Directed by Frederik Du Chau
Starring Jason Lee, Peter Dinklage, Amy Adams
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Available Dec. 18, 2007
Let’s take inventory:
Beloved TV show – check.
Hot breakout actor – check.
Memorable character actors – check.
A chance to show off cool CGI effects – check.
Disney – check.
It can’t miss, right?
Not so fast, my friends.
This summer, a live-action movie version of Underdog was released, and now it’s on DVD. For those of us who fondly remember the cartoon series, it’s best to stay away from it if you want to preserve your fond memories.
Jason Lee (from TV’s My Name Is Earl) stars as the voice of Underdog and Shoeshine Boy as he gains superpowers and fights the evil Simon Barsinister (Peter Dinklage) and Cad (Patrick Warbruton) to save Sweet Polly Purebread (the voice of Amy Adams).
Lee may want to get a new agent, after being booked in this and the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie.
Of course, Underdog saves the day. Unfortunately, the movie is a bit flat. Could it be the curse of Jim Belushi?
Jim Belushi — they let him in this movie? Yes, yes they did. That’s almost all you need to know.
It’s not that bad of a film, really, and the dogs are cute. But to me, it pales next to the original Underdog with Wally Cox as the voice of the hero and the usual Jay Ward voice talent filling in the other characters. The kids may love this, but my kids love the original cartoons more than this adaptation, and your kids probably will too.
They have extras on this DVD — the usual roundup of deleted scenes and other features, plus an original Underdog cartoon. I find myself watching that more.
But with Underdog in the can, what’s next? Tennessee Tuxedo? The Go-Go-Gophers? Klondike Kat and Savoir Faire? A full-length movie version of Commander McBragg?
The mind boggles…
DVD Bonus Features
• Never-before-seen Bloopers
• Deleted Scenes
• “Underdog Raps” — A music video featuring Kyle Massey, star of Disney Channels hit show “Cory on the House.”
• Sit, Stay, Act: Diary of a Dog Actor — Shoeshine gives fans a peek at the making of the movie from his point of view. In an entertaining feature, Underdog “digs up” the real behind-the-scenes dirt.
• Underdog Original Cartoon Episode — “Safe Waif,” the very first cartoon episode featuring the caped canine.