The Shaggy Dog
Disney has remade its first live action feature, 1959’s The Shaggy Dog, at least twice for the small screen and is now bringing its latest incarnation back to theaters. And Tim Allen, once an ex-con with an edgy (or at least chauvinistic) stand-up act who has long since traded in his dignity for family flicks ( The Santa Clause 3 coming soon), gamely steps up this time around to literally get on all fours and bark like a dog. So when Allen says, “This is humiliating,” while chasing cats and catching Frisbees in this mouth, you can be sure it’s his character and not the actor talking. The premise for the 2006 edition, which bears little relation to the original besides a guy turning into a dog, involves Tibetan mysticism and a severe misunderstanding of DNA that allows for corrupt scientists who create snakes, frogs, and monkeys that bark, pant, and have dog tails. Tykes will love the crotch-sniffing slapstick and the sly reference to Toy Story, when the Allen-voiced pooch dons a cape and shouts “to infinity . . . and beyond.” And parents will marvel at the bizarrely overqualified supporting cast, which includes Philip Baker Hall, Danny Glover, and Robert Downey Jr. Everyone wins.