You Lucky Dog
|You Lucky Dog|
|Written by||David Covell|
|Directed by||Paul Schneider|
John de Lancie
|Theme music composer||David Michael Frank|
|Cinematography||Mark W. Gray|
|Running time||89 minutes|
|Distributor||Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
|Original network||Disney Channel|
|Original release||June 27, 1998|
Jack Morgan is a dog therapist, once famous for being able to read his dog's mind. Although Jack cannot read the minds of other dogs, he still operates a canine mind-reading business, without divulging his inability to customers. Mr. Mooney and his wife bring their dog to see Jack. Dissatisfied with Jack's inability to read his dog's mind, Mr. Mooney, who is a friend of the city mayor, threatens to have his business closed down. After the Mooneys leave, a wealthy man named Clyde Windsor brings his dog, Lucky, to see Jack, who is stunned by his ability to read the dog's mind. Jack informs Windsor that Lucky is bothered by three individuals that live with him.
Two weeks later, the city closes down Jack's business. Simultaneously, Windsor's personal driver, Calvin Bridges, informs Jack that Windsor has died. Windsor's lawyer, Allison Kent, reads Windsor's will to his niece and two nephews: Margaret, Lyle, and Rueben. The will reveals that the three individuals receive nothing from the estate of Windsor, who chose Lucky to inherit his money and mansion. Jack meets with Allison and is informed that he is Windsor's chosen trustee for Lucky's $64 million trust fund. Jack agrees to move into the mansion and become Lucky's new owner, as required by the trust fund, thus forcing Lyle, Margaret and Rueben to move out.
Windsor's relatives meet with Mr. Phister, a greedy lawyer who will only take the case to trial for 30 percent of the money in their uncle's trust fund. Windsor's relatives, who are used to living a luxurious lifestyle, instead plot to regain the mansion and to become the trustees of the trust fund on their own. One night, Jack begins acting like a dog after Lucky becomes overly excited about dog bones he had buried in the mansion's backyard. Jack joins Lucky in his search for bones, and later tears up furniture with Lucky, scaring away the mansion's two maids with his dog-like behavior. The next day, to help Lucky get over the death of his owner, Jack and Calvin take him to a local shopping mall. At the mall's pet store, Jack signs additional paperwork for Allison and also meets her daughter, Nicole, who wants to buy a puppy. However, Allison tells her daughter that their apartment is not a suitable living environment for a puppy. In the mall's food court, Lucky becomes excited at the scent of food. Jack's mind once again transforms into that of a dog's. Jack and Lucky devour leftover food on tables and inside a trash bin.
After numerous failed attempts, Windsor's relatives agree to Phister's expensive offer to take the case to trial and have Jack declared mentally incompetent. At the courthouse, Jack demonstrates his ability to read Lucky's mind. Jack discovers through Lucky's thoughts that Lyle likely poisoned his uncle. Lyle threatens the courtroom with a gun after Jack accuses him of murdering his uncle. Lucky knocks Lyle over, and he is arrested along with Margaret and Rueben. At the mansion, Jack reveals to Allison and her daughter that he purchased all of the dogs at the mall's pet store, at Lucky's request. Among the dogs that will live at the mansion is a puppy for Nicole and a female companion for Lucky.
- Kirk Cameron – Jack Morgan
- Chelsea Noble – Allison Kent
- John de Lancie – Lyle Windsor
- Christine Healy – Margaret Windsor
- Granville Van Dusen – Mr. Phister
- Christine Cavanaugh – Bernice
- Hansford Rowe – Clyde Windsor
- Jane Carr – Maid
- Taylor Negron – Reuben Windsor
- James Avery – Calvin Bridges
- Tom McCleister – Mr. Mooney
- Myra Turley – Mrs. Mooney
- Patricia Belcher – Judge Tanner
- Jillian Berard – Nicole Tyler
- Bogus – Lucky
Filming took place in March 1998, and was scheduled to last 27 days. Kirk Cameron had read the film's script a couple years earlier, and brought it to Disney Channel, which chose to produce it. Filming locations included Canoga Park, a neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The film's budget was $4 million.
On March 10, 1998, during its sixth day of filming in Canoga Park, approximately 50 crew members halted production when they protested for union membership. Filming resumed after two hours of discussions that resulted in full union status for the crew members. The role of Lucky was portrayed by Bogus, a Saint Bernard-Golden Retriever mix. Cameron's wife, Chelsea Noble, also plays a role in the film. Cameron had to wear elbow pads and knee pads during scenes that required him to run like a dog.
In May 2016, Aubrey Page of Collider.com ranked each of the 99 Disney Channel Original Movies released up to that point. Page ranked You Lucky Dog at the bottom of the list, writing, "There's not a clear message here honestly, and though it's only been a few days since I've watched this one, it already only exists in my mind under the file: 'Kirk Cameron Eats a Couch.' So that's something."
- King, Susan (June 25, 1998). "New Cable Films, a Classic on Tap for Saturday Night". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
- Bobbin, Jay (June 21, 1998). "Cameron Deals With A "Lucky Dog" In Disney Movie". The Seattle Times. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
- Madigan, Nick (March 10, 1998). "Dog day afternoon: Crew halts Disney shoot, collars union status". Variety. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
- Wedlan, Candace A. (June 22, 1998). "In Dogged Pursuit of Fitness". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
- Page, Aubrey (May 26, 2016). "Every Disney Channel Original Movie, Ranked". Collider.com. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
- "The Leaders of the Pack". Los Angeles Times. July 23, 1999. Retrieved June 1, 2016.