User Reviews (14)

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  • Lots of warmth, lots of humor. A feel good film great for adults and kids alike. The unknown young actor playing the lead role of the boy is a kid to watch. If he can keep his head down and focus on what he loves and not what the hype is and will be about what a natural he is, he will probably go very far. He's that cute, that young and that good. The 2nd lead is the dog. Don't miss this dog. Enough said. There are many famous and near famous faces scattered throughout. Each does a good job doing what they do best. There is one weak section and 1 miscast role that keep this film from getting my 10, but that certainly should not be enough to keep you away. Go see First Dog!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The President of the USA (Eric Roberts) is excessively fond of his dog, Teddy. With good reason, Teddy is a charmer, even though the secret service men don't like him too much. But, one day when the President is on a visit to another state, Teddy gets out and runs away. No! He ends up on the west coast where foster child Danny finds him. Although Dan's foster mother (Priscilla Barnes) is kind, Danny knows to hide the canine from her. Also, the young lad sees from the dog's tags that he is the property of the President. Up for adventure, Danny decides to cross country and return the dog personally. Hitching rides with nice truckers and not-so-nice hucksters, Danny almost makes it. But, during the last leg, Teddy again sprints away and is captures by the DC dog catchers while Dan is taken to the police station. Will there be a happy hound ending? This is a great film, for the most part. The acting is good, the scenery is lovely, and the direction is active and fun. However, there are a couple of elements that might give parents pause. First, one of the couples that give Danny a ride express violence toward each other, with the wife hitting the husband quite a bit. Ouch. Then, near the end, Danny's juvenile detention place looks incompetent. Finally, Teddy is almost put down, where a doctor raises the deadly needle and where another man sings Dead Dog Walking. Not my idea of tasteful or family-friendly, this is. However, if your family loves animal movies and you have a talk with the kids before hand, this is almost certainly a winner for the next family flick night.
  • My wife and kids found this at Redbox. Thought it was interesting, and of course they HAD to have me watch it the next day. It is a cute and touching movie that keeps you interested throughout the entire movie. Most of the actors in it are unknown, but there are a few known actors that make special appearances. This was done by an independent group that did an awesome job. Such a wholesome movie with no bad language.

    Do you like animals, (and especially dogs)? Do you like "tear jerking" movies? Do you like movies that have a neat message? Then this is a movie that fits all those descriptions! Definitely and must try...I think you'll enjoy it!!
  • I LOVED THE MOVIE..... FIRST DOG. i don't want to go on and on about it only that it has a wonderful message and you'll loved the movie. anyone who loves animals and a happy ending will love this movie. The actors are terrific and the dog was a beautiful and loving animal.

    it is silly to have to go on and on for 10 lines. I just want to say again that this is a great movie for adults as well as kids.

    Makes you wish you could adopt all the kids in foster care and all the dogs and cats who are in the HUMANE SOCIETY system. I will sure be buying this movie for my own home library and will give it to family and friends when birthdays and Christmas comes around.
  • Charming family movie! Watched this at Little Rock Film Festival with a full audience (around 300 people). Everyone cried and laughed, a real feel-good movie! The film screened at the Clinton Presidential Library. We went to see the film again the following Thursday and it was even better the second time we saw it! We want to see this movie when it comes out in theaters. My kids said they can't wait to watch it again. We also all loved the original Dolly Parton songs, and even heard Willie Nelson singing the chorus on one song with his daughter Paula Nelson who also co-stars in the film. I wonder if they'll release a soundtrack as well. The music score by the composer was also great -- sounded like a big orchestra! The best family movie we've seen in a long time. If you have a heart -- you'll love love this movie!
  • Where to even start with this film. First Dog is a movie that has my opinion stretched. On one hand I liked it because the acting was good and the scenery was nice. On the other hand I didn't like it because it had some really dark elements for a children's film. Well let's look at the plot. The US President named Barrett (Eric Roberts) just narrowly misses an assassination attempt. In the chaos Barrett's dog Teddy runs away and inadvertently ends up with orphan Danny Milbright (John Paul Howard). Danny is a young shy boy who decides the right thing to do is hitch hike across the country to return Teddy to Barrett. Along the way Danny meets a friendly trucker named "Big" Mike (Tommy Lister) and a nasty hick couple. The film has good acting and beautiful scenery so why does it suffer? It has some really disturbing parts that will most likely make parents wish they hadn't shown it to their children. Let me list out some of the disturbing elements. The hick family is absolutely disgusting. These are some dirty people who smoke, hit each other, and curse. You know, for kids! One of them even points a gun at a character. There is also an unnerving scene where Danny is in a Detention Facility. And another unnerving scene where a doctor and Orderly in an animal shelter prepare to put down Teddy. Overall I admire the film for it's ambition but lots of violent scenes were really unnecessary and will upset kids.
  • This is probably one of the worst movies I've ever seen. I know that the intention may be good..they were probably trying to make a somewhat entertaining family movie, but it DID NOT work. A lot of technical aspects as well as poor acting and story brought this movie to its lowest. The actors were not believable at all, the editing and the setting were really bad. There were scenes that made no sense at all throughout the whole movie (small sequences that supposedly should make you emotional I guess). Soundtrack does nothing to help the movie...

    Anyways, the only reason this is not getting 1/10 is because maybe this movie will be good for 3 year olds who don't know how to talk yet and enjoy a bunch of nonsense emotional stuff with kids..dogs..and caring adults.
  • I just saw "First Dog" at the Newport beach film festival. It was a precious film with great morals and a wonderful story line. Normally I am not a crier but for some reason I was effected. That is what a great story and great actors do. They effect human beings by shedding light on subject matters that are going on in the world.

    It is amazing how Danny, Big Mike and Teddy all become inner connected by one thing. They all have lost their family in someway, shape, and form. By uniting as a team they are able to resolve obstacles that lie ahead in order to "Do the right thing" and return Teddy to his owner...the President of the United States.

    If anyone has not had a chance to see this movie at the festivals it is available at Walmart and Netflix. I can not wait to share this film with my family, friends and even strangers!!

    Thank you cast and crew for putting together a great film.
  • I watched this movie.I found the good thing about this movie is that the child that play Danny is charm and so cute and the dog is cute , funny, and lovely.The story line is beautiful. I thought it's a one of a good plot. But the bad thing about this movie is that the story is so flat and the relationship between kid and dog is so flat and far from profound Other drawback is that this movie present the story message is far from dept. They just present the message by the word that character said that you must return the thing to the owner. But the story didn't say why you should do this.It' make the massage that using flat and not insightful And the last drawback of this movie is that the ending that present negligently. I admired that I like the way that story ending, But they present rather bad. It doesn't impressed or make make emotion enough

    On conclusion, I like this movie about the character is charming and the story line is good .But I don't like about their presentation of story is too dull, flat, far from profound, and not insightful
  • It is warm and has such a positive message about friendship and caring; what's important in life.

    The acting is not great, with the exception of Danny and Teddy, the dog. But this is a movie with a touching story.

    As an adult, you may miss the message of this movie, but adults are not the target audience, although this adult really enjoyed the movie.

    If you have a little person in your life, definitely rent this movie. They will connect with the child and the dog, and learn a lesson about values. This movie is a reminder to not judge others because you do not know their story. And that message is more important than the acting.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Eric Roberts plays the type of Hollywood-created dream President that should never have to win a second term. With a lovely wife, a cute dog, and a public stance on Global Warming, who'll dare to run against him? Now back to that FIRST DOG.

    Teddy, played by Little Bear, is an adorable highly professional Blue Heeler owned and trained by the film's director, Bryan Michael Stoller. Little Bear has the making of a real canine star – each expression is (or seems) heartfelt and personal, especially when, after an assignation attempt at his owner, he gets loose and is found by a melancholy foster child who can't fit in anywhere.

    Danny, played by newcomer John-Paul Howard, finds a particular solace with the lost mutt. Both feel abandoned, accidentally or otherwise; but thankfully there's a phone number on Teddy's American Flag tag leading to The White House. After a failed attempt to call-in the recovery, Danny and Teddy hitchhike to Washington, making this a bonafide road movie.

    While some of the characters along the way, from bickering car-crashing teens to a dangerous gun-wielding white trash couple… And situations like our doggy hero almost getting a lethal injection at the pound… might not be suitable for really young children, perhaps a more logical target audience are pre-teens (or near pre-teens) young enough to learn something and not too old to shrug off a boy-and-his-dog tale. And adults can enjoy the suspense, which the director wields nicely.

    Tiny Lister's working class truck driver is a friendly protagonist on the journey, Eric Robert's wife Eliza is the kindhearted First Lady, and while you may yearn for more input from Teddy as a solo character with more obstacles to overcome alone, like any faithful best friend he's always there, with a soulful glance and even a smile, to make Danny – and his quest for a home and purpose – really matter.

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  • June Angell is a kind an attractive foster mother to five children in California. One of the kids is mischievous and outgoing and appears likely to be adopted. Another, named Danny, is very shy and won't talk, and at least one couple doesn't want him for just that reason.

    At an event for which the Secret Service appear to have prepared well, President Robert Woodruff narrowly escapes being shot when he asks his beloved dog Teddy what is upsetting him so much. In the commotion that follows the gunfire, Teddy disappears, but The President refuses to publicize the fact that his dog is missing.

    In a weird plot twist straight out of the Buddy movies, Teddy finds his way into a truck delivering pet food to a location near where he was last seen. The pet food company is run by Dick Van Patten, who plays himself. And Teddy finds his way to California, giving a nasty surprise to Van Patten and his partner. They thought there was plenty of food in the back, but Teddy was hungry.

    Teddy somehow ends up being found by Danny, who comes out of his shell. He doesn't notice anything on Teddy's ID except his name, so it takes him a while to investigate. In the meantime, the dog follows him to school and gets him in trouble. There is a simple phone number on the ID, and the person who answers the phone says "White House". Danny is shocked. He asks his foster mom for advice but doesn't go into detail. She says he must do the right thing and return the dog. So Danny calls again, but since he is from California, he is not believed. He asks Miss Angell what to do, and she doesn't believe the dog really belongs to The President.

    What to do? Well, Danny must do the right thing.

    Danny is too young to hitch rides with whoever, but he does so anyway. He is very determined to get Teddy back to Washington. But Teddy is not allowed on the bus even though the bus has a picture of a dog on the outside. And so Danny's adventure begins. He ends up in Las Vegas with a bunch of irresponsible teens, gets a private concert from a country-rock band, makes friends with trucker Big Mike, and gets mixed up with a couple of small-time bumbling crooks.

    And all this time, Danny is on the run from a group of Men in Black. Meanwhile, Miss Angell is concerned.

    So will Teddy find his way home?

    This is a good family film. Parts of it are just plain silly, and many plot elements are "only in the movies". They just couldn't happen. But if things did happen the way they should, this movie wouldn't last two hours (with commercials) and it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

    There are plenty of laughs and lots of tender moments. And while not all the music is my taste, including the talented Paula Nelson Band, there are lots of good country songs written by Dolly Parton.

    John-Paul Howard does a good job for a kid. Priscilla Barnes is sweet, loving and attractive, though she shows a few more wrinkles than she did as John Ritter's roommate. And while he doesn't do much, you have to like that one foster kid.

    Bernie Kopell has a good scene as a psychiatrist who believes Danny is delusional.

    The standout performance in this movie comes from Tiny Lister. Big Mike is a great character. Not only is he big and tough, but he is a gentle teddy bear and a great friend to Danny, even though he is reluctant to give up his freedom to be alone. Like Danny, he has a past which has led him to a life others might not choose, but one which works for him.

    Not everything here is warm and fuzzy. Both Danny and Big Mike had something terrible in their past. The teens' behavior gets them in trouble. And the crooks, though bumbling idiots, do represent a genuine threat at times. There is also a serious threat to Teddy, but don't worry.

    This is a family film, though it may be questionable for younger children, given the occasional violence and some unpleasant concepts. But overall it is wholesome entertainment. As enjoyable as the TV series "Scandal", "Hostages" and "Crisis" have been, it's a pleasure for a change to see a President of the United States who has proper values. And ethics and values are constantly being taught in this movie.

    This is worth seeing.
  • Eric Roberts playing the president of the United States?!? That's some really bizarre casting. As it turns out, the top billed Roberts only has about fifteen minutes of footage in the entire movie, and given the general quality of the movie, he got lucky being given just a small part. Except for Tommy "Tiny" Lister, who gives a surprisingly warm and likable performance as a trucker who befriends the youthful protagonist, the level of acting in this movie is quite dire. But in fairness to the cast, they weren't working with a professional script or direction. The story is really garbled at times, seemingly missing whole scenes or linking footage that might have made things make more sense. Also, the screenplay can't make its mind whether the title mutt is intelligent or dumb. Mostly dumb, as it turns out, like the human characters, some of who could have ended the story much sooner if they were able to think logically. As for the direction, it suffers from bad continuity and a really cheap feeling. I know this movie was aimed at young children, but I think even the target audience will see this movie doesn't have all of its marbles.
  • I really enjoyed this film!! I LOVE LOVE dogs and I thought it was super sweet!! There is an emphasis on "doing the right thing" portrayed throughout the whole movie, along with interesting historical facts for young and old. Helpful in instilling integrity in children AND grow ups. There is No foul language or innuendo. All the characters in the movie are believable. It's definitely at a child's level, but I really enjoyed it and I haven't been a child for a very long time! I especially liked the boy, the gentleman who played big Mike, and Teddy, the dog (Little Bear in real life). There is lots of adventure, suspense, action, comedy and some very nice photography. It's very sweet and even teaches you about recognizing when someone is truly honest, by what they do (their actions), and not only what they say. Highly recommend. Dolly Parton's music is also in the film. Get it, Netflix it, DVR it, and you and your kids will love it!!