The Shaggy Dog parents guide

The Shaggy Dog Parent Guide

It's a dog's life.

Overall B+

Deputy District Attorney Dave Douglas (Tim Allen) gets a dog's-eye-view of his work and home life after he is bitten by a stray pup befriended by his kids (Zena Grey and Spencer Breslin), and finds himself suddenly morphing from a man into a mutt.

Release date March 9, 2006

Violence B-
Sexual Content B
Profanity A-
Substance Use B

Why is The Shaggy Dog rated PG? The MPAA rated The Shaggy Dog PG for some mild rude humor.

Parent Movie Review

Tim Allen has had an ongoing relationship with Disney. Starring as the red-suited fellow in The Santa Clause series, he also provides the voice for Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s Toy Story. Now he’s paws-ing to play a pop turned pooch in the studio’s remake of The Shaggy Dog.

As Deputy District Attorney, Dave Douglas (Allen) is ready to argue a case against an alleged arsonist (Joshua Leonard) who set fire to the headquarters of Strickland & Grant. The firebug claims illegal animal testing is going on inside the building but Dave’s client, Dr. Kozak (Robert Downey Jr.), vehemently denies it.

Unfortunately the lawyer’s daughter Carly (Zena Grey) is siding with the activist by participating in a protest and wearing a T-shirt with an unflattering image of her father on the back. Yet that’s not the only family crisis Dave is experiencing. His son Josh (Spencer Breslin) is failing in school. As a consequence, his wife Rebecca (Kristin Davis) wants him to reorder his priorities and spend more time at home. To top it off, the kids have found and adopted a longhaired sheep dog that immediately bites their dad on the hand.

Before long, the ambitious lawyer experiences some unusual sensations—a heightened sense of smell, improved hearing and an uncontrollable urge to fetch. While attending a parent/teacher conference, he spies a cat outside the window. Chasing the feline, the suit wearing professional bowls over an elderly woman and sends her flying into a tree.

However, after licking his wife good-bye in the morning and being dismissed from the courtroom for growling at the judge (Jane Curtin), Dave’s pooch proclivities morph even further and turn him into a replica of the family’s new pet. From this four-footed perspective, he gets a first hand look at his daughter’s passions and finds out his son’s feeling about football. Watching his wife from an inconspicuous stance, he starts to appreciate his family in a whole new way.

Updating the premise of the original film, the storyline includes a stronger animal rights theme as well as a workaholic father figure. Still, the married couple and their children are anxious to overcome their occasional differences of opinion.

Along with a few terms of Deity, the script includes some mild sexual comments and implied nudity when Dave turns back into a human. While most aggressive acts are played for humor, the scene with the elderly woman and a later depiction of two unethical scientists (Jarrad Paul, Bess Wohl), who use cattle prods to control the mutant creatures in their underground laboratory, may not be viewed as funny.

Luckily, Allen’s comedic talents and computer graphics help capture common canine antics. Panting, barking and tail-wagging his way through the film, Allen makes Shaggy a top dog for family entertainment.

Starring Tim Allen, Zena Grey, Spencer Breslin. Theatrical release March 9, 2006. Updated

The Shaggy Dog
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Shaggy Dog rated PG? The Shaggy Dog is rated PG by the MPAA for some mild rude humor.

The film opens with a military-like invasion of a Tibetan town where a dog is kidnapped. Using unscrupulous methods, two scientists then run a series of tests on the canine. Later a man is injected with a paralyzing drug. After being bitten by an animal, a man develops dog-like inclinations including urination habits. At a park, a group of dogs sniff each other. In an elevator, a security dog forcefully smells a man’s buttocks. A boy is tackled during a sporting event. Two children worry their parents are planning to separate.

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More parents' guide for The Shaggy Dog after the break...

The Shaggy Dog Parents' Guide

How do Dave’s job and his ambition to be the next District Attorney impact his family life? How can families find a balance between work, home life and extracurricular activities?

If you were a dog, what kind would you be? Visit the movie’s official website.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Shaggy Dog movie is July 31, 2006. Here are some details…

Walt Disney Home Entertainment lets the Shaggy Dog out in a full screen (1.33:1) version. Take a stroll through these DVD extras: Bone-tickling Bloopers, Bark-Along Bone-Us Feature (with a woof-along track for the family pooch), deleted scenes, and the music video Woof There It Is. Audio tracks are available in English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French and Spanish, with subtitles in English, Spanish and French.

Related home video titles:

Check out Disney’s other adaptations of this canine caper. In the 1959 film The Shaggy Dog, a teenager finds himself growing hairy after he casts a spell on himself with a mystical ring from the local museum. In the 1976 movie The Shaggy D.A., the ring resurfaces and causes mayhem during a hotly contested political campaign.