Who's in It:
Josh Hutcherson, Bruce Greenwood, Bill Nunn, Scotch Ellis Loring, Mayte Garcia, Teddy Sears, Steven Culp, Dash Mihok
The Basics: Hollywood's most famous dog actor, Rexxx, gets lost in a filmmaking accident, only to be found by a firehouse and adopted as its mascot. Of course, the firefighters and, especially, the captain's son are infinitely better human beings than anyone looking out for the pooch in smarmy Los Angeles, and Rexxx (renamed Dewey) responds with similar affection, choosing his new life of valiantly saving fire victims over his former pampered movie-star existence. If he didn't, it would be more like real life, and that's not the way you want kids' movies to go down.
What's the Deal? Your children are going to enjoy this, because the dog is incessantly flatulent, burping and farting his way into your heart. And that's really all he has going for him, because he's kind of a charmless, mangy mutt otherwise. Adults will endure it because in spite of occasional lapses into tastelessness and age-inappropriate jokes (see "doggie prostitution" below), it's mostly goodhearted and inoffensive, even if it's really sloppy and badly made.
My Main Beef: If he's so famous, then why does no one recognize this dog? It's like he lands in a magical media-free bubble of a city where no one even says, "Hey, you know that new firehouse dog looks a lot like the famous movie-star dog." Even when Rexxx's real owner finds him, the guy has to explain who the dog is to the non-film-going, non-TV-watching populace.
Nothing Says Kid Movie Like Doggie Prostitution: Hey, parents, explain this to your young ones: To lure Rexxx back into his decadent Hollywood lifestyle, his real owner offers him three girl poodles, each dyed a different pastel color, to "get him back in the action." The hired females lounge dog-seductively on a curtained-off-for-humping-privacy bed. Our hero, however, newly filled with firehouse-created heroic virtue, declines the hookers.
Best Part: Cameos by look-alike versions of other famous animals like Lassie, Beethoven the St. Bernard, the Taco Bell dog (in a serape, so you know he's from "south of the border") and that insurance-shilling duck.