I love dogs. Not that I don’t like cats. I have nothing against cats, but when it comes down to it, I would prefer dogs. What I love even more than dogs are animated dogs. Snoopy from Peanuts, Dogmatix from Asterix, Droopy from the Tom and Jerry universe, Scooby and Scrappy Doo, Garfield’s Odie, and of course, Tinkle’s very own Dum Dum are some of my favourites. I can never say no to an animated film with a dog in the lead. Which is why I was elated to see a brand new feature on Netflix called Dog Gone Trouble!
While the movie has nothing new to offer in terms of the plot or animation, it does boast of decent voice performances (especially Pamela Adlon as Rousey and Snoop Dogg as… well, Snoop Dog) and hummable tunes as well. The story is quite straightforward. Trouble lives with his insanely wealthy owner, Ms. Sarah Vanderwhoozie, and leads a charmed life. Palatial bedroom, servants waiting on him paw and paw, gourmet meals, and even a doggie life coach! He loves his owner very, very much and they spend every waking moment together, shopping, eating pizza, watching movies, what have you! And then, one day, Ms. Vanderwhoozie passes away, moving to that great big kennel in the sky. Of course, this means Trouble’s life is going to go through some drastic changes. Sure enough, Ms. Vanderwhoozie’s greedy niece and nephew show up, all ready to mooch off their late aunt’s fortune. And being a particularly vile type of human being, they find Trouble to be very troublesome. In a series of unfortunate events, Trouble finds himself removed from his luxurious circumstances and in the big city, all on his own. How Trouble manages to find his way back home and reclaim his owner’s estate, while making new friends along the way, forms the rest of the story.
As mentioned earlier, what really stuck out for me were some of the performances. Trouble comes across a stray pit bull called Rousey who doesn’t trust humans one bit and is the ‘glass half empty’ to Trouble’s always optimistic, sunny disposition. When Rousey reveals her backstory and why she steers clear of humans, you really do feel for the poor mutt, especially the way Pamela Adlon tells it. Another fun character that pops up is a bounty hunter named Thurston Sanchez that the greedy heirs hire to track down the lost Trouble. The secondary antagonist of the movie, he reminded me of Jim Carrey’s legendary performance as Ace Ventura, Pet Detective in the movie of the same name. (Kids, if you haven’t watched this, please do—it’s one of my all-time favourite movies and one of the funniest things I have ever seen on film!) Of course, Ace was a good guy and Thurston definitely isn’t, but the way he tracks his target with the help of his squirrel henchmen had me chuckling for a while! There are a bunch of other dogs that Trouble meets on his journey and they all have their weird quirks. One is a crazy conspiracy theorist, the other can’t seem to ever get to the point, and so on and so forth, making for some really enjoyable banter on the sides.
All in all, Dog Gone Trouble is a decent one-time watch, especially for younger kids. At the heart of it is a story of love, friendship and companionship, and that’s something very hard to fault. I would recommend it for all dog lovers out there. In fact, I would go one step further and suggest watching it with your doggo on a Sunday afternoon. That will be a truly paw-some experience!
As of 12 June, Dog Gone Trouble is streaming on Netflix.