Reviewed by: Lewis A. McNeely
|Featuring||Jeff Goldblum (Professor Brody), Tobey Maguire (Lou the Beagle—voice), Alec Baldwin (Butch—voice), Sean Hayes (Mr. Tinkles—voice), Susan Sarandon (Ivy—voice), Joe Pantoliano (Peek—voice), Michael Clarke Duncan (Sam—voice), Charlton Heston (The Mastiff—voice), See all »|
|Producer||Andrew Lazar, Chris de Faria, Craig Perry, Warren Zide|
“Things are gonna get hairy!”
A great movie for all ages and a chance to root for your favorite domestic friend, “Cats and Dogs” scores high on the fun meter! No profanity, no sexual references, just good clean family fun.
After “Babe the pig” and other “talking animal” movies it’s no longer enough to have real animals with animated mouths filling the big screen to entertain and captivate moviegoers. Thankfully the writers of “Cats and Dogs” give us more to make the visit worthwhile.
The plot centers around a family whose father (Jeff Goldbloom) is attempting to create a cure for dog-related allergies, which will enable everyone to enjoy the presence of “man’s best friend.” Of course the cat world will do anything to stop this from happening and thus begins the premise of “Cats and Dogs”. The dog world’s best and greatest hope in this epic battle for domination is a cute beagle named Lou (voice of Toby Maguire). His cuteness alone should spark a high demand for beagles as pets just as “101 Dalmatians” caused the same reaction for it protagonists.
Complete with great fight scenes and “James Bond” style action, “Cats and Dogs” captures the essence of spy thrillers with a tongue-in-cheek feel that worked much better than it did in the earlier released “Spy Kids”. Of course, like many children’s movies these days, the story was predictable and formulaic. But the humor and likability of most of the characters keep you entertained and wishing for more movie time. No doubt this feature will deservedly have a sequel.
The summer of 2001 has mostly been a disaster in the family/Christian arena, making this summer’s movie lineup one of the least kid friendly in recent years. It is refreshing to have a well-made family movie that will also make a great video purchase for the Christmas season (if it is released in time).
There is a reference that cats once ruled the world. Only very small children may not understand the apocryphal nature of that segment and could require parental guidance on the subject. Overall, the movie is a definite winner.
My final take: “That’ll do, little beagle, that’ll do”.