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Rover Dangerfield

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Rover Dangerfield
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
  • James L. George
  • Bob Seeley
Screenplay byRodney Dangerfield
Story by
Produced by
StarringRodney Dangerfield
Edited byTony Mizgalski
Music byDavid Newman
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • August 2, 1991 (1991-08-02)
Running time
74 minutes
CountryUnited States

Rover Dangerfield is a 1991 American animated musical comedy film starring the voice talent of comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who also wrote the screenplay and story and co-produced the film.[1] It revolves around the eponymous character, a canine facsimile of Dangerfield owned by a Las Vegas showgirl, who gets dumped off the Hoover Dam and finds himself living on a farm. Critical reception was unfavorable, although its animation received minor praise.


Rover Dangerfield is a Basset Hound living the life of luxury in Las Vegas with his owner Connie, a showgirl. One night, he sees Connie's shady boyfriend Rocky negotiating with a pair of gangsters, and accidentally disrupts it by dropping a bone into the meeting. Thinking Rocky is an undercover cop setting them up, the gangsters flee as their boss tells Rocky that he has blown his last chance. When Connie goes on tour for two weeks, she leaves Rover in the care of Rocky. In retaliation for ruining his deal, Rocky stuffs Rover in a bag, drives him to Hoover Dam and throws him into the water.

The bag is later pulled out of the water by two passing fishermen, who take Rover back to shore and place him in the back of their pickup truck. Rover regains consciousness, jumps out of the truck during a stop, and begins wandering down the road. He ends up in the countryside, and eventually runs into a farmer, Cal, and his son, Danny. Danny convinces his father to take the dog in. Cal agrees on one condition: if he causes trouble, he'll be sent to an animal shelter. If nobody claims him, the animal shelter can put him down. Rover has difficulty adjusting to life on the farm but with the help of Daisy, a beautiful collie next door, and the other dogs on the farm, he succeeds in earning their trust. Rover spends Christmas with the family, and begins to fall in love with Daisy.

One night, a pack of wolves attempt to kill a turkey on the farm. Rover saves the turkey, but the bird ends up dead of shock. Cal mistakenly believes Rover to be responsible for the turkey's death, and takes Rover into the woods to shoot him the next morning. The wolves then attack Cal, but are fended off by Rover, who then rallies the other farm dogs to get the injured Cal home. Rover's heroics make the papers; Connie discovers Rover's whereabouts and travels to the farm to pick him up and take him back to Las Vegas. Although initially satisfied to be reunited with Connie and his old friends, Rover soon begins to miss his life on the farm. Rocky comes into Connie's dressing room, and accidentally confesses to her what he did to Rover, causing Connie to break up with him. Infuriated, Rocky tries to retaliate, but Rover and friends chase him out of the casino, where he is beckoned into the gangsters' limo, presumably taken to be thrown off the Hoover Dam.

Sometime later, Rover, missing Daisy, becomes depressed. Realizing that he misses his new life, Connie takes Rover back to the farm to stay, allowing Cal and Danny to keep him. Rover is reunited with Daisy, who leads him to the barn, revealing that he is now a father of six puppies: five of them resembling Rover and one resembling Daisy. The story ends with Rover teaching his kids how to play cards and playfully chasing Daisy around the farmyard.

Voice cast[edit]

Additional voices by Bob Bergen, Louise Chamis, Bill Farmer, Barbara Goodson, Patricia Parris, Burton Sharp, and Ross Taylor


Conceived in the late 1980s, the film was planned at the time for a December 1988 release.[2] It was originally planned as an R-rated animated film, in the vein of Ralph Bakshi's films, but Warner Bros. wanted the film's content to be toned down to a G-rating.[3][4] Cartoonist Jeff Smith, best known as the creator of the self-published comic book series Bone, described working on key frames for the film's animation to editor Gary Groth in The Comics Journal in 1994. Although he admitted he had fun working on the film, he would describe the film itself as "terrible".[5]

The film was preceded in theaters by a re-issue of the 1958 Merrie Melodies short Robin Hood Daffy.[6]

Reception and legacy[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 17% of 6 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 3.8/10.[7]

Entertainment Weekly graded the film a 'C', questioning Dangerfield's decision to make the film and said, 'Dangerfield should have known he had written a no-win scenario. His strongest suit — that gleeful lounge-act vulgarity — has always been a little too crass for kids. Yet when Rover offers gooey, sentimental life lessons, it feels unconvincing, like a rock star in a suit. This mongrel-movie badly wants to be a kidvid hit, and with that star and decent animation chops, it stands a chance. But don't bet the farm on it.'[8] TV Guide awarded the film two stars, criticizing the tone and inconsistent animation, and said, 'The result is a confused hybrid creation, suspended in a twilight zone between Don Bluth's benign but dull children's fare and Ralph Bakshi's gratingly hip work.'[9]

Screen Rant, on the other hand, listed Rover Dangerfield as a must-see performance for its star, stating that:

"To hear Dangerfield voice an animated version of himself is quite funny, and the film, while no classic, is completely watchable due to Dangerfield's fresh and entertaining voice-performance".[10]

Home video[edit]

The film was released on VHS and LaserDisc on February 12, 1992. Warner Archive Collection released the film on DVD,[11] and Blu-ray on January 30, 2024.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 201–202. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  2. ^ Beck, Marilyn (1987-04-03). "Donner Works on Sequel". The Victoria Advocate. p. 7D. Retrieved 2010-06-02. A Rodney Is a Rodney Is a Rodney
  3. ^ "Old Brew". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011.
  4. ^ "The R-Rated Animated Movie That Ended Up With a G Rating". 12 August 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  5. ^ "The Jeff Smith Interview". The Comics Journal. December 1994.
  6. ^ "'Rover Dangerfield' barks up right tree". The Orlando Sentinel. August 5, 1991 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Rover Dangerfield". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 8, 2023. Edit this at Wikidata
  8. ^ "Rover Dangerfield". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Rover Dangerfield - TV Guide". TV Guide. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  10. ^ Rodney Dangerfield: His 10 Must-See Performances - Screen Rant
  11. ^ Amazon.com

External links[edit]