If you're from my generation, you know the rest of that line. For the rest of you, it's "… Underdog is here!" Yes, it was a fun TV show. And as of this weekend, it's a movie. Why am I bringing this up? Because Classic Media put two feature films into production last year that will release in the next 6 months. The first one was "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything – A VeggieTales Movie," with Universal. The second one was "Underdog," with Disney. Which opened today. Like VeggieTales, Classic Media also owns the rights to Underdog. Hence the film.
So… is it any good? I have no idea. Neither does anyone else, since Disney chose not to screen the movie in advance for reviews (usually a bad sign). So have any of you seen the film yet? Is it any good? Will this be a good year for Classic Media? And, while I'm asking questions, were you offended (as "Ain't It Cool News" predicted "religious conservatives" would be) by the Underdog movie poster slogan, 'One Nation… Under Dog'?
I’m honestly more offended that they made Underdog live action. After seeing the trailer, I found myself arguing with my 5-year old daughter over whether or not this would be a good movie. After spending an afternoon on youtube watching clips from the original, I think I’ve sold her.
We’ll have to wait for the box office, but I have a feeling I could have saved them a few million dollars if they’d asked my opinion.
I’m guessing this is an El kabong thing (Family inside joke)
Just happened to find your blog Phil. I’m a long-time fan. Thanks for standing up and holding your ground when it comes to Christian values.
I did catch Underdog today and was not overly impressed too.
Kind of, but then again, I don’t entirely agree with the original phrase to begin with. So it’s difficult to be completely offended with it.
I am, however, disappointed that it’s live action. Polly Purebred looks nothing like what I picture her. I fear that millions of young people (myself excluded, because my parents have exposed me to countless things that people my age are clueless about) will see this Underdog as the one and only, when there’s one that is so much better.
haven’t seen the film. i want to.
the slogan didn’t offend me,
i just thought there could have
been a better one.
How can they make a live-action Underdog? Won’t that just ruin it?
I saw Underdog today. The cartoon was comic GENIUS, but the movie was very poorly done. Terrible acting, cliche, cheesy, cheesy. I wish they had done this film as 3D animation. I’ll stick with the cartoons.
Was I offended? Nope. Did I think the slogan was stupid? Yes. Did I see the trailer for it? Yes, I went out of my way. It looked completely cliche and I doubt that I will ever see the movie. It looks about as brilliant as Baby Geniouses 2. I am looking forward to Pirates, though.
I don’t plan on seeing the movie. I loved the cartoon too much, and would rather keep my memories of Underdog the way he was back then.
As for the quote on the movie poster? I’m sure someone in marketing thought that would be a cutesy play on words. And even though it’s probably going to rub a lot of people the wrong way, to me it’s just a marketing thing that someone forgot to think all the way through. I don’t think anyone was making an intentional jab at religious conservatives.
But if they did, then I bring up a comment that someone made a few years back, that went something like “why does it surprise us when ungodly people act… ungodly?” Why would it surprise us to see a worldly movie company create a movie poster with a phrase on it that obviously doesn’t have reverence for God in mind? It doesn’t surprise me…
But I’ll try to keep from getting too negative here, and saying that the world, and this nation, have obviously gone to… the dog!
My kids haven’t shown any interest in seeing Under Dog, yet. Their favorite thing about the movie is the commercial that shows the “blooper” of Under Dog saying, “There’s no need to fear, underwear is here.” For some reason that causes mild hysteria with my boys!
No, I’m not offended at the tagline of the movie. It’s just a silly play on words. I doubt they did it to offend Christians.
When are they going to make a Super Chicken movie?? Now there’s a hero!! Plus he had a way better theme song.
One has to pay attention to be offended… But I think you’re right, no pre-screening is usually bad news, although when I first saw that it was going to be live action/cgi animation I was pretty much turned off. It’s one thing to want to make The Transformers look real, but an animated dog? Woof!
The movie premise is completely diffrent from the cartoon we all remember and love.
The cartoon was a world of dogs with no people about and Underdog had a secret identity of a lovable humble shoeshine boy. (something like that)
In the movie, the dog is has super powers in a world of humans. Very different premise.
If I see it, I’ll be seeing it on the small screen.
Wasn’t the whole original Underdog thing set in Britain? I seem to remember the characters with British accents or something. If that’s the case, it’s strange that they’d be doing that in America.
I also agree that it’s a little strange to do a cartoon with live people. I guess that, if this trend keeps up, we’ll see Bob being played by a real tomato somewhere down the road? 🙂
I haven’t seen the classics, nor have I seen the movie. But I have a feeling that it won’t be my favorite movie.
Beware any time they remake an animated movie! The only possible exception would be “Charlotte’s Web” which I had my doubts about from the trailer, but was actually pretty decent. The original was still better, however, with better acting and better songs. But look at the disasters such as “101 Dalmatians” and sequels, “The Flintstones”, “Dudley Dooright”, “George of the Jungle”. . .you get my point. I shudder to think of anyone remaking “Where’s God When I’m Scaaared?” or any other Veggie film into a live-action movie! On stage is one thing, motion pictures another.
As for “One nation. . .” most of the country probably doesn’t grasp the real meaning in the pledge, which would seem to be more of a sad commentary.
one nation under dog… nah, it’s not offensive. it’s kind of funny, but it is a little obvious.
most likely the movie will be atrocious, which is much more offensive to me than anything else
i am curious though, didn’t classic media sell off big idea? or it was bought by another company… your blog mentioned that a few updates ago, or do they still own the rights to the film? it’s all so confusing
I was offended by the “One Nation” tagline … only wondering what the reaction would be if our friends in Burbank did a play on words with the name of diety of another faith (say, Islam?).
The movie looks l-a-m-e. No interest in seeing it, even when it comes to the “small screen”. Even my kids could care less.
Upon seeing the trailer I was completely underwhelmed. I was raised on the cartoon version and I don’t think I could stand to have my childhood memories subverted. The tagline? Just an attempt at more cheese by an already cheese filled movie.
The tagline they chose is annoying.
What’s worse, though, is the movie that it’s being used for. Despite being 20 years old, I’m familiar enough to know how a show like Underdog should be treated. This…this…thing is NOT it.
Seriously, it’s like Hollywood is just looking for any reason to ruin a memorable show or series or franchise just for the heck of it (and, of course, to make a few bucks).
And, please, don’t get me started on the upcoming Alvin and the Chipmunks “movie”.
Long story short, we need more companies like Jellyfish and Big Idea around. You guys know what children really need and go out of your way to give it to them on the Lord’s behalf.
God Bless you, Phil.
(P.S. Tell Bob I said hi, please! ^_^)
The trailer on the website looks cool. My kids, 8 and 12 will love it. We all loved Air Bud 1,2,3,4,5 and what..6 I think? And they were low budgety cheese-a-thons. If we loved Air Buds, we’ll love this movie. One Nation Under Dog? That’s lame, but it doesn’t bother me.
I just saw Underdog. It was awesome. It was way better than I expected. My 12 year old and 8 year old loved it. My wife thought it was a little scary for them (and maybe her too)
You know what’s cool, though? The new Veggie just out on Saturday, “God Made Me Special” has the Pirates Trailer. I mean, it was on the website, but it was neat to see it on a big TV.
I have no real interest in seeing the movie. I was a big fan of the cartoon as a kid, but the trailer completely failed to bring back any memories.
So far as whether the tagline is offensive…I had to think about this. Is it offensive to God? If so, it should be offensive to me. In our culture, we’re bombarded by far worse than this, so it seems innocuous. But, just because I’m not shocked and appalled due to the context of my culture is irrelevant. Does it offend God?
Suppose I was the marketing guy and Jesus was the marketing director, and I produced this poster. Would I let it get to his desk? Personally, I wouldn’t.
So I’m offended. Should I now seethe with righteous indignation? That requires more thinking, but my gut feel right now is no, and I’ve already said too much.
My two daughters loved the move. I was pleasantly surprised myself. Yes, there were a few ‘bathroom humor-ish’ jokes I could have done without, and I didn’t like one scene where Underdog swiped a doggie bag…not a biggie but surely not in the spirit of the original. Overall, though, I thought they were fairly faithful to the original.
I think the tagline is really funny! Funnier than the movie.
I was offended by the tagline…
And I didn’t see the cartoons or the movie.
I, personally, have no intentions to.
But I can’t wait for “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything Movie”.
Yes, I think the tagline is offensive. I think it helps erode the contemplation that such a phrase “One nation, under God” was intended to evoke.
That being said, I think it was just meant to be cute. I don’t consider it a conspiracy or anything. I think it’s just not taking the feelings some people have for such things into serious consideration.
In a world where advertisements for such items as “Girls gone wild” is mainstream, I would think it a little silly to get all worked up over such a small point, but I guess ideally we wouldn’t be inched away from such reverence with our only logic being “It’s not as bad as…[insert oddity here]”
Holding some things, even ones own country, in reverence helps keep people from becoming cynical. It keeps people motivated by believing they are part of something great. I know of countries that have lost that, and I would hate to see the United States come to that.
I guess that’s a little too deep for a film with a dog in a cape, but it’s how I feel.
The tagline is clunky and annoying. Maybe it was meant to be catchy for kids since they have to recite the pledge everyday and would get the humor. I think they should have firmly targeted the adults that remember the show … put a tagline that was more appropriate for them and thus they would eagerly haul their kids to the theater to see some “real entertainment.” 🙂 Gatekeepers people!
Sylvia mentioned the recent remake of Charlotte’s Web. That movie actually got me quite wound up and my wife had to stuff popcorn in my mouth so I would shut up about it. The problem was that it opened with the something to the tune of “This is the story of how one little girl changed everything by standing up for what was right…” that gave me a very bad feeling right from the start … but then they ENDED with the same sort of line! Those lousy remakes were so desperate to get an over obvious warm fuzzy moral into the story that they completely wrecked the beautiful and dearly loved pathos of the original story. I’m not one of those people that barks on and on about “the book being better … ” but this was a real gem trodden into the dirt! The point is that Fern is NOT a hero .. she is just a regular child that takes interest in a pig one summer and slowly her attention wanders to other things. It is very subtle … the author was very careful to build this in without making her a villain … but its there and it provides the contrast to the ever caring Charlotte who is Wilbur’s friend to the end …
The Hanna Barbara had very simple animation, hardly worthy of a feature film but it makers clearly understood the value of the story and filled it up full of wit and charm that it shone out beyond its humble animation.
Where am I going with this long-winded tale?
Well some years ago I was walking past the a nursery room when I spotted a video playing on the tv inside with … these odd talking vegetables! It was one of the earliest title and the animation was quite simple but the fun and personalities shone out above the simple, early computer animation and brimmed over with good humor and fun. I leaned against the door frame and chuckled myself silly … and continued to chuckle for many years thereafter with every new release. Like the old Charlottes Web movie, those old Veggie Tales weren’t a polished production to the 400th degree but all that disappeared in masterful storytelling and wit. Thanks Phil, you’ve been through ups and downs but I am sure your best days are still ahead of you!
1- The movie looks spectacularly unfunny.
2- The fact it went from animation to live action gives me a pain.
3- The slogan made me wince a little.
The trailer for the PWDDA film was priceless.
I enjoyed what I’ve seen of the Underdog animations, and so when my younger brother reported to me that an Underdog movie was coming out, having looked at this blog entry, my interest was definitely piqued. I didn’t mind about it being live action… in fact, I was rather interested in such an idea; my brother and I have daydreamed about a more realistic-scenario take-off from the Underdog concept in writing. I haven’t seen the movie yet, and looking at both the website and the pluggedinonline.com review I’m not particularly interested. …Why? Not because I don’t think it could have been a good thing, but because I’m not fond of either potty-humor or little innuendos and am not willing to wade through two or three two many poop jokes and a sassy, sexy spin-off of Sweet Polly for a little bit of a good thing.
…The tagline didn’t particularly irk me–it’s cheesy, it’s stupid, but I don’t think it was meant to be offensive, and I’m not taking it that way. It isn’t saying that Underdog is the Lord of the Universe, it’s just saying that he’s a cool guy… er, canine, who people look up to. And with that I would agree–or at least, old school I would.
Joel–actually, the original had a good many people; specifically Simon Bar Sinister, his sidekick Cad, and an abundance of random civilians in distress were human. However, it followed a happy cartoon ignorance suspension-of-reality policy of the few talking canines in the show walking, dressing, and co-existing as regular voting citizens like the humans around them, with none of the people apparently viewing it as odd.
Man, this blog is over a month old. Where is Phil? Phiillll!?? Phiiillllll!??Phiiiiilllllll!!!
I hear “Sumo Veggie” playing in the other room. Whatever … where’s Phil? Phiiillllll!!?? Phiiiiiiiiiiillllllllll!!!??!
For the record, I still prefer both the book and first animated film of “Charlotte’s Web” to the new movie. My only point was that it did not deviate too much from the plot, and therefore was watchable. The first movie had better acting and much better music. It would seem most of the time that remakes are completely unnecessary and therefore annoying. By the way, I also prefer many of the older, simpler Veggietales to some of the newer ones, although all of them are better than most of the junk around today.
Are there going to be more tv shows coming soon, or are they just going to keep repeating the same ones?
“One nation under dog”? Well, I think everybody’s right. It’s a rather silly play on words, meant to be cute by some guys in marketing. That’s about it. I won’t be buying a poster, and that’s about as “offended” as I can be.
Sounds like nobody much cared for the movie, huh? Oh well. I’ll wait to rent it. And probably add my husband for company, and a bowl of pecan praline ice cream. That’ll make it a good movie night, even if the movie’s not especially good!
Good points. The reason for my disappointment with the recent effort was probably due to that it did have a lot going for it and therefore left me all the more disappointed when it went hollow on that one item. A “I readlly wanted to like it, but then … ” kind of thing.
I came from that geeky-atheist-sci-fi culture AICN caters to. My rebirth came, in no small part, due to watching an animated Tomato with my kids. VeggieTales not only broke the stereotype of the stuffy church lady, it made pop culture references I could relate to.
But even in my darkest days I never really shared the vitriol we are witnessing now and I don’t understand it. If anything, Christians and Jews should be MORE appreciated. Is anyone being jailed (or worse) over the Underdog poster as is happening in Bangladesh over another cartoon (this one extremely mild, and actually funny).
I checked out the Star Trek: The Motion Picture soundtrack from a library and was surprised to see it had a bonus CD which was audio and interviews from an early-70’s Star Trek convention. It was very sad for me.
These people were putting all their hopes and dreams in this fantasy. They were certain all sorts of technological miracles were going to make things better in the near future. They placed great hope in humanity evolving beyond the problems of the day. And there were plenty of gratuitous slaps at those ignorant sanctimonious Bible-thumping Christians who just wouldn’t let Gene have his way.
In the 30+ years that have passed, NONE of what they predicted came to pass.
I used to be there. It is sad and empty, but they don’t know it. They see US and don’t understand it. So they use bigotry to explain it away. Those Christians are ignorant, stupid and have no sense of humor, you know.
A certain Tomato and “Pickle” helped teach ME otherwise. I hope and pray that somehow we can teach the Rosies and Manilows of the world that too.
By the way, the trailers for Underdog looked really bad. It looked about as bad as that Bear movie of Disney’s a few years back.
R.D u make me laugh
Underdog movie = BAD!
VeggieTales = GOOD!
Phil = Forgiven!
No offense to Underdog fans (the origonal TV show version) but the DVD I bought had a clip of like part of an episode and well… Underdog was one of the sutpidest heros I have ever seen. I loved it. When I realized this I then noticed that well… Ever show I like is either stupid, childish, or involves vegetables… ;D
But I guess that it means I have a good imagination? Either that or it has to do with my minor case of ADD… Anyway the movie was pretty good, though I never have liked computer-animated bloopers… (Come on they have to make up mistakes??)
PS A blooper reel for VeggieTales would be just fine with me! ;D