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There never can be enough talking animal movies...on second thought; yes, there definitely can be. Every new talking animal movie that comes out nowadays seems to be one too many, not just because they are cheap and horrible to watch but also because they lack the spark of true imagination, magic and creativity that the early genre movies still had in them, such as of course for instance the king of all modern talking animal movies "Babe".

When watching these type of family- and kids oriented movies, I always attempt to reconnect with my inner child and ask myself; would I enjoy and like watching this movie if I were a young kid? The answer to that in this case would have to be; NO! Absolutely not. The adventurous element in the story isn't 'big' enough, the characters not likable enough (the voice acting really got on my nerves after a while), the comedy far too predictable and the dialog far too lame. It seems that sometimes film-makers think that they are able to get away with just about anything when it comes down to making movies for kids. But even kids, no matter how young and oblivious they are, have standards and you can't expect them to go along with just about everything.

The overall movie feels rushed, cheap (the 'effects' are all horrible) and poorly thought out. The story is about as basic as it can get and there is absolutely nothing about this movie that makes it stand out from any other talking animal movies, featuring cute looking dogs in them. It's really disappointing to see how the movie is lacking any form of true creativity and doesn't ever take any of its 'fantasy' elements far enough. This of course very easily still could have a cute and somewhat entertaining movie to watch, if only the story would have been a tad bit more original and surprising. It at the very least would have made things more bearable to watch but after only 15 minutes in, I was waiting for the movie to end already and the movie did absolutely nothing to ever change this. On the contrary actually.

'Good' thing about these type of movies always is that no one involved with it ever seems to believe that they are making anything actually good. They know very well what they are involved with, so they simply decide to go and have some fun with it. It provides the movie with some decently entertaining moments and a pleasant, fun, light atmosphere but it's just really too bad the story, jokes or any of the characters are entertaining or good as well.

If dogs running through parking lots, biting guards in the balls, getting a trouble with a dogcatcher, jumping through widows and drive cars around sounds appealing and entertaining to you, then by all means, watch this movie. If you expect something a little bit more creative and surprising, to also get you into the Christmas spirit (yes, it's a Christmas movie as well), then you definitely should go and watch something else instead.

3/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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