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Sequel to the 1959 movie about a boy who gets turned into a dog because of an ancient ring which some say is cursed. Today the boy, Wilby Daniels is a grown man, a lawyer and with a family. When they're robbed and Wilby tries to report it to police but only gets the run around, he decides to run for District Attorney or D.A. Because he believes that the current D.A. John Slade is not only doing his job but is on the take. When Daniels publicly denounces Slade, Slade decides to try and get something on him. And he might have found it when the ring that turned him into a dog when he was a boy is stolen from the museum and when the words inside are read, he turns into a dog. Written by
I guess that when Dean Jones and Suzanne Pleshette got married it wasn't spelled out that there would be no secrets because Dean Jones kept a really big one from his teen years. For what that was and how it turned out one should see the prequel to The Shaggy DA, the famous Walt Disney classic, The Shaggy Dog.
To refresh one's memory back then the Dean Jones character of Wilby Daniels was played by Tommy Kirk who because of a cursed ring said to belong to Lucretia Borgia back in the day who allegedly dabbled in the black arts, Kirk would enter the body of a large sheep dog who was owned by the new next door neighbors of his family. When the ring got returned and Kirk performed a heroic act, the curse was lifted.
Or so they thought, now Wilby Daniels is played by Dean Jones who now is a lawyer, running for District Attorney against corrupt DA Keenan Wynn and married to Suzanne Pleshette with a son, Shane Sinutko. Just as the campaign gets going the ring is once again stolen from the museum and when the magic words inscribed on the ring are uttered, Jones is shifting from human to canine and back.
Eventually chief villain Keenan Wynn gets the ring and he's in control of the situation when he discovers what it does to Jones. It becomes a family project to get that ring back and expose him before the electorate. Also along for the ride is Tim Conway, an ice cream truck vendor whose shaggy dog's body Jones transfers to.
The Shaggy DA has a lot of laughs in it and its good entertainment, it doesn't however have the poignancy of the teen angst that Tommy Kirk brought to the original Wilby. It does have the usual cast of Hollywood veterans that the Disney studio always managed to find work for. It's one of the reasons the Magic Kingdom films from the late Sixties and Seventies are a lot of fun, it's like watching some of the classic films from the studio system days, seeing all those familiar faces.
I'd still recommend the film, especially to family audiences with younger viewers, but it's not as good as the original.
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