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Teachers Pet

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Teachers Pet

Starring: Nathan Lane, Kelsey Grammer
Director: Timothy Bjorklund
Rated: PG
RunTime: 70 Minutes
Release Date: January 2004
Genres: Animation, Comedy, Kids

*Also starring: Shaun Flemming, Debra Jo Rupp, Jerry Stiller, David Ogden Stiers, Rob Paulsen, Paul Reubens, Megan Mullally, Estelle Harris, Jay Thomas, Wallace Shawn

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

DISNEY'S TEACHER'S PET is the type of film that gets me upset with my fellow critics who tend to lower their standards when it comes to movies targeted at kids and slap *** ratings on the films even if they are merely okay. It's the same twisted logic that has teachers pacifying students and parents by passing out only As and a few Bs, as if the grades were candy at Halloween. Disney is still quite capable of many wonderful movies for kids, LILO & STITCH being one recent example, but DISNEY'S TEACHER'S PET is no LILO & STITCH, not even close.

DISNEY'S TEACHER'S PET is only for fans of the cartoon series on which it is based. But even if you love the series, why pay the high price of theater tickets to see a slightly extended version of the exact same thing that you could see for free on your television at home?

The story concerns a dog named Spot (voiced by Nathan Lane), who, like Pinocchio, dreams of becoming a "real live boy." The movie features a lot of instantly forgettable songs, which include Spot's "I Gotta Be A Boy." Most of the time you'll be thinking what Spot says to his owner, Leonard Helperman (voiced by Shaun Fleming), when Leonard is about to burst out in song, "Oh jeez, you're going to sing again!"

Spot spends most of the movie trying to get a mad scientist to transform him into a human, thus fulfilling his destiny. The closest the movie ever comes to a completely satisfying moment is when the characters do a blitzkrieg song that works in the names of all the fifty states. By the time the song is over, they're exhausted. You won't leave exhausted after seeing the movie, but you may leave undernourished, not having seen enough movie for your dollars. If you like the series, catch it on TV. The movie version just isn't worth it.

DISNEY'S TEACHER'S PET runs 1:10. It is rated PG for "some mildly crude humor" and would be acceptable for all ages.

Copyright 2004 Steve Rhodes

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