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The Shaggy Dog
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Shaggy Dog More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Weird and Funny "Shaggy Dog" Story Of Teen Age Lycanthropy

9/10
Author: johnstonjames from United States
9 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

this is a hoot for anyone who understands the term " a shaggy dog story" or anyone who knows folklore. first off the term "shaggy dog", means a ridiculous or exaggerated story so even the title is imaginative and clever. anyone who has delved into folklore knows all about stories of lycanthropy or the legend of the Borgia family. all of this mixed into the whole fifties "i was a teen age..." formula. the film is good laughs and not a bad excursion into contemporary folklore.

i've always felt that Disney comedies like this are often underrated for their cleverness. i guess because so much of the comedy is played for dumb laughs it's hard to take it all seriously, which you're not supposed to really, because it's Disney you're supposed to enjoy and have fun.

this is a great comedy, semi-horror, teen flick that actually holds up well to sophisticated screw ball comedies. a genuine argument can be made for this film that it is one of cinema's better comedies. certainly with all of it's gimmicks and effects, it's very cinematic.

one major note here for viewers. this film was originally filmed in glorious B&W and is most effective when viewed in B&W. avoid the horrible colorized, tinted versions which disarm the effectiveness of it's nostalgia and photography.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

What Cures Wilby??

6/10
Author: MCL1150 from United States
2 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I caught this film on Turner Classic Movies one Sundy morning. I almost NEVER watch Disney movies but for some reason ended up sitting through the whole flick. More enjoyable than most Disney movies I must say. I saw plenty as a youth and and there's one thing I'll always remember. As much as I wanted to see the films, I was always disappointed because all of the best/funny parts were already in the promotional TV ads which made the theater viewings redundant. Anyway, throughout the entire movie, after his exposure to a magic ring, Wilby turns into the Shaggy Dog and back without warning several more times. Every time this happens, the real shaggy dog disappears from wherever he is as the Dilby transformation takes palace. By the end of the movie though, Dilby seems to have been cured of this Jeckll & Hyde routine, What did I miss? What cured him? It went right over my head!

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Silly comedy is dated stuff that looks more like a made-for-TV movie than a feature length hit...

5/10
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
30 December 2007

Times have certainly changed. Here we have a Disney live action feature film that looks and sounds more like a TV sit-com (and a below par one at that), and yet it grossed $8,000,000 at the box-office at a time when any film that grossed more than a few million was considered a box-office hit.

At least FRED MacMURRAY does a professional job as the bumbling father of TOMMY KIRK and KEVIN CORCORAN, a dog-hater with a shotgun who gets itchy around the collar if a dog is even remotely close to his territory. He provides some genuine chuckles with his comic touch on a role that could well have seemed anything but sympathetic. The boys do OK too, especially Kevin Corcoran as the younger brother who always wanted a dog and promises to take good care of his brother who has magically transformed into one.

The plot is pretty threadbare but it does provide some very amusing moments--such as the one where Tommy Kirk gets into his pajamas and brushes his teeth while in the guise of the shaggy dog. The transmutation has taken place because he read aloud the inscription on a ring that had once belonged to the Borgias and whose Latin words were meant to change the sayer into a dog.

What weakens the story is the whole spy subplot which has him overhearing the spies while a dog and then reverting to his own body before he can get away from their presence. All of this leads to a hectic chase that has the baffled police force falling all over themselves to catch a shaggy dog driving a stolen police car.

It's silly stuff and never overcomes the feel of a lame sitcom from the innocent '50s, complete with people like ANNETTE FUNICELLO, TIM CONSIDINE, JEAN HAGEN (a far cry from her "Singin' in the Rain" dumb blonde), and JAMES WESTERFIELD as the policeman who can't believe his own eyes.

It passes the time pleasantly enough but you have to be willing to view it in the context of its '50s era innocence.

And contrary to what some here believe, this was not Disney's first live action film--not by a long shot. However, it was one of the few to make a bundle at the box-office for some unknown reason and gave a boost to the sagging career of Fred MacMurray at a time when his film career was on the skids.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A Good Beginning

Author: Brian Washington (Sargebri@att.net) from Los Angeles, California
30 October 2003

After years of strictly animated features, this is the first live action feature from Disney and it is still a delight even 44 years after it was first released. Fred MacMurray shows what a great comedic talent he was after years of playing primarily dramatic roles. He shows in this film a preview of what was to be expected when he started the show that became his trademark, "My Three Sons". Also, Tommy Kirk, Tim Considine and Kevin Corcoran all were great in this film. This is still a great film.

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Bow! Wow!... It's A Doggy-Delight!

6/10
Author: Fuzzy Wuzzy from Vancouver, Canada
26 June 2014

Well, I'll be dog-gone!

It was my sweet, little, 8 year-old nephew, Dexter, who excitedly picked out THE SHAGGY DOG (1959) at the local video store for the 2 of us to watch together.... And, you know what? I'm glad he did.

Regardless of its gaping plot-holes and its laughably cheap make-up effects, THE SHAGGY DOG's script was definitely first-rate, fast-paced, and, generally, a lot of goofy, family-oriented fun-fun-fun.

Packed with plenty of hilarious one-liners, slapstick chases, and uproarious sight gags, THE SHAGGY DOG also featured an excellent cast who competently brought this 1950s Comedy right in on the mark.

THE SHAGGY DOG's story centers around the zany experiences of a white, suburban, teen named Wilby Daniels (a bona-fide geek) who, always at a loss for words around the girls, suddenly finds himself in a very hairy situation when the unknown powers of an antique "magical" ring transforms him into an Old English sheepdog. (You go figure)

Check it out. You'll be dog-gone glad that you did.

Arf! Arf! This original version of THE SHAGGY DOG was far superior to the 2006 remake.

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Inventive family farce

8/10
Author: jarrodmcdonald-1 from United States
1 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Shaggy Dog is an inventive family farce from the folks at Disney's live action unit. It plays more like a radio or television sitcom than as classic Hollywood cinema. The lead actors are appealing: Fred MacMurray is charming, even in one of his least sympathetic father roles; Jean Hagen is the sensible wife who maintains order; Disney teen idol Tommy Kirk is the troubled son; there are a bevy of other child actors and of course, one mustn't forget the sheepdog that causes most of the pandemonium.

Not to spoil the plot and tell you how the animal comes to cause so much chaos, but the poster advertising the film does indicate there is a scene where the dog drives a sports car while chasing after Russian spies. This is heightened for laughs, and I must say that the premise allows for great sight gags, like the kind that might be found in a Harold Lloyd or Marx Brothers film. It is obvious the writers have used their imaginations and have brought a very visual comedy to the screen.

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Not Much Of A Joke

5/10
Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
6 December 2013

Charles Barton directed this wild Disney comedy that stars Tommy Kirk as Wilby Daniels, who comes into possession of an enchanted ring that transforms him into a big shaggy dog, which his parents(played by Fred MacMurray and Jean Hagen) can't quite believe, though his younger brother(played by Kevin Corcoran) thinks is great. When it turns out that the relative of the attractive new girl in town is really a spy, Wilby's trans-formative ability proves to be most handy at stopping him from stealing state secrets. Annette Funicello costars. Silly comedy has a good cast but beats its one joke to death far too often. Still, kids may like it.

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A dog

4/10
Author: mutty-mcflea from Lincolnshire, UK
11 August 2013

A flat fantasy that plods along at an insufferably slow pace before sparking into life right at the end, when it's far too late.

Tommy Kirk is a kid who finds a magic ring that transforms him into a talking dog; in this furry form he overhears crooks planning a robbery at the local missile plant. If it sounds like one of those daft, seemingly drug-induced Disney capers that inevitably ends in a car chase, that's because it is. Unfortunately it's not much fun bar the hilarious animated credits sequence and odd moment like the dog putting on pajamas, cleaning his teeth and driving a car.

It's not enough. Despite the utter stupidity of the film's plot this is stiff, boring and woodenly acted stuff.

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A shaggy dog tail of a film.

6/10
Author: morrison-dylan-fan from United Kingdom
13 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Over the last few days,I've been in the mood of watching a fun family film.As I went looking at my DVDs,I spotted a film that my dad had given to me a while ago with Fred MacMurray-who I hugely enjoyed seeing in the excellent Absent-Minded Professor starring in.

The plot:

After having gotten back from being left behind at a local museum by his "best friend" and a new next door neighbour (who he secretly has a crush on)Wilby Daniels discovers that a strange looking ancient ring has ended up in one of his jean pockets.When he reads out the inscription on the ring,he turns into his neighbours dog!!.Due to his father saying that he will shoot any dog that comes into the house (this is because he had a lot of trouble with dogs when he was a postman.)

Because of this,Wilby decides to stay with the newly-arrived neighbours.Whilst there,Daniels discovers that the neighbours are not as sweet as they seem...

View on the film:

Whilst the last half an hour of the film has a very entertaining Mad Mad Mad Mad World-style chase,an odd thing about the screenplay by Bill Walsh and Lillie Hayward,is that they offer no explanation as to how the neighbours dog returns when Wilby turns back into a human.Also,perhaps due to the films age,the ending (where Wilby seems pretty happy to hear that the girl he had a crush on is being sent back and questioned by the CIA!.) gives the movie's ending a surprisingly nasty taste.

Although he is not given as bigger role as I would have liked,Fred MacMurray gives a good performance as Wilson Daniels,who has trouble dealing with all the crazy chaos around him.Tommy Kirk also gives a very strong performance as Wilby,by showing all the frustrations that he has to try and manage,because of his transformation.

Final view on the film:

A fun film for the whole family,with very good performances from MacMurray.

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Shaggy

8/10
Author: kai ringler from United States
20 November 2009

This one had me laughing so hard,, i seriously cannot remember laughing so hard at a movie in a long long time,, for starters,, the look on the cop's face throughout the movie was priceless. Fred MacMurray was great a the dad,, as he had all of those years on My Three Sons. Anette Funicello was also pretty darn good in this,, i loved the dog driving through town and waving at the police officers, as he went by,, then you got the dog telling his dad that he really is his son,, and the shaking the hand bit,, just put me on the floor laughing,, i kinda wish that Hollywood would make something more like this in the future,, even if it's only once a year,, go black and white,, get back to old school, this movie was just a pure heartfelt joy to watch, and i think that everyone should at least watch this once for some good natured laughter.

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