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"TEACHER'S PET"
(2004) (voices of Nathan Lane, Kelsey Grammer) (PG)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Children's Animated: A boy's talking dog yearns to have a mad scientist turn him into a human boy.
PLOT:
Leonard Helperman (voice of SHAUN FLEMING) and Spot (voice of NATHAN LANE) are the best of friends, as they should be since Spot is Leonard's faithful canine companion. The only difference is that Leonard and his teacher mom, Mary Lou (voice of DEBRA JO RUPP), can understand him, as can fellow pets Pretty Boy (voice of JERRY STILLER), a gruff bird, and Jolly (voice of DAVID OGDEN STIERS), a soap opera loving cat.

Yet, Spot yearns to be a human boy, just like Pinocchio. He thinks he has a chance of obtaining his wish when he hears about a mad scientist, Dr. Ivan Krank (voice of KELSEY GRAMMER), who's experimenting with turning everyday animals into humans.

The only problem is that Krank - the crazy uncle of Leonard's classmate, Ian (voice of ROB PAULSEN) - lives in Florida, thousands of miles away. Fortunately for Spot, Principal Crosby Strickler (voice of WALLACE SHAWN) has nominated Mary Lou for a teacher of the year award and she and Leonard have just left for the Sunshine State ceremony.

With pet sitter Mrs. Boogin (voice of ESTELLE HARRIS) watching after Pretty Boy and Jolly, Spot concocts a wild story to convince Mary Lou to let him join them on their trip. Once in Florida, he meets Krank and some of his previous but not altogether successful experiments including Dennis (voice of PAUL REUBENS), the alligator boy, and half-girl, half mosquito Adele (voice of MEGAN MULLALLY).

Despite those failures, Spot has Krank put him through the transformation process. Unfortunately, none of them took into account the difference in dog vs. human years, resulting in Spot becoming the middle-aged Scott.

From that point on, and as Krank tries to recapture Scott/Spot for his own grandeur, the dog, his fellow pets and his human master try to figure out what to do.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the original TV show or animated releases in general, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some mildly crude humor.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
It's debatable whether kids view animated characters - particularly non-human ones - as role models, but here's a quick look at the major characteristics of the main players.
  • SPOT is the English-speaking dog who yearns to be a human boy and subjects himself to scientific experimentation to try to obtain that.
  • LEONARD is his human master, a boy who doesn't like the idea of his dog being turned into a human.
  • DR. IVAN KRANK is the crazed scientist who's experimenting with turning animals into humans, but never quite gets it right.
  • MARY LOU HELPERMAN Leonard's smart but oblivious teacher mom.
  • JOLLY is the family cat who loves soap operas and is scared of leaving the house.
  • PRETTY BOY is the terse family bird who drags Jolly along on a rescue mission to save Spot.
  • MRS. BOOGIN is the oblivious pet-sitter.
  • DENNIS and ADELE are two of Krank's failed human/animal experiments who view him as their father.
  • 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:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this animated kids film that's been rated PG. Some colorful phrases are present, as is some crude, scatological-based humor. A few scenes may be a little bit unsettling or suspenseful for the youngest of viewers (but older kids likely will have little it any problem with the material), while some cartoon characters are seen in their bras and/or underwear, a man's "butt crack" is partially seen and some veiled, sexually related comments are present.

    Some bad attitudes are present, as are several instances of slapstick style violence (characters accidentally and purposefully hitting others with no long-lasting effects, etc.), while a mad scientist briefly swings an ax at a dog.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that from an explosion late in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Crude humor involves the following:
  • Spot approaches a fire hydrant that then recoils in horror. Spot mentions that he didn't raise his leg.
  • Mary Lou blows her nose into a hanky, with green mucous dripping down from it. She then plasters it against the chalkboard where it slides down, leaving a trail of mucous.
  • A public bathroom door opens and a person falls to the ground (possibly a joke about the smell inside, although Mary Lou has just exited it with her cleaning supplies).
  • We briefly see an infant tree vomit while held by its mother (like a baby).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some viewers might not like the joke being that Krank's street number address is 666.
  • Leonard and Spot (as a middle-aged man) briefly have bad attitudes toward each other.
  • Krank has a bad attitude for messing with science and then wanting to kidnap the recently transformed Spot for his own gain (but it's all played for cartoon humor).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Most likely, only the youngest of kids will find any of the following or material listed under "Violence" as unsettling or suspenseful.
  • Spot tries to hang onto the top of a camper as it flies down the highway.
  • Spot and Leonard slowly approach Krank's creepy-looking swamp house.
  • During Spot's transformation into a human, there's some dramatic music and quick shots of skeletons.
  • As we see Ivan strung upside down and talking on the phone, we hear screams in the background and see some flashes of lightning. The joke is that he then says that he's enjoying that.
  • Krank prepares to turn Leonard into a dog, but things go awry and out of control. It ends with it appearing that Spot is dead (in non-animal, blob form), but another blast from Krank's transformation machine revives him.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • A bomb shaped like a bowling ball explodes during a musical number (no one is hurt).
  • Krank tries to hit Spot several times with an ax.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "It is to laugh," "Who asked you, tuna breath?" "What am I, nuts?" "Any who," "Wake up and smell the Kibble," "This really stinks" (followed by Spot saying, "You should smell it from down here," "You're killing me here," "World class wacko," "Cuckoo nuts," "Wacko" (repeated many times in unison), "What a kwinky-dink" (coincidence), "Jeez," "I'm staring to feel Von-trapped," "It all sounds so wacko," "Nuts" (crazy), "Snap out of it, hairball," "Get out of my way, you walking handbag," "Great balls of Kibble," "You fools," "I knew you weren't a big fat cheapskate," "Don't call me daddy" (what Krank keeps saying to Dennis and Adele), "For crying out loud," "You're so gonna blow it," "Bada-bing," "C'mon, hairball," "You're one butt-ugly man" and "Dog breath."
  • A person lets out a belch.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 use of "Good Lord."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Pretty Boy (a bird) states, "I want to be a rooster in a hen house."
  • A briefly seen contest/prize woman shows some cleavage (cartoon style) in her low-cut dress.
  • We see various close-up shots of Mrs. Boogin's large but clothed butt (played for laughs).
  • We briefly see a waitress in her bra when Spot rips it off when needing clothes for a disguise.
  • We briefly see a young woman in Hawaiian garb and wearing a traditional bikini-style top. Later, we see various women in bikinis in Florida.
  • We briefly see a kiss on a TV soap opera.
  • After he's been turned into a middle-aged man, we see Spot pulling up his tight-fitting pants and get a brief and partial view of his butt crack. Spot then says that if the pants ride up any more, he's going to be a soprano.
  • Some Buckingham Palace guards are flushed out from bathroom stalls during a prank and we briefly see them in their boxers.
  • Spot (now a middle-age man), jokes about where he'll be sleeping back at Leonard's house (meaning with Mary Lou now that she obviously likes him in a romantic sense and doesn't realize he's the family dog).
  • We briefly see Mary Lou in her bra and underwear and Leonard in his underwear when their clothes are somehow stripped off during a musical number.
  • As both Pretty Boy and Polly are turned into humans, we briefly see them in their briefs.
  • SMOKING
  • We briefly see a Cuban man with cigars.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None, although there's no mention of the whereabouts of Leonard's father.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Scientific/genetic experimentation.
  • The relationship between a boy and his dog.
  • Some may see a double meaning in Pretty Boy angrily proclaiming, "I ain't no fairy" when Spot mistakes him for Pinocchio's Blue Fairy when just waking up from a dream.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Most of the following is of the slapstick style variety (where no permanent injuries are sustained).
  • Spot dreams of Pinocchio's Blue Fairy whacking him twice with her wand when it doesn't work in transforming him into a boy.
  • Pretty Boy and Jolly are accidentally smashed into a wall with a door that's opened.
  • Mrs. Boogin accidentally knocks Pretty Boy aside while looking for the TV remote.
  • Krank kicks Dennis aside. He then tries to hit Spot several times with an ax.
  • Spot pokes Dennis with a pointer and then hits Adele with it.
  • Krank grabs Dennis by the throat.
  • Dennis runs into and through a post, with the top part of it then swinging down and hitting him on the head.
  • Leonard pushes Spot (now a middle-age man) out of their camper.
  • Pretty Boy and Jolly are briefly hit by lightning while flying through the air. They fall to the ground and look charred, but are okay.
  • Jolly accidentally lands on Pretty Boy, briefly crushing him. Later, Pretty Boy elbows Jolly to make him meow.
  • Spot (as a middle-aged man) accidentally hits himself in the face when trying to hit Adele.



  • Reviewed January 10, 2004 / Posted January 16, 2004

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