Wacky, Goofy Fun
Release Date: January 16, 2004
Genre: Animated/Musical Comedy
Audience: Older children to adults
Runtime: 74 minutes
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures/Buena Vista
Address Comments To:Michael Eisner, Chairman/CEO
Buena Vista Distribution Co.
(Walt Disney Pictures, Caravan, Hollywood, Miramax, and Touchstone Pictures)
Dick Cook, Chairman
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 560-1000
GENRE: Animated/Musical Comedy
Spot Helperman is a dog with a dream. For nine months, he has tucked his ears into a beanie, pulled on some pants, and followed his master, Leonard, to school as Scott, the smartest and newest kid in Mrs. Helperman’s, Leonard’s mom’s, fourth-grade class. Now that the school year is over, Spot only has one wish – to become a real boy.
Spot gets his wish when he finds out about mad scientist Dr. Ivan Krank, who claims he can turn animals into human beings. Dr. Krank’s lack of success doesn’t faze Spot, but the experiment doesn’t turn out exactly as Spot expected. Meanwhile, Leonard is upset that his dog’s not interested in dropping down on all fours and chasing a stick again like a normal mutt.
Eleven catchy songs pepper the story in TEACHER’S PET, including “I Wanna Be a Boy,” “A Boy Needs a Dog,” and “A Whole Bunch of World,” a song that lists all the 50 states in alphabetical order. One of the showstoppers is “I’m Movin’ On,” a rousing operatic number where Spot, Leonard, Mrs. Helperman, and Dr. Krank sing about the emotions driving the story to its climax.
Augmenting all these songs are a great cast, including Nathan Lane as Spot and TV’s Kelsey Grammar as Dr. Krank, and some elaborate, colorful background animation such as houses singing and the face of the sun smiling. There are even a couple biblical references. For example, Dr. Krank’s address is 666 Acko Way, a reference to the Number of the Beast in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. Also, a singer refers to 1 Timothy 6:10, which says that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”
The comical situations are a little edgy at times (hence, the PG rating), but the movie has a moral worldview extolling the virtues of being content with how God made you and attacking science, especially genetic scientists, for trying to play God. These positive elements are undermined by a reference to Fate and the fact that Leonard hides the truth about Spot from his mother. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution, therefore, for very young children.
Eleven catchy songs pepper the story in TEACHER’S PET. Augmenting all these songs are a great cast, including Nathan Lane, and some elaborate, colorful background animation such as houses singing. There are even some biblical references. For example, Dr. Krank’s address is 666 Acko Way. The comical situations are a little edgy at times (hence, the PG rating), but the movie has a moral worldview extolling the virtues of being content with how God made you. Overall, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for very young children.