When a plan to extort money from a movie studio backfires, a nefarious animal wrangler attempts to find ways to rebound. Unfortunately, his assistant has just come across the big, loveable Beethoven who steps in to become the new star of the show.

The Lowdown

When the movie opens we get to meet Beethoven as he steals a giant sausage from the local diner and then races out causing a bicycle to swerve off the road crashing into a ladder sending both the rider and the man on the ladder crashing to the ground and into the cook from the diner. The dog then watches as the three take chase only to crash into a man holding a large cake and then the four take chase, only to crash into a giant window being carried by two workers. After observing the carnage, Beethoven then wanders off.

Welcome to the sixth installment of the Beethoven franchise. By this time, you should know what to expect. Beethoven is a big, loveable dog who causes devestation everywhere he goes. In this case, Beethoven is taken in by a family whose father is an assistant to an underhanded animal wrangler working in the movie business. Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernie’s) is Eddie, the dad and is more annoying in his role than his son Billy (Moises Arias). Most movies like this die thanks to the annoying child actors but here Arias is actually a charming, funny kid.

The movie is geared towards kids and it delivers what kids want, crazy cartoony hijinks where the dog drives every human in the movie to the edge of sanity. The humans should tell you all you need to know about the movie. Silverman, whose biggest film success came in the eighties, is joined by TV stars Jennifer Finnigan (Close to Home), Oscar Nunez (The Office), former Cheers barmaid Rhea Perlman, the Captain of the Guard Stephen Tobolowski (Spaceballs), the Dog Whisperer himself Cesaer Millian, the fat guy from NSync Joey Fatone, and perennial B-level “comedian” Eddie Griffin. With a cast like that, the jokes write themselves.

The plot contrives that once young Billy finds Beethoven, he is not allowed to keep him until the star dog from his dad’s latest movie project is kidnapped. When the studio refuses to pay the ransom for the dogs return, a new dog is needed. While Beethoven is considered as more than an annoyance to the dad, he realizes he might need him to keep his job. Of course, the dog wrecks havoc on the film set. Add to the final enjoyment factor for kids the fact that, as with all the movies, the truth about acceptance and love is driven home. For the kids we also get songs by such teeny bopper bands as the Jonas Brothers. If you are an adult, that might drive you farther away as well.

The movie is much cleverer than you would expect with a number of winks to the original film in the series. There are also a lot of funny moments for the cast, with Eddie Griffin and Rhea Perlman both highlights in the film. The direction is solid and the script is fun, so if you have a young one I would slightly recommend this as decent kid’s flick.

The Package

Audio Commentary with the Cast and Crew – This is a nice commentary track with everyone just bouncing memories of the shoot off each other. It is a fun track with a lot of information given and might be more fun than the movie itself for adults.

Deleted Scenes (02:04) – There are only two scenes here, one with Beethoven getting room service and the second with an autograph seeker. They are kind of funny.

Gag Reel (10:41) – Jokes and hijinks ensue.

Believe it or not, flipper discs still exist. On the other side of the disc is the full screen version of the film and more extras

How Did They Do That?! (08:51) – The camera follows as the animal trainers work with the dogs on the tricks. There are three dogs used as Beethoven – Boomer, Benz and Dolly – with Benz being the main dog, doing all the main tricks. Dolly (the only female) is the one who works with the puppies. Boomer is used in all the nasty action sequences. It is also interesting that the actors need to be on the top of their game every take because when the dog gets his trick right, that is the take used regardless of the human’s acting in the scene.

Moises Steals the Show (03:58) – The cast and crew talk about how smart Moises is. Those compliments are surrounded by Moises mugging for the camera and goofing around on the set. The point to this feature is everyone loves Moises Arias.