The story follows an ambitious talking dog as he yearns to become a real human boy. Scott Leadready II has perfect attendance at school, extraordinary grades, and pleasant manners; all in all he is the perfect boy that any mother wishes she had. The only problem is that Scott is actually a dog named Spot. For almost every day of his life, Spot has wished to become a real human boy like his owner Leonard, so much so that he has disguised himself as Scott Leadready II and attended the fourth grade for the past year. Now that the school year is over, Spot is left home for two weeks while Leonard and his mother travel to Florida to attend an award ceremony for teachers. The emulous pup ends up tagging along when he sees a wack-o scientist from Florida on television claiming to be able to change animals into humans. Now there is nothing in the way of Spot and his ultimate goal of becoming a real boy! Unfortunately, he learns that changing species isnít all itís cracked up to be. The story for Teacherís Pet is pretty straight forward, simple and predictable. Basically it is everything one expects from a low-budgeted winter family animated film, which makes it all the more disappointing. The big problem for Pet is that it never maintains a level consistency. The film ranges from being surprisingly amusing to harrowingly dull and anything in-between as well.
Teacherís Pet has a surprisingly decent amount of recognizable names behind the voices of the characters, which makes it all the more baffling at why this film wasnít more entertaining for adults. Nathan Lane, who also brought life to Timon in The Lion King, voices the audacious Spot. Lane presents a voice-over performance that was worth a chuckle here and there but nothing that was extraordinarily funny. Kelsey Grammer gives a slightly accented voice-over performance as Dr. Ivan Krank that results in more awkward facial gestures from audience members then amusing glances. The only performer within the cast that even manages to make the more adult audience laugh is Jerry Stiller, who voices a bird named Pretty Boy. He gives a gruff voice-over that just cracks a smile on anybodyís face at all the appropriate moments within the feature film. The reason behind this may be the fact that most older movie-goers may already know who Jerry Stiller is, which may or may not make this role all the more amusing than for those who donít know who he is.
Overall, younger audience members will enjoy this heralding story about a dog wishing to be a boy while younger adults will be wishing for the quickest exit out of the theater. Teacherís Pet borders on the line of moderate animated family entertainment and Ren & Stimpy-like weirdness. The film is filled with plenty of moments where parents will be questioning what they want their kids to see or not, depending how young they are. One such moment includes a moment where Spot (as a human) suggests marrying Leonardís mom so he can be with his human owner without being a dog. This type of situation seems to cross the line of perversion but luckily it quickly crosses back to normality. The film-makers dash in several awkward song and dance performances that arenít remarkable or even memorable long after the credits have rolled. The biggest problem with Teacherís Pet is that it is nothing more then one expects going into this feature and, though it appeals to the younger crowd, doesnít present a level of maturity that many adults, parents or not, would be able to tolerate for over a hour. Luckily the time over that one hour is only an additional fifteen minutes.
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