The winner of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 makes his big screen debut in Pudsey the Dog: The Movie. Pudsey is taken in by the Wilson family as they move from London to a small village, but when Pudsey discovers that the family’s landlord intends to bulldoze their home to make way for a shopping centre, it is up to the dog to save the day.
Let’s get things in perspective first; Pudsey the Dog: The Movie is a film based around a dog that won a talent competition. If you go in expecting other than a canine-led comedy aimed at young kids, then you are going to the wrong movie.
Jessica Hynes stars as the head of the Wilson family, and she just about gets away with being in this thin and charmless film. Hynes is a great actor and writer, and she brings a touch of reality to this decidedly unreal and over the top film. The rest over the cast chew on any available scenery and generally ham it up as much as possible. The same goes for the animal cast who, bizarrely, have been provided with voices for the film. David Walliams voices Pudsey the Dog, with Pudsey’s trainer Ashleigh voices a cow, Olivia Colman and Pete Serafinowicz voice two horses.
Paul rose has written a decidedly thin and familiar film around the fact that this dog can dance. The film feels a little like Nanny McPhee meets Mrs Brown’s Boys, with any dodgy kids TV show you care to mention thrown in for good measure. As well as the thin story, there is a pig who thinks he’s a chicken and numerous nonsensical plot twists.
Director Nick Moore brought us Horrible Henry and Wild Child in the past, and dials up the ridiculous for this film. The adults are all supremely over the top, and somehow the choice to have the animals’ mouths move when they are talking – but only sometimes – was thought to be a good idea. It would be easy to say that Pudsey the Dog: The Movie is a harmless film, but it is so saccharine sweet and melodramatic that exposing kids to this nonsense – instead of say, the likes of Coraline or The BFG – does nothing to promote their imaginations.
Pudsey the Dog: The Movie is a thin and decidedly unfunny film. Basing an entire movie around the fact that a dog can do tricks is shaky ground to begin with, but layering in talking animals and over the top adults is a recipe for disaster.