Reviewer's Rating 1 out of 5   User Rating 3 out of 5
The Shaggy Dog (2006)
UContains very mild comic violence and language

A Disney favourite from yesteryear gets a mangy makeover in The Shaggy Dog, a flea-bitten farrago which bears only a fleeting resemblance to the 1959 film that inspired it. As the workaholic district attorney turned into a bearded collie, Tim Allen only stops short of leg-humping in his attempts to win our affections. That he fails is down to the five-strong writing team, who belong in the doghouse for building such a Schnauzer around the Santa Clause star.

To be fair the Fred MacMurray original wasn't much to howl about, though that didn't stop Disney making two belated follow-ups. Inexplicably, however, helmer Brian Robbins ditches the one worthwhile thing from his source - the Jekyll-and-Hyde transformations from man to mutt - choosing instead to have Allen express canine behaviour through licking bowls, sniffing buttocks and the like. The trans-dog-rifications, when they come, take place off camera, with Allen providing punny voiceover as an actual pooch takes centre stage.

"HALF-HOUND MUTANTS"

What CG the budget could afford is limited to a frankly freakish collection of half-hound mutants, the results of Robert Downey Jr's plan to devise an elixir of youth from a 300-year-old sheepdog. One nip from the latter is enough to send Allen the same way, giving him an ideal way to assess his ailing marriage to Kristin Davis and how his absentee parenting is affecting their three kids. If that sounds icky, though, wait until you hear Mr Buzz Lightyear exploit his "To Infinity and Beyond" catchphrase during one particularly egrrr-egious bit of doggy derring-do.

End Credits

Director: Brian Robbins

Writer: Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley, Geoff Rodkey, Jack Amiel, Michael Begler

Stars: Tim Allen, Kristin Davis, Robert Downey Jr, Danny Glover, Philip Baker Hall, Spencer Breslin

Genre: Family

Length: 98 minutes

Cinema: 31 March 2006

Country: USA

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