A remake of 1959’s The Shaggy Dog, which starred Fred MacMurray (and which was followed by the 1976 sequel The Shaggy DA). Assistant DA Dave Douglas (Allen) spends too much time at work and not enough at home with his wife and two kids. His latest case – about a teacher who may have attacked a scientific lab doing possible animal tests – takes a strange turn when his daughter Carly (Zena Grey) brings home an adorable sheepdog that’s escaped from the lab. Little do they know that this is a special dog, stolen from Tibet and rumoured to be a few centuries old, but Dave certainly knows something is up after the dog bites him and he finds himself turning into a canine himself.
While Tim Allen (when playing human) looks a bit, well, orange (he must have overdone the fake tan), he gives a funny performance as the man who starts yapping and scratching in the middle of court and leaves a parent/teacher meeting when he spies a cat up a tree he just has to chase.
Older viewers will figure out the entire story within minutes – Dave, of course, is going to learn much by being a dog in his own household, and will become a better man if he stops scratching his privates and learns to walk upright again – but there are enough laughs to keep all ages amused, some nice special effects (the lab has been creating hybrids, so there’s a snake with a fluffy tail that barks etc) and a deliciously comic turn from Downey Jr as the bad guy.
Is The Shaggy Dog suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...