If this slight Disney comedy is remembered for anything, it will be for the way it partners two recent best supporting actor Oscar-winners - Cuba Gooding Jr and veteran James Coburn - only to have them play second fiddle to eight furry sled dogs.
That said, the leads do bring a touch of gravitas to a disposable romp that tries hard to recreate the magic of family classics like "The Shaggy Dog" and "That Darn Cat!".
Gooding Jr plays Ted Brooks, a Miami dentist shocked to discover he was actually adopted. It turns out his mom was really an Alaskan sled-racing champ, and that he has inherited her talented team of pooches.
To add insult to injury, his real dad (Coburn) is not only white, but also a grumpy old man who wants nothing to do with his city slicker offspring - though he'll happily take the huskies off his hands.
To win his biological pop's respect, Ted enters the Arctic Challenge, a gruelling trans-Alaska sled race. Cue much snowbound hi-jinks, interspersed with some father-son bonding and a saccharine-laced romance between Cuba and the local barmaid (Bacalso).
There are too many pratfalls - Gooding slips on the ice so often he resembles an Olympic speed-skating final - and the computer trickery used to make the mutts wink, smirk, and (in one scene) talk has the same rather sinister effect as last year's "Cats & Dogs".
Kids, though, will adore Cuba's four-legged compadres, and sci-fi fans will enjoy seeing Nichelle Nichols - Uhura from Star Trek - as his well-meaning foster mother.