31 May 2017 | inkblot11
Disney's take on The Ugly Duckling with canines; animals wonderful, humans are second fiddle
Fran Garrison (Suzanne Plechette) is one very lucky lady. She is married to successful artist Mark (Dean Jones) and has a lovely home in California. In addition, her prized Dachshund Danke is about to give birth. Therefore, Mark starts the car and drives the expectant dog to the vets. As he breaks several traffic laws, Mr. Garrison is given a huge ticket while Danke is rushed inside. It's triplet little wiener dogs. When Mark finally makes it to the delivery area, he notices a Great Dane mother nursing ten puppies! The good vet is trying to nurse another little pup who has been rejected by her mother. Now Mark, who has tolerated his wife's tastes and wishes to the limit, has always wanted a bigger dog. Therefore, when the vet suggests that Mark take home this runt Dane and get Danke to nurse him, too, he does it. Initially believing Danke has had a fourth pup, it soon becomes clear that this pup, who Mark names Brutus, is another breed. Fran DOES NOT want him in the house but Mark finally insists. Comically, Brutus tries to do what the little wieners do, but he's too big. In addition, the trio, named Chloe, Heidi, and Ludmilla, get Brutus in trouble when they wreck the living room in a stampede but hide before Fran finds the mess. Twice more, when the growing pups destroy Mark's studio and a posh party the couple gives in the backyard, will the Garrisons be able to keep Brutus? A heroic deed Brutus performs helps matters immensely! This enjoyable, classic Disney has wonderful animal performers in four clever, adorable Dachshunds and one darling Great Dane. They make the film something special. But, alas, Plechette's character is just short of a harpy and certainly not a good example of a loving wife while Jones' husband, conversely, is much put upon. A police officer, while funny, seems to gleefully want to give folks ticket after ticket, not a worthy example of a cop, either. Yes, its all done for a laugh but, ultimately, backfires. Maybe kids won't notice but will keep their eyes on the canines. As family entertainment for animal lovers, its pleasures are many.