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Genre Family
Year: 2007

Underdog is based on the popular ’60s cartoon of the same title. The dog flies, wears a garment and cape, talks and leaves a trail of destruction like the original. The big difference is that Underdog is a live action movie, unlike its animated namesake. Disney take the superhero to new heights by telling the prequel story of how he came to be. A simple lost pup story is translated into a voyage of discovery as Shoeshine and his adopted owners start to discover his hidden talents. The journey is fun, clean and family-friendly as one would expect from a Disney picture.

Jason Lee (The Incredibles) provides the voice of Shoeshine and Underdog, while Amy Adams (Enchanted) and Brad Garrett (Finding Nemo) are voice talents for some of the other canines. The live action stars are chosen for their comic sensibility and cartoon features. Peter Dinklage (Death at a Funeral) has the perfect physique for Barsinister, the evil scientist in a Pinky & The Brain team with Patrick Warburton (Bee Movie). While James Belushi plays a retired cop, as a loose follow-on from his role in the movie K-9: P.I.

Underdog is one for the kids. Sure, you’ll get a kick out of one or two scenes, but this one is designed to entertain the little ones. If you’re a dog person it’ll help you get into things, but there are too many talking pet movies going around to make Underdog stand out. Underdog was originally intended as a cool cartoon to promote cereal for kids way back then, and still continues to make his presence know at the Macy’s Parade in New York. However, the simple script, CGI artistry, sounds, light and colour are all directed for the children and young at heart.

If you’re under the age of 10, you’d probably give this funny, flying beagle a ten for his efforts. If you’re any older, you’d find more mental stimulation from watching The Incredibles or Ratatouille again. After all he’s “not plane, nor bird, nor even frog, just little old me: Underdog”.

The bottom line: Underten.

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