The Dog Who Saved Christmas

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Dog who Saved Christmas
Dogwhosavedchristmas.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Feifer
Produced by Michael Feifer
Jeffrey Schenck
Written by Michael Ciminera
Richard Gnolfo
Starring Dean Cain
Elisa Donovan
Mario López
Adrienne Barbeau
Gary Valentine
Joey Diaz
Sierra McCormick
Music by Andres Boulton
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release date(s) November 29, 2009
Running time 88 minutes
Language English

The Dog Who Saved Christmas is a TV movie starring Dean Cain, Gary Valentine and the voice of Mario López. It was written by childhood friends Michael Ciminera and Richard Gnolfo. It premiered on ABC Family on November 29, 2009 during their Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas programming block.[1] It was ranked as the number one cable program during its timeslot, and the number one cable film of the 2009 winter season with 4.0 million viewers.

Plot[edit]

Zeus, a Labrador Retriever and a former police dog, has lost his bark after his barking ended up blowing off a five-year investigation and his partner can't shoot straight again and ends up at the pound. He is adopted by George Bannister as both an early Christmas present and as a good guard dog for the house, but the mom is hesitant and didn't want a dog. The dog is left home alone on Christmas Eve when the family head off to visit Grandma's house. A pair of burglars, Ted Stein and Stewey McMann break into the family home, and it is up to Zeus to save Christmas for his new family by setting up booby traps to stop them. Zeus soon gets caught by the burglars and they muzzle him and continue to rob the house. Zeus escapes while Ted and Stewey continue to rob the house. Zeus gets chased through the house by Ted and Stewey until Stewey accidentally pepper sprayed himself. Ted then takes out a tranquilizer gun and tries to shoot Zeus but gets Stewey instead knocking him out. Ted tries to escape the house (with Stewey who's still knocked out) but Zeus finishes them off for good by dropping a chandelier on them, knocking the two robbers out. The police come and arrest Ted and Stewey and Zeus finally barks. The family come back and see Ted and Stewey getting arrested and spend a Merry Christmas together.[1][2]

Cast[edit]

It also features members of the production team in various supporting roles. Writers Richard Gnolfo and Michael Ciminera are credited as Policeman 1 & 2, while the director/producer Michael Feifer is credited as Police Officer 2.

Reception[edit]

The Dog Who Saved Christmas was broadcast on Sunday, November 29, 2009 and was cable's number one program during its time period of 8:00pm–10:00pm with 4.0 million viewers. It was also ranked number one in scripted telecasts on cable during that Sunday, and became the season's number one cable film of the season. Overall, it was a 14% increase in viewers from the same timeslot in the previous year.[3]

Critics compared it to another Christmas dog themed TV movie of 2009, A Dog Named Christmas and cited influences from Home Alone and Look Who's Talking.[4] A Dog Named Christmas was broadcast on the same night as The Dog Who Saved Christmas with the original timings overlapping by an hour.[5] Overall, critics rated A Dog Named Christmas as the superior film over The Dog Who Saved Christmas, but praised the performances Adrienne Barbeau and Mindy Sterling.[6]

The Dog Who Saved Christmas won several "Yulies" from the Popwatch column on Entertainment Weekly's website. The categories it won included "MVP: Most Valuable Pooch" and "Best Use of Dean Cain".[7]

It was given the "Family Approved" seal by The Dove Foundation.[8] Commonsense Media graded it as appropriate for ages 6 and up.[9]

Sequels[edit]

A sequel, The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation, aired on ABC Family in 2010.

A second sequel, The Dog Who Saved Halloween was released directly to DVD in September 2011.[10]

A third sequel, The Dog Who Saved the Holidays, was released directly to DVD on December 4, 2012.

A fourth sequel, The Dog Who Saved Easter, was released directly to DVD on April 8, 2014. It stars Dean Cain, Elisa Donovan, Beverley Mitchell, Patrick Muldoon and Catherine Hicks. Gary Valentine is absent.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Eve, Sarah. "The Dog Who Saved Christmas TV Movie Review". Totally Her. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  2. ^ Gerlach, Linette (2009-11-10). "The Dog Who Saved Christmas". Blisstree.com. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  3. ^ Seidman, Robert (2009-12-02). "World Television Debut of The Dog Who Saved Christmas is the Season’s No. 1 Cable Movie in Total Viewers". TV By The Numbers. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  4. ^ Wiser, Paige (2009-11-29). "The dog days of Christmas". The Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  5. ^ "BARK the herald angels sing". Deseret News. 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  6. ^ Heinrich, Jim (2009-11-25). "TV: 'A Dog Named Christmas' better of two Xmas-canine shows Sunday". Scripps News. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  7. ^ Snierson, Dan (2009-11-29). "The 2nd Annual Yulies: An absurd celebration of the holiday TV-movie genre". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  8. ^ Rolfe, Donna. "Dog Who Saved Christmas, The". The Dove Foundation. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  9. ^ "The Dog Who Saved Christmas". Commonsense Media. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  10. ^ The Dog Who Saved Halloween at the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]