Disney has released yet another of their dog movies starring five furry friends, and whereas the older releases were about entertainment, this one seems to have gone a step too far in the wrong direction.
Here we have a film where five dogs, Buddha (voiced by Field Cate), Budderball (voiced by Josh Flitter), B Dawg (voiced by Skyler Gisondo), Mudbud (voiced by Henry Hodges) and Rosebud (voiced by Liliana Mumy), get accidentally launched into space in what is a very advanced space plane. In fact, it is so advanced that there is a vending machine in the cockpit. The story then progresses to a lost Russian space station (where they rescue a dog called Spudnik), the moon, a close encounter with a meteor shower, a quick rescue of a Cosmonaut and a hero’s return to earth. Oh, and somewhere along the way someone manages to magically create a half dozen white space suites for dogs that have stowed away on a ship created for humans. Glaring continuity error? Maybe.
Along the way there is some textbook humour, plenty of dog smell jokes and some floating around. That’s about it. There is a background plot as well, which see’s the evil (or at least warped), Dr Fritz trying to sabotage the mission.
Don’t get me wrong, if you are a 5-to 8-year-old you might find this entertaining. I have two children, aged 8 and 11 and I found that whilst my 8-year-old watched it through till the end, my 11-year-old just wandered off after thirty minutes. When I asked my youngest what she thought of it she said it was okay, but could she watch The Goonies next time? She thought the most entertaining part of the movie was the ferret called Gravity and the way that the dog’s mouths “didn’t seem to move properly”. On the last point, I have to agree. Stuart Little did it a lot better, and that was made years ago.
One of the other annoying characteristics of the movie is the fact that the dogs are portrayed as two dimensional caricatures of different personality types and ethnic backgrounds. Now I understand that in order to differentiate between the different dogs they have to provide them with a definable character style,b ut I think Disney went too far this time and I can see where some people might find them insulting or even demeaning. I am prepared to forgive this, because we are talking about dogs, but others may not feel this way.
I would love to give this movie a good rating, and I was hoping that it might be saved by the extras on the disc, but, in truth, they were a mixed bunch of behind the scenes information and bloopers. If your children are young, between the ages of five and eight, then there is a good chance this movie might spike their interest for a while. However, I won’t recommend it.