Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Snow Dogs

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Profanity:Mild language
Nudity/Sex:Reference to one-night stand
Alcohol/Drugs:Hard liquor, scenes in bar
Violence/Scariness:Comic peril
Diversity Issues:Lead is smart, dedicated bi-racial man
Movie Release Date:2002

Two Oscar-winners are no match for some irresistible dogs (with a little assistance from puppeteers and computer animators) in this so-so slapstick comedy about a Miami dentist who ends up in a dogsled race. The actors do their best, but there is no way they can hold the attention of the audience when those beautiful Siberian huskies and one magnificent border collie are on screen.

This is an a attempt to return to one of the Disney staples of the 1960’s, a light-hearted story pairing cute but clumsy actors with cute but clever animals. Think of “That Darn Cat,” “The Shaggy Dog,” “The Monkey’s Uncle,” and “The Ugly Dachshund.” The set-up this time is fine: a successful Miami dentist named Ted Brooks (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) inherits a team of champion Alaskan snow dogs. And some of the highly predictable jokes work reasonably well, as the city slicker used to sunshine has to adjust to live in a remote area that is all snow and ice.

Gooding is, as always, an attractive presence, with welcome support from Nichelle (“Lt. Uhura”) Nichols as his adoptive mother, James Coburn as his biological father, and Joanna Bacalso as his romantic interest. There is a cute dream sequence and the scenery is gorgeous. But overall, the movie is no better than fair.

Parents should know, though, that despite the PG rating, there is some material they might not consider appropriate for children. Characters drink hard liquor. Brooks’ late mother leaves a drink of Wild Turkey to all her friends. Brooks learns early in the movie that he is adopted, which some children (both adopted and not) might find disturbing. Later, he is told that his natural parents were two loners who had a one-night stand, and his biological father is a cranky (and white) mountain man played by James Coburn. Brooks tries to gain the respect of the mountain man and find out how his biological parents felt about each other and about him.

When Brooks finds out that he is half white, his adoptive mother makes a stereotype joke, responding, “That explains why you’re so crazy about Michael Bolton.” Parents should also make it clear to younger children that despite what it says in the movie, humans do not bite dogs on the ear to tame them.

Families who see this movie should talk about when we allow ourselves to be measured by the standards of others and when we trust our own ability to know what is important.

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Beethoven(about a St. Bernard that adopts a family) and Rat Race(another slapstick comedy starring Gooding).



Previous Posts

How Do Movies Show Time Passing?
Someone once said that movies are "pieces of time." A few take place in "real time." Alfred Hitchcock's experiment, "Rope," unfolds in just the time it takes us to watch it, all in what appears to be one seamless shot. But others take place over days, weeks, years, even generations. Slavko Vorkap

posted 8:00:40am Jul. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Boring TV Makes You Fat
A new study finds that boring television leads to mindless snacking and that leads to putting on pounds. So, watch programs that excite and engage you. Or, if the show is boring, turn off the television.

posted 8:00:05am Jul. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Switched at Birth and the End of Life
I'm a big fan of ABC Family's Switched at Birth and have appreciated its complicated characters, honest and heartfelt relationships, and compelling storylines, as well as its unprecedented, in-depth portrayal of the deaf community. Last week's episode may have been the all-time best (SPOILER ALERT)

posted 3:59:49pm Jul. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Comic-Con 2014
It's here!  San Diego Comic-Con begins Wednesday night in San Diego and I'll be there.  This is my favorite event of the year, a chance to find out what everyone will be watching, listening to, playing, and otherwise enjoying over the next few years.  As I always say, this is the Iowa caucuses of

posted 8:00:20am Jul. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Wish I Was Here
My intention was to review Zach Braff's new film without mentioning the controversy he stirred up in funding it via Kickstarter.  My view was that what mattered was the movie itself, and the kerfluffle over how it was all paid for was beside the point.  But it turns out that it is the point.  "Sc

posted 7:21:07pm Jul. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.