, Adventures, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:84 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:rude humor, mild language and action.

This review of Underdog was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bytrhybeck April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Teen, 14 years old Written bymkalv February 4, 2009
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Best animal film ever!

Unlike most animal films, this one has fighting. 'nuff said.
Teen, 14 years old Written byThecoyote July 9, 2011
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

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 could of been. Jack and his dad were bouring. There's some violence and conserisum (nothing too serious).
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism

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