The Shaggy Dog (2006 film)
|The Shaggy Dog|
Promotional release poster
|Directed by||Brian Robbins|
|Produced by||David Hoberman
|Written by||Cormac Wibberley
Robert Downey, Jr.
Philip Baker Hall
|Music by||Alan Menken|
|Editing by||Ned Bastille|
|Studio||Walt Disney Pictures
Boxing Cat Films
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Release dates||March 10, 2006|
|Running time||98 minutes|
Both the 1959 and 1994 features, as well as the 1976 theatrical sequel and the 1987 television sequel, had a character named Wilby Daniels transforming into an Old English Sheepdog, whereas this remake presents a character named Dave Douglas transforming into a Bearded Collie.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (March 2012)|
Dave Douglas (Tim Allen) is a deputy district attorney who prosecutes activists who have broken into the pharmaceutical corporation Grant and Strictland, which the activists accuse of animal experimentation while searching for a "Fountain of Youth." This distances Douglas from his activist daughter Carly (Zena Grey).
The greedy geneticists working for Mr. Lance Strictland (Philip Baker Hall), led by Dr. Kozak (Robert Downey, Jr.), have stolen from a Tibetan Buddhist monastery a sacred dog named Khyi Yang Po (a Bearded Collie), whose DNA carries a mutation granting an extraordinary lifespan. Seeking to obtain his immortality for themselves, the geneticists carry out several experiments which fail spectacularly. Unable to isolate the specific gene that provided for the dog's lifespan, they injected the dog's gene sequence into the animal test subjects, resulting in unwanted side effects. these alterations consist of a chimpanzee, a small monkey, a group of rabbits and rats, a frog with a bulldogs face, and a snake with a dogs tail, all of which have gained the ability to bark. The scientists determine that Khyi Yang Po's genetic sequence, when isolated and put into a vaccination, invades and alters the cells and DNA of a victim. Unlike normal sicknesses, Khyi Yang Po's code can not be defeated by natural immune systems and so it will remain and invade the entire host.
Khyi Yang Po manages to escape the facility, with some of the vaccine remaining on his mouth and face. The dog is found by Carly Douglas and her friend Trey (Shawn Pyfrom), who are trying to find evidence of the company's animal testing. They bring him home and dub him "Shaggy." When Dave returns from work, he takes the dog out in the garage, then the dog runs to get the newspaper, causing Dave to fall to the floor. The dog gives him his newspaper, but as Dave reaches for it, Khyi Yang Po bites him on the hand, whereupon the saliva enters Dave's veins, carrying bits of the vaccine with him, infecting him. Dave calls the Humane Society to test Khyi Yang Po for rabies.
Dave thereafter begins to exhibit canine traits and behavior such as enhanced hearing and smell, eating with only his mouth, being territorial in the presence of other dogs, and licking his wife rather than kissing her. As the disease progressed, Dave becomes excited by stimuli associated with dogs, such as the command "Fetch!" or the presence of a cat, and he then transforms completely into a replica of Khyi Yang Po. After that, the change is reversed only when he has calmed, as during sleep. When the real Khyi Yang Po is caught by Kozak's assistants, Dave is mistaken for "Shaggy" and takes his place.
His family, ignorant of Dave's new canine form, speak freely in his presence, leading Dave to realize that he is estranged from them. In particular, he learns that his son Josh (Spencer Breslin) wants to sing in the musical Grease instead of playing football, but is too scared to tell his father so.
In the ongoing trial, testimony from the activist accused of setting the lab on fire includes a description of the animals behaving like dogs, which sparks Dave's suspicions about the company he is defending. When his dog-like behavior annoys the judge, Dave is removed from the case. He then decides to take matters into his own hands and infiltrates Grant and Strictland headquarters while in his canine form.
Hidden in the laboratory, Dave witnesses Dr. Kozak injecting the ailing Strictland with a drug that will paralyze him for several months, giving Kozak enough time to usurp control of the company. After viewing security cameras, Kozak and his minions realize that somehow Dave became an exact copy of Khyi Yang Po.
When Dave comes home, still in his canine form, he overhears a conversation between Carly and Josh that Dave and Rebecca may be filing for divorce. After hearing this, Dave then knocks over a Scrabble game and uses the letters to spell "I AM DAD," and then "GRANT AND STRICTLAND," revealing and clarifying all the past events to them. Unfortunately, when Dave gets out of the house, he is captured by Kozak's minions.
Dave is taken to the lab to be euthanized, but Kozak has a court summons, and must deal with Dave later. Right before he exits, Kozak mocks Dave in canine form and is bitten in the process. He then begins to exhibit the same issues Dave had at the beginning of his adventure; Dave had successfully transferred the gene sequence into Kozak. After the humans leave, Dave and all the other mutants plan to escape. Acting on Khyi Yang Po's advice (he had developed the ability to understand canines prior), Dave calms himself and in human form breaks open his cage and opens the others. They all pile into a car and drive to the courthouse, but get into traffic, forcing Dave to leave the animals to drive while he meets his wife and children in his canine form. Dave says he loves them, and eventually calms enough to return to his human state.
In the courtroom, Dave attempts to show the assembly what Kozak has done, but Kozak manages to hide his secret. Thinking quickly, he mocks Kozak by implying he was working under Strictland's shadow, and angers him. The two begin growling at each another, and the judge, exasperated by Dave's canine behavior, orders the bailiff to remove him. Dave runs back in and tosses the bailiff's nightstick into the court, shouting "Fetch!" Kozak runs after the item and, in the process, begins to change into a replica Khyi Yang Po, growing a tail. Kozak is arrested. The pharmaceutical company is returned to Strictland, the mutant animals are protected, and Dave is able to spend more time with his family. The movie ends with the family vacationing in Hawaii, where Khyi Yang Po is seen surfing. Dave's canine habits slightly remain, as he catches a Frisbee with his teeth in the closing scene.
Popular culture references
Tim Allen says the line, "To infinity and beyond!" in this film, making a reference to Buzz Lightyear, whose voice Allen provided in the Toy Story films, also distributed by Disney. When the shaggy dog is running and notices in a store window that he has become a dog, he remarks, "Back the truck up," one of Tim Allen's catchphrases from the TV series Home Improvement. Actor Jarad Paul, who played Jason in Home Improvement, makes an appearance in the film as Larry, one of the scientists.
- Tim Allen as David "Dave" Douglas
- Robert Downey, Jr. as Dr. Kozak
- Kristin Davis as Rebecca Douglas
- Danny Glover as Kenny "Ken" Hollister
- Philip Baker Hall as Dr. Lance Strictland
- Adam Hicks as Quarterback
- Zena Grey as Carly Douglas
- Spencer Breslin as Joshua "Josh" Douglas
- Bess Wohl as Gwen Lichtman
- Jarrad Paul as Larry
- Jane Curtin as Judge Claire Whittaker
- Rhea Seehorn as Lori
- Shawn Pyfrom as Trey
- Cole as the Shaggy Dog
- Martin Sru as Bin Bag
- Joel Moore as Dog Pound Employee
- Kaine Bennett Charleston as Game Parent
- Robert Natelborg as an extra~1st police man in the beginning
- Crystal the Monkey as the Monkey
- Jane Hajduk as the News Reporter
The Shaggy Dog received generally mixed reviews from film critics. BBC called Allen uninteresting and said he "only stops short of leg-humping in his attempts to win our affections." The film was on Richard Roeper's Worst films of 2006 list. Roger Ebert gave it 2 stars out of 4. It currently holds a 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the film proved to be a commercial success, grossing over $61 million against its $50 million budget at the U.S. box office.
The film earned three Razzie Award nominations including Worst Actor for Tim Allen, Worst Remake or Ripoff and Worst Excuse for Family Entertainment, but failed to win any of those categories.
- The Shaggy Dog, the original 1959 theatrical film
- The Shaggy D.A., the 1976 theatrical sequel
- The Return of the Shaggy Dog, the 1987 television sequel
- The Shaggy Dog, the 1994 television movie and the first remake of the 1959 film
- Felix Salten, the author of The Hound of Florence, the source material for the 1959 film
- Genzlinger, Neil (March 10, 2006). "A New Dog Learns Some New Tricks". The New York Times.
- The Shaggy Dog (2006)
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- The Shaggy Dog at the Internet Movie Database
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- The Shaggy Dog at Box Office Mojo
- The Shaggy Dog at Rotten Tomatoes