Making the Grades
Some might say the movie industry is a dog-eat-dog business. But when it comes to the animal world, canines appear to have long life on the big screen. Whether itÕs a realistic life journey like Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog or an outlandish tale like The Shaggy Dog, pooches continue to paw their way on to center stage. And while Firehouse Dog comes with a generous share of exaggerated computer-animated stunts, it is more than your average mutt movie.
As a celebrity, Rexxx the wonder dog lives in the lap of luxury. The star of such movie blockbusters as "The Fast and the Furriest" and "Jurassic Bark" is used to being pampered and preened. But when a movie stunt goes wrong, the animal actor finds himself lost and muddy on the city streets.
After outwitting a pound officer, he wanders through the back alleys wearing a movie prop tag that identifies him as Dewey until he runs into Shane Fahey (Josh Hutcherson), son of firefighter Connor Fahey (Bruce Greenwood). Troubled by the recent death of his uncle, Shane is AWOL from school and his problems with lying, stealing and skipping class are indications he isn't adjusting well. Yet he's not the only one who is mourning. All the officers on Engine 55 (Bill Nunn, Scotch Ellis Loring, Mayte Garcia, Teddy Sears) are struggling with the untimely demise of their former captain and their mascot. But with city officials threatening to close the station, everyone is under pressure to pick up the performance.
However, Dewey's arrival doesn't instantly improve the circumstances at the fire hall. The coddled canine misses his former owner (Dash Mihok) and his lavish lifestyle. Shane, on the other hand, isn't particularly happy with the new responsibility of caring for the pooch. Only after he discovers Dewey's (enhanced) tricks does he give the dog a second look.
While the movie's trailers promise plenty of amazing animal antics, parents should be cautioned the script also contains a more serious storyline. Shane is haunted by nightmares of his uncle's accident. As well, a suspected arsonist is on the loose in the neighborhood and there are several explosive building fires, one in which the young boy is caught.
Still, this Firehouse Dog manages to worm his way into the station and bring a renewed enthusiasm to the staff. For families, with older children who can suspend reality, Dewey will likely win their hearts as well.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Firehouse Dog.
Both Shane and his father are saddened by the loss of their uncle and brother but have a difficult time communicating it. How does each of them deal with their grief? What helps them move on with their lives?
Connor takes time to point out his son’s good qualities to him. Why is it important for parents and adults to acknowledge the abilities of youth? How does Dewey change the way that Shane feels about himself?