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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Beethoven (1992)
(2017 Reissue)


Starring: Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Dean Jones, Oliver Platt and Stanley Tucci
Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £14.99


Certificate: U
Release Date: 26 June 2017

Barely escaping from nefarious dognappers, an adorable puppy named Beethoven adopts the unsuspecting Newton family - and promptly grows up into 185 pounds of romping, drooling, disaster prone dog. Unfortunately, even after proving his canine credential to mom and the kids, the heroic hound gets nowhere with the uptight dad, George. When a nasty veterinarian makes Beethoven the target of an unspeakable animal experiment, George becomes the only hope for saving the Newtons’ furriest family member...

I remember, back on it's original release, Beethoven got a lot of positive publicity. I did go to see it at the time and really didn't understand what all the fuss was about - mind you, I was a student and not really the target audience.

Without a doubt, the star of the film is the dog. The adults are a little lifeless. We have a dad who is work obsessed, and certainly doesn't want a dog to make his life even more complicated, and a stay at home mum, who quit her job and career, to bring up her kids.

Even the poor kids are two-dimensional. We have a teen girl who is eager for attention from the most popular boy in her year; a nerdy, middle kid who is picked on for his thin physique and glasses; and the cute younger daughter who is... well... just there for a little cuteness, really.

David Duchovny makes an appearance (this was a year before he would appear as Fox Mulder in The X-Files). Stanley Tucci also appears as one of the very underused dog nappers.

I couldn't help wondering whether the role of the dad was originally written with Steve Martin in mind. There are several scenes that have that sarcastic, dry sense of humour that Martin was so famed for back in the '80s/'90s.

If you fondly remember this from your childhood, then there's perhaps enough magic still alive to warrant pick it up to enjoy with your own kids. It's a formulaic kid's flick, and nothing more.


Nick Smithson

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