It takes quite a special film to do something exciting in a runtime of less than 90 minutes. Most likely. any film that doesn’t have enough story to pass the 1 hour 30 mark just won’t have a lot to offer. But, as I’m still off with my schedule when it comes to watching films, any film that doesn’t break 90 is always going to appeal. On Sunday, I once again found myself needing to watch something quickly to review today. Since the pandemic hit, I really have lost my desire to watch films. I need to try and get back into it soon. I’m missing out on so much. Until I do, I guess I’ll just be stuck watching short animated films on Netflix. At least I’m watching things that I wouldn’t have normally seen.
Dogs should be a sure-fire hit when it comes to animated movies. I guess movies in general but an adorable animated dog? That’s going to appeal to a wide range of people. Well, Trouble is a pretty cute little dog but even he doesn’t have what it takes to make this film work. This is the story of a pampered pooch who finds himself out on the streets when his owner dies. When he is taken in by a sweet pizza delivery girl, Trouble might just have found a new home for himself. Unfortunately, the pair that are after his former owner’s fortune need the dog to claim their money. Cue the ridiculous dog tracker and his squirrel army. I know. It would take a really cute dog to make that premise seem interesting or exciting.
It’s not just the fact that we’ve seen countless movies where spoilt pets suddenly have to experience life outside of their privileged existence. Although, let’s not forget that the original Lady and the Tramp came out in 1955, so it’s definitely been around for a while. The real issue is that there’s just nothing here in general. The story never really gets beyond its very basic premise. The characters are very thin clichés and we never learn anything about them. The greedy relatives are greedy. The nice pizza delivery girl is nice. The tough stray dog is tough but has a soft inside. There’s clearly been very little thought going into this.
Although, there are some bright spots amongst the casting that do give this film some joy. With Snoop Dogg and other names making cameos, there are some attempts to bring some fun and silliness into the film. Although, this does start to get a bit out of hand thanks to a bunch of squirrels. There’s a recurring joke with these animals that just doesn’t work as well as this film thinks it does. I thought people had finally realised that random wasn’t the same as funny? Clearly the writers of this film didn’t get the memo and believe being purposefully weird is the same as being able to write comedy. Maybe there’ll be something for younger audiences to enjoy about this film but there are few ages that will be able to find much to enjoy here.
When it started, I thought we were going to be treated to something that explored death and grief. You know, like Coco but with a dog. Instead, the initial death is forgotten quite quickly and trouble seems to get over his owner’s passing pretty easily. Fine, this is a kid’s movie and it’s not necessary to fill it with real world issues. But maybe it needed some actual story and development? At the very least, it needed some actual jokes. The screenwriters of Dog Gone Trouble obvously think they are the wittiest people in existence but, really, there is very little humour here. Instead, we have a thinly written story about thinly written characters and underwhelming animation. I need to get back to watching longer films again because I can’t watch more like this.