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Ezra James Colbert,
John P. Fowler
Families will love another adventure with golden puppies but, be warned, there are some sticky issues here, too
Oliver (Andrew Beckham), a middle schooler, is lonely. His workaholic parents, Jessica (Shannon Elizabeth) and Jeff (Jason Burks) have very little time to spend with him. Even when his father seems to make plans with Oliver, they almost always get postponed for work related reasons. Therefore, it is little surprise that Oliver reaches out to a few classmates, even though they are bad news. Meanwhile, at a foreclosed home, the owners do a terrible thing. They pack up and speed off, leaving a mother Retriever and her five puppies behind, with no food or water. How can they! Happily, a bank associate comes by soon and spies the mom dog, taking her to a shelter. Now, the puppies are own their own, but not for long. Olver's new "gang" breaks into the vacant home, hoping to filch some of the items left behind. It's our Ollie who finds the pups and wants to take them to a humane society but once the gang leader realizes how much their street value is, he merely puts Oliver in charge of their care. More complications arise when the gang leader gets wind of a charity party where the boys hope to pose as Santa's helpers and take other items by the five-fingered discount. Can Oliver break free from their bad influence and will the puppies find great new owners, along with Mother dog? This is an acceptable film for families and everyone will love the adorable puppies. They "talk" in human voices, too, and their conversations are a stitch. But, there are some issues here that prevent the film from being a huge winner. For one, Oliver's parents are neglectful in the extreme, more so than any good mother or dad would be, even with a large number of working hours. So, children will want to discuss that with their own family. More importantly, some of the film's bad elements are truly bad. First, the dogs are abandoned inside a house, even though there is a doggie door. Sadly, this happens but kids will be bothered by this. Then, the bad boys discuss selling the dogs to the Chinese markets for meat, which is very upsetting, when Oliver doesn't fall in line. Thus, the movie goes to far in portraying the nasty folks, it isn't necessary, truly. Despite these criticisms, families will fall hard for the puppies so, as long as adults are prepared to discuss some minor matters, most everyone will have a swell time.
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