Hotel for Dogs

Film, Family and kids
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
Strictly half-term fodder it may be, but this amiable kiddie flick delivers on its promises: you get lots of dogs doing cute stuff. The set-up has a brother and sister (Emma Roberts, Jake T Austin, Identi-Kit moppets) struggling to keep their pet Jack Russell terrier a secret from their pernickety foster parent (Lisa Kudrow, a game meanie). An abandoned downtown hotel provides an ideal bolt-hole and, they begin to plot, could offer kinder accommodation for the city’s unwanted canines than the municipal pound. With a couple of pet shop assistants facilitating transport and product-placement doggie treats, the dream becomes reality, thanks muchly to little bro’s Heath Robinson-esque contraptions keeping massed pooches fed and watered while the authorities try to work out where all the strays are.

True, there’s only the merest suggestion of an education system for these juveniles, but credibility’s secondary when you’ve got lots of dogs doing cute stuff. There’s a treadmill for automated walkies, a canine-operated ball thrower, while bodily functions are catered for by production-line poop-scooping. A whole spectrum of breeds, shapes and sizes supply the aww-factor (pugs with aerobics headbands), but there’s some welcome emotional underpinning too, since the foster kids need a good home as much as their four-legged friends. Enter Don Cheadle as a kindly social services officer: when they start giving actors awards for films they’d rather leave off their CVs, he’ll be up there on the podium.

By: Trevor Johnston



Release details

Release date:
Friday February 13 2009
100 mins

Cast and crew

Thor Freudenthal
Jeff Lowell, Bob Schooley, Mark McCorkle
Emma Roberts
Jake T. Austin
Don Cheadle
Lisa Kudrow
Kevin Dillon
Johnny Simmons
Kyla Pratt
Troy Gentile
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