WEINER DOG NATIONALS
Family Gains Strength Rallying Around Fun Dog Events
Starring: Jason Landon, Alicia Witt,
Morgan Fairchild, Caitlin
Carmichael, Marque Richardson,
Bryan Batt, Lauren Ann
Kesling, Brandon Tyler
Russell, Julian Feder, Madison
Audience: All ages
Runtime: 82 minutes
Distributor: Inception Media Group, LLC
Director: Kevan Peterson
Executive Producer: Kevan Peterson
Producer: Kevan Peterson
Writer: Kevan Peterson
Address Comments To:David Borshell and Andy Reimer
Inception Media Group LLC
11620 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 900
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: (310) 582-5948
Website: www.inceptionmediagroup.com; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WIENER DOG NATIONALS is director Kevan Peterson’s debut as a feature-length director. He also wrote and executive produced the movie, which does send a bit of an indie or late-night-flick-on-the-Disney-Channel tone, but it’s still an amicable show.
The story unfolds slowly, revealing that Phil’s young son is inspired by his late mother’s involvement in amateur dog racing. The mother’s passing is not shown and the family’s slight despair is tender but distanced, as if she passed away a year or more before the story begins.
The dog races are more about fun than hardcore competition, except for the villain, Merryweather. This imbalanced miscreant never speaks of a husband or her daughter’s father. She seems to be chasing a childish dream, especially when she’s juxtaposed against children entering puppies in the contest. Disdaining her young daughter’s chance to get involved, Merryweather instructs the girl to instead tend to a stuffed animal, while she and her entourage handle real animals. Regrettably, the woman’s bad mothering is not punished or redeemed, and her daughter is never relieved of her beratement.
[SPOILERS FOLLOW] However, some of the villain’s true colors are outed near the very end when she is caught on tape cheating. This becomes ironic, since she spends all her time trying to catch others and disqualify them from the race in one way or another, quoting subsections of rules in an outrageous fashion (it’s just a wiener dog race, remember?). The over-the-top, froo-froo-blond scoundrel takes the race far too seriously, but the silliness adds to the movie’s appeal to children.
Meanwhile, Phil’s wholesome, yet fairly relatable family wins points all-around as heroic in nature; from the teenage son’s personal support of his younger siblings, to the father’s work to keep his motherless children from falling into depression or despair. In the end, the family comes together, rallying around their wiener dog, Shelly, (named for shelter dogs). Wrong is righted in the end, and some extra surprises provide delight.
WIENER DOG NATIONALS doesn’t have an explicitly Christian worldview, but the underlying morality is much stronger than in many family movies. For example, lying, cheating and irresponsibility are all rebuked. Despite that, however, the villain’s constant bad attitude toward her own daughter is never overtly rebuked or redeemed. This family movie would most appeal to the under-age-10 crowd. It has some over-the-top twists and silly characters, along with some amateurish acting. Overall, however, the production makes WIENER DOG NATIONALS entertaining enough to keep viewers wondering who the “wieners” will be.