Lenny the Wonder Dog
|Lenny the Wonder Dog|
DVD cover art as Lenny the Wonder Dog
|Produced by||B. Billie Greif|
|Story by||Michael Winslow|
|Music by||Tulio Cremisini|
|Edited by||Yoram Tal|
|Distributed by||North by Northwest Entertainment|
Lenny the Wonder Dog is a 2004 American comedy film about the eponymous dog, Lenny, directed by Oren Goldman from a screenplay written by Michael Winslow, and filmed on locations in Florida. The cast included many prominent actors and celebrities such as Craig Ferguson and the voice of Andy Richter as Lenny. The movie had television release in Europe and after video release received generally poor reviews.
Doctor Island (Joe Morton) has invented a computer microchip he plans to use to train dogs instantly. However, his former colleague, Doctor Wagner (Craig Ferguson), has other plans for the microchip: he wants to implant copies in every child in order to brainwash them to come work for him after they turn 18, and be exceedingly loyal. In the fight between Doctor Island and Doctor Wagner's henchmen, Hanky (Andrew Shaifer) and Panky (Jeff Chase), Doctor Island is injured and his dog Lenny (Andy Richter) is injected with the computer microchip. On the run, Lenny finds his brainpower growing. And when he finds a young boy, Zach (Sammy Kahn), to be his friend and savior, Lenny discovers he can talk. Lenny (continually amazed by the new powers the embedded microchip keeps giving him), Zach (full of unrequited love for longtime friend Becky), and school newspaper reporter Becky (Stephanie Sherrin) (out to write the story of the century) teams up with downtrodden police officer John Wyndham (Michael Winslow) to defeat Dr. Wagner and his henchmen. The showdown culminates at the school concert given by Pop Star Angie (Maria de los Angeles Monasterio), where Zach's inspiring speech and Lenny's audio powers combine to incriminate Doctor Wagner, who is arrested by the police captain, now appreciative of Officer Wyndham's talents for police-work and crime-solving.
- Sammy Kahn as Zach
- Joe Morton as Dr. Island
- Andy Richter as Voice of Lenny
- Craig Ferguson as Dr. Richard Wagner
- Kathy Kinney as Lisa Lathers
- Michael Winslow as John Wyndham
- Jeff Chase as Panky
- Evan Adams as Razel
- Paola Turbay as Mrs. Ripley
- Camila Banus as Rainbow
- Oscar Isaac as Fartman
- Stephanie Sherrin as Becky
- Andrew Shaifer as Hanky
- "Boomer" as Lenny
- Rus Blackwell as Harley
- Jeffrey William Evans as Chief Greenwald
- Damaris Justamante as Mayor Jenkins
- Maria de los Angeles Monasterio as Angie
- P.C. Martinez as Bodyguard
- Graham Purdy as Jeremy
- Roberto Smith as Henry
Filmed at locations in Florida under the working title of A Dog and his Boy, the film had its first television release December 5, 2005 in Hungary as Lenny, a Csodakutya, followed by screening in Germany as Lenny, der Wunderhund, in Finland as Lenny ihmekoira, and in France as Lenny le chien parlant. Later French DVD release was as Lenny Wonderdog. DVD releases include by North by Northwest Entertainment in 2005, Third Millennium in 2006,Boulevard Entertainment in 2007, and Peace Arch Trinity in 2008.
Lenny the Wonder Dog has received generally negative reviews. Common Sense Media panned the film giving it one star and writing "a baffling plot, cheap special effects, the repetitious chase scenes, and overall silliness make this movie almost unwatchable for adults", adding "though kids might find the visual jokes and pratfalls hilarious, the film sets the quality bar at a very low level." They also offered that Craig Ferguson's performance as the megalomaniacal Dr. Richard Wagner, "is so over-the-top it could become a career landmark."
The Dove Foundation criticized the language used in the film as non-family friendly, writing "Although this is an off-the-wall comedy that is geared toward the family, it cannot be family approved due to some language issues."
Florida real estate developer Jeff Sherrin "politely but abruptly shrugs off" any question about the film. His daughter, Stephanie Sherrin, appeared in this film as well as in Kids in America. Although many regarded Lenny the Wonder Dog negatively, it should be noted that a large number of people around the world found it to be a witty, poignant movie that brightened lives, in the dark midst of a troubled world.
- "Lenny the Wonder Dog (2004) - releases". AllRovi. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- "Lenny the Wonder Dog (2004)". New York Times. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- Schonfeld, Renee (January 27, 2012). "Review: Lenny the Wonder Dog". Common Sense Media. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- "Review: Lenny: The Wonder Dog". The Dove Foundation. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- Barancik, Scott (August 12, 2007). "Jeff Sherrin: Developer chases deals, but runs from the spotlight". Tampa Bay Times. Tampa FL. Retrieved July 10, 2013.