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Still shot from the movie: Good Boy!.

Good Boy!

Every boy likes to think his dog is special, but when Owen Baker (Liam Aiken) carefully selects a wire-haired terrier from the local animal shelter, he has no idea just how unique his pup is. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: B+
Violence: B+
Sexual Content: A
Language: B+
Drugs/Alcohol: A
Run Time: 87
Theater Release: 10 Oct 2003
Video Release:
MPAA Rating: PG
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Every boy likes to think his dog is special, but when Owen Baker (Liam Aiken) carefully selects a wire-haired terrier from the local animal shelter, he has no idea just how unique his pup is.

However, "Hubble" seems somewhat distracted and sneaks out of the house late at night. Wondering what's up, Owen sets out on a covert mission to tail the pooch. Needless to say the young boy is more than surprised to discover Hubble's destination isn't a fire hydrant but instead a flying saucer. Things become even more astounding when some glitch in a mysterious communication device leaves Owen able to converse with his pet (voiced by Matthew Broderick) and every other dog in town.

This new ability comes in handy during his duties as the neighborhood dog walker (a part time job that allowed Owen some canine companionship while he waited for a puppy of his own). But if he was easy picking for a couple of local bullies before, after they catch him having conversations with his four-legged clients, their teasing increases. Already suffering from some insecurity due to moving many times, Owen is desperate to have anyone understand his plight. Fortunately he finds a human friend he can share his secret skills and knowledge with.

That extra help will certainly be needed, especially as the true breadth of Hubble's mission is uncovered. Sent from the Dog Star Sirius, the insignificant-looking terrier (whose real name is K3942) is supposed to report on whether or not dogs are fulfilling their original mission to rule the planet. If The Greater Dane (the ruler of all dogs) determines that her canine subjects have failed, the entire species will be recalled from Earth.

Best described as the punch line to "What do you get if you cross Disney's Lilo & Stitch with Warner Bros.' Cats & Dogs"? Columbia's Good Boy! is a heartwarming story, hounded merely by a few flatulence jokes. (The fact that this time the problem doesn't belong to the stereotypical fat kid may not provide much consolation for parents weary of such humor.)

Filmed in live action, the work contributed by Jim Henson's famous Creature Shop is barely visible. The talking animals are nicely convincing, and brought to life by great voices of big names like Broderick, Cheech Marin, and Carl Reiner. What doesn't always come alive is the script, which will likely only entertain the under twelve crowd.

Yet make no bones about it, for families who have been digging around at the local multiplex for a kid-friendly film, Good Boy! offers a nice treat that young children will happily beg for.

Good Boy! is rated PG: for some mild crude humor.

Cast: Molly Shannon, Liam Aiken, Kevin Nealon

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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