Release Date: 4 June 2010
My Rating: (2 paws out of 4)
Based on the Marmaduke comic strip begun in 1954, featuring a loveable Great Dane named Marmaduke and the Winslow family, the movie plot involves the Winslow family moving from Kansas to California so dad (Phil, played by Lee Pace) can take a job at an organic dog food company.
Most of the movie is based around the dog park (which is surprisingly like high school) and highlights Marmaduke making furiends and enemies and finding himself a girlfuriend. There is Dane surfing, Dane dancing (my slinky Scooby dance is far superior) and Dane swimming to keep viewers mildly entertained.
The film features a star-studded cast (Owen Wilson, Kiefer Sutherland, Fergie, and George Lopez to name a few) who give Marmaduke and his furiends and enemies their voices. The human cast is headed up by William H. Macy as Phil’s boss and Judy Greer as Debbie Winslow.
While the movie is definitely made for kids, what we didn’t understand was why the cool group of dogs at the dog park were called the pedigrees but are led by the alpha male Bosco who is supposed to be a Rottweiler but bears no resemblance to any rottie we’ve seen (maybe a rottie mixed with a collie or something). All this while the outcasts, “the mutts”, are all purebred dogs including a dachshund and Chinese crested hairless.
Reviewers have panned the movie for potty humor and more than one has taken particular issue with the special fart scenes at the beginning and end of the movie. Being a Great Dane, these scenes are reenacted on a daily if not hourly basis in our house so those reviewers just haven’t been around Dane farts before clearly. This is one of the most honest parts of this Hollywood movie. Most reviewers also found the lines corny but you can surely expect me to adopt some of the cooler ones like “let’s get our bark on” and “cowabarka dude.”
Overall, mom and I felt that Marmaduke the character was very true to the Great Dane breed. (Which is good because he was played by two great Great Danes by the names of George and Spirit.) Danes are very sensitive creatures and you can tell a lot about how we are feeling based on our ears. Marmaduke did a good job showing expression through his ears and I’ve already told you about the expressions from the other end!
Unfortunately, so far the only movies featuring Great Danes (Scooby Doo and Marmaduke) haven’t been that great and don’t give us much credit for being the gentle giants we are. But, while we are lukewarm on the movie itself, mom and I had tons of fun playing the games on the Marmaduke website and we highly recommend you check out the site if not the movie.