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"CATS & DOGS"
(2001) (Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Perkins) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Minor Heavy *Mild Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Moderate None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None None Minor Moderate *Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy/Action: After a nefarious cat attempts to steal a human professor's anti-dog allergy lab work and use it against the canines of the world, various dog spies and agents, including a young puppy, do what they can to stop him and his feline accomplices.
PLOT:
Lou (voice of TOBEY MAGUIRE) is a young beagle puppy who yearns for something exciting in his life beyond just being someone's pet. He gets that chance when he's adopted by Carolyn Brody (ELIZABETH PERKINS), a suburban mom who's looking for a pooch to replace the family's missing dog that left's her son, Scott (ALEXANDER POLLOCK), in a deep funk.

It turns out, however, that the Brody's dog hasn't run off, but instead was kidnapped by a bunch of cats working for the nefarious Mr. Tinkles (voice of SEAN HAYES), a Persian cat who's scheming to take over the world from the mansion of his elderly and ailing human master, Mr. Mason. It seems that Scott's dad (JEFF GOLDBLUM) is a researcher who's trying to find a cure for human allergies to canines and Mr. Tinkles is concerned that if that occurs, dogs will have an upper hand in the perpetual battle between the two species.

Accordingly, the Persian ordered the removal of the Brody's dog and now has a contract on Lou, hoping to remove any canine presence so that he can put in a feline operative to retrieve Prof. Brody's formula and use it against the dogs. Fortunately for Lou, Butch (voice of ALEC BALDWIN), an operative for Dog Command, saves the young pup and introduces him to the world of canine spy operations, a James Bond like order where various dogs serve as agents and try to keep the peace using all sorts of high-tech equipment.

Lou then meets Butch's associates, Peek (voice of JOE PANTOLIANO), a Chinese hairless who's an electronics expert and watches for new cats showing up in the neighborhood, and Sam (voice of MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN), a friendly sheepdog who's a bit too enthusiastic about acting like a dog spy. As Lou tries to become accustomed to his new role as a dog agent on the lookout for felines, including Mr. Tinkle's lieutenant, Calico (voice of JON LOVITZ) and also meets Ivy (voice of SUSAN SARANDON), a stray Saluki hound who knows Butch from the past, he and other canines must contend with the nefarious cat's many attempts at removing them and stealing Prof. Brody's anti-allergy formula.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's a good bet that many younger kids will want to see it - thanks to the unique animal angle - as might anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For animal action and humor.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JEFF GOLDBLUM plays a professor who's trying to find a cure for allergies to dogs but finds that he's not spending enough time with his son.
  • ELIZABETH PERKINS plays his wife who brings that to his attention.
  • ALEXANDER POLLOCK plays their son who isn't happy about being bad at soccer or having little contact with his father, but lightens up when Lou comes into his life.
  • LOU is the young beagle puppy who earns for excitement in his life and gets just that when he finds himself assigned as a canine agent trying to thwart Mr. Tinkles' attempts at taking over the world.
  • BUTCH is the shepherd operative for the canine operation who takes Lou under his paw.
  • MR. TINKLES is a power-mad Persian cat who decides to break the truce between cats and dogs and try to take over the world.
  • IVY is the stray Saluki hound who watches over Lou and has a past with Butch.
  • PEEK is a Chinese hairless who's an electronics expert and watches for new cats showing up in the neighborhood.
  • SAM is a friendly sheepdog who's a bit too enthusiastic about acting like a dog spy.
  • CALICO is Mr. Tinkles' lieutenant who must put up with his boss's behavior and attitude toward him.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG. Various bits of animal on animal violence are present, but in this case the animals are acting like humans in their actions and it's all played for laughs. Accordingly, there's some martial arts fighting between cats and dogs (kicking, punching, hitting) that includes some attempts at injuring/killing others (explosive dog bones, a cat throwing ninja knives at two dogs, etc.), while many instances of slapstick style material are present (animals accidentally running into things or being knocked around, etc.).

    Some of that material could be tense or unsettling to some younger kids (including the brief sight and thought that one of the main animals has been killed - but he turns out to be okay), although that all depends on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material. Profanity and colorful phrases are minor in quantity and degree, and some animal-based scatological material is present (a pile of dog excrement, farting sounds and dogs smelling other dog's butts, etc.).

    Some bad attitudes are present, mainly from the cats who want to take over the world and attempt to harm/kill some dogs in the process (although it's all played for comedy), while some brief/minor tense family moments are present in the form of a busy father who doesn't have the necessary time and/or attention for his son (although everything turns out fine in the end).

    Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for anyone in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you more closely examine our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in it.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Various bits of animal-related scatological material are present, including the following scenes: After one of the dogs comments about cats or humans not being able to control their own farts, we then hear Sam do just that; We see a pile of dog excrement on the floor (an undercover cat puts it there to frame Lou) and Lou later complains that the "steamer" was bigger than him; Peek tells Sam to smell his butt fast when Carolyn walks by so that it looks like they're doing their normal dog thing; and at dog HQ we see two signs with the "NO" symbol on them (a circle with a slash through it) indicating no lifting the leg and urinating and no smelling the rear end of another dog.
  • After injecting himself with another experimental serum, Prof. Brody suddenly has red boils popping up on his arms and face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The cats, led by the nefarious Mr. Tinkles, have both for attempting to dominate the dogs and trying to kill various ones while doing so (but all done in a comedy, and non-frightening fashion).
  • Still upset about his missing dog, Scott isn't initially happy to see Lou and calls him "loser," although he eventually warms up to and then loves him.
  • Scott states that he was so bad in soccer tryouts that the boy's coach told him that tryouts for the girl's team are in a couple of days.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Some of the action and fight sequences (where cats and dogs fight in human ways) listed under "Violence" may be tense - to varying degrees - to kids, but that all depends on their age, level of maturity and tolerance/former exposure to such material.
  • Some kids may worry that a cat, seen lying lifeless in the middle of the road, has been hit and killed, but that's not the case as it gets up and runs away.
  • The same holds true when a maid has to pound on her boss's chest to revive him (he's very sick and hooked up to various machines in his bed in his mansion).
  • A cat hacks up a fur ball that contains a sphere that pops open and shoots many metal projectile spikes at Butch and Lou (that damage the Brody living room). The cat then throws various knives at the two of them (impaling and breaking more items). Butch ends up tangled beneath a secretary that's about to tip over onto him once the cord that's temporarily holding it up breaks or is cut. All of this occurs as a detonator is ticking down to blow open a door with explosives, and Butch and Lou know they must stop it. Lou ends up saving Butch, running into the cat and Butch stops the bomb from exploding just in time.
  • Some kids may worry about Scott and Lou after their soccer ball accidentally goes down into Prof. Brody's lab and breaks/spills most of his work (but everything turns out okay).
  • We see the Brody family bound to chairs in a factory office that's now caught on fire.
  • Mr. Tinkles tries to grab and then crush Butch with the huge, claw-like end on a crane. He does grab him, but Lou comes to the rescue. He and Mr. Tinkles briefly fight inside the control compartment. Moments later, Lou uses a high-pressure nozzle to shoot foam at Mr. Tinkles that blasts him up against a window. The huge claw-like end, however, sweeps through and hits Lou (he's knocked unconscious but is later okay). Everyone races outside as a pressurized container prepares to blow and it eventually does, tearing up the roof of the building, but no one is hurt.
  • Moments later, Butch drags Lou from the building and the pup appears to be dead (and some kids will probably think he is), but he then turns out to be okay.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Explosive Bone: Sent by the cats in an attempt to kill Lou, but Butch causes it to explode without anyone being harmed.
  • Plastic explosives: Placed on the door to Prof. Brody's lab in an attempt to blow it open (that never happens).
  • Knives/Metal projectiles: Thrown toward Butch and Lou by a Russian cat.
  • Grenade & Dynamite: Seen as something that was retrieved from a spy cat's stomach.
  • Explosive: Used in a cat doll to blow it up in a lab test.
  • Fake (cartoon looking) gun: What Calico brought Mr. Tinkles to use on the humans.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Loser," "Imbeciles," "We'll kick butt," "Idiot," "You make me sick" and "Son of my mom" (what a dog says instead of S.O.B.).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and action-oriented music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • What sounded like 1 use of "crap," 2 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "My God," "For God's sakes" and "God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Both Scott and his mom realize that Prof. Brody doesn't spend enough time with the former, and he forgets to attend a soccer tryout like he promised. In the end, however, everything turns out just fine.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • That while some of the film's humor stems from animals fighting or slamming into things, that doesn't mean that kids should try to throw or hit animals for laughs.
  • After Butch is surprised to learn that Lou is just a puppy, he exclaims, "He's still got his you know whats for crying out loud" (referring to his testicles), and some kids may wonder what he's talking about.
  • Lou initially wanting action and adventure in his life rather than living as a pet at home, getting just that, and then realizing that family is more important.
  • Why cats and dogs often don't get along.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Most of the following fighting material is of the animal on animal variety, although all of the material imitates human behavior and is played for laughs.
  • Slapstick material includes: The Brody's dog running snout first into a tree as it chases a cat that's then shot through the air from a treetop -- that's been bent over like a catapult -- and lands on a woman's face in another home - the dog then jumps through the window and runs her over and then causes some dishes in the house to hit the floor and break; Lou bashes snout first into the side of a barn as he tries to catapult himself out through a window and a metal bucket then falls on his head; Mr. Tinkles throws a dinner roll at Calico, hitting him on the head; Professor Brody opens his lab door and smashes a bad cat into the wall (we don't see the impact, but we do see the cat - still alive -- smashed into the wall); a limo driven by some cats crashes into some barrels, causing Mr. Tinkles to be smashed into the windows inside the limo; and that latter part happens again in another scene.
  • We see a van rocking back and forth from some cats apparently roughing up a dog inside it.
  • The cats send an explosive bone into the Brody's yard, nearly getting Lou to take it, but Butch stops him and tosses something onto the bone, causing it to explode (with no one being harmed).
  • Some Ninja Siamese cats come after Lou and do very human-like martial arts moves on him, punching and kicking him, sending Lou flying across the room. Lou eventually retaliates, hitting the cats and knocking one across the room. They then hit him again, knocking over various items in the kitchen in the process.
  • Scott kicks a soccer ball that accidentally hits and breaks some clay pots.
  • A cat hacks up a fur ball that contains a sphere that pops open and shoots many metal projectile spikes at Butch and Lou (that damage the Brody living room). The cat then throws various knives at the two of them (impaling and breaking more items). Butch ends up tangled beneath a secretary that's about to tip over onto him once the cord that's temporarily holding it up breaks or is cut. All of this occurs as a detonator is ticking down to blow open a door with explosives, and Butch and Lou know they must stop it. Lou ends up saving Butch, running into the cat and Butch stops the bomb from exploding just in time.
  • A soccer ball accidentally breaks many items (beakers, etc.) in Prof. Brody's lab.
  • A cat throws a gas canister into the Brody's truck, causing them all to pass out (while stopped at a gate).
  • Lou knocks Calico to the ground and holds him there.
  • Mr. Tinkles tries to grab and then crush Butch with the huge, claw-like end on a crane. He does grab him, but Lou comes to the rescue. He and Mr. Tinkles briefly fight inside the control compartment. Moments later, Lou uses a high-pressure nozzle to shoot foam at Mr. Tinkles that blasts him up against a window. The huge claw-like end, however, sweeps through and hits Lou (he's knocked unconscious but is later okay). Everyone races outside as a pressurized container prepares to blow and it eventually does, tearing up the roof of the building, but no one is hurt.



  • Reviewed June 30, 2001 / Posted July 4, 2001

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