The California Atoms are in last place with no hope of moving up. But by switching the mule from team mascot to team member, (He can kick 100 yard field goals!) they start winning, and move... See full summary »
Frederick Bolton has to solve two problems. First, his boss has instructed him to come up with a reasonable campaign to promote a new product, a stomach pill named "Aspercel" - by tomorrow.... See full summary »
There seems to be some confusion about exactly what place in film history The Shaggy Dog has. First and foremost it is not Walt Disney's first live action film, but it is the first live action big screen comedy that he did. It is also the first film that Disney did with Fred MacMurray starring.
For MacMurray this was a big film. His career was in the doldrums at that point and this film brought him to his final phase of his career as the star of family oriented comedies. He got a television series, My Three Sons, after this and that together with the Disney films kept him steadily working for the next fifteen years.
Though MacMurray is the star along with Jean Hagen as his wife, the film's title role is played in part by Tommy Kirk. Kirk is a young teenager with a lot of angst and an abiding interest in the space program. So much so he constructs his own rocket in his basement and it has an unscheduled launch to open the film. A generation later, this bit was copied in Family Matters by Steve Urkel.
Anyway he's got a healthy set of hormones as well and a rivalry with the smooth talking Tim Considine down the street. Both are hot to trot for Annette Funicello, but when Roberta Shore shows up with father Alexander Scourby, both go after her as well.
Roberta's the only weakness in the film. For someone who is foreign, she has one cheesy accent and at times just drops it altogether. She's also got a large shaggy dog named Chiffon.
Anyway while at a museum young Mr. Kirk gets a hold of an enchanted ring and repeats a spell that causes him to enter the body of the neighbor's shaggy dog. And he discovers that in fact Scourby and his confederates are spies.
What follows after as Kirk periodically changes from talking dog to teenager is still pretty hilarious. Fred MacMurray gets a lot of laughs as the man who gets the credit for exposing the spy ring which son Kirk can't really claim.
James Westerfield, one delightful character actor in everything he does, makes the first of three appearances as Officer Hanson, the much put upon patrol cop in this, The Absent Minded Professor and Son of Flubber. Best moment in the film is when Kirk as The Shaggy Dog steals Westerfield's police vehicle in pursuit of the villains.
I'm still amazed at how well the ancient special effects still work in this film. Disney took some meticulous care in doing the scenes with the dog. You really do think The Shaggy Dog is driving those vehicles and not some guy dressed in a dog costume. Good thing it was a large Shaggy Dog though, a Chihuahua would not have worked as well.
Still working well today.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this