Maybe we shouldn’t expect a Belgian production to get an animated movie about the British monarch’s adorable pooches completely right, but it’s truly shocking how wrong everything in The Queen’s Corgi is – from the overall tone to the off-colour jokes that are peppered throughout. And some of the corgis aren’t that cute, either.
Aimed at little ones but given a PG certificate in the UK for very good reasons that we’ll get to in a minute, the movie introduces us to Rex (Whitehall), an adorable corgi puppy who is the latest addition to the Buckingham Palace household. He’s soon HRH’s favourite, with his face on mugs, slippers and toys, but after an unfortunate incident involving visiting President Trump (Culshaw), Rex realises he is no longer ‘top dog’ of the Queen (Walters) and leaves the palace, only to be scooped up and taken to a dogs’ home where a canine version of Fight Club takes place after hours, led by bullying hound Tyson (Winstone).
Yes, you read that correctly – this movie for children features a reference to Fight Club. And the misjudged ‘adult’ moments don’t end there – Rex’s adventures begin after he is nearly sexually assaulted by the Trumps’ own corgi (“grab some puppy’ says animated Trump to his dog, Mitzi, in a twist on Donald’s reported real life ‘grab ‘em by the p***y’ comments), leading our poor fluffy hero to accidentally launch himself onto Mr Trump, biting down on his nether regions. You don’t get that in Toy Story.
While the computer animation is slickly done – the halls of Buckingham Palace look suitably luscious and Rex does look pretty cute – and the vocal work is fun, you can’t escape the sheer tone-deafness of the script or the inappropriateness of the ‘gags’. The producers – who, if they were British, would surely be destined for the Tower on charges of treason for their clichéd depiction of HRH – have said that the more adult stuff will fly over the heads of little ones and is there to appeal to accompanying grown-ups – but do you want your young, impressionable tots to even see a movie that tries to make jokes about drug use, fighting and assault? Thought not.
Is The Queen’s Corgi suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
As mentioned above, the movie includes a long scene in which Rex is chased by corgi Mitzi, who wants to mate with him against his wishes.
There is a scene in which a dog at the pound mistakes a shoelace for a line of drugs.
The ‘fight club’ scenes may scare very young children as Tyson is quite frightening, even though no actual dog fights are shown and Rex manages to eventually escape.
Early on, there is a scene in which Rex is pushed from a bridge into an icy lake and it looks like he will drown, this may upset younger children.
There is also a later scene when a room catches fire, and it is a few minutes before we discover whether any of the animals have been harmed.
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