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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(1959), G ["Hard" G*] (1hr 39min)
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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Walt Disney Productions
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Film Distribution Co. Inc.
Director(s): Charles Barton
Producer(s): Walt Disney, Bill Walsh
Written by: Lillie Hayward, Felix Salten (The Hound of Florence), Bill Walsh
Cinematography/Camera: Edward Colman
Music: Hazel George, Will Schaefer, Paul J. Smith
Film Editing: James Ballas
Art Direction: Carroll Clark
Viewed on: Disney DVD
The 2006 version of The Shaggy Dog does not use the same story as the 1959 version. The only things that are the same are the title and a character who shape-shifts into a sheepdog. In the 2006 version an adult assistant DA is the one who shape-shifts into a sheepdog. In this 1959 version it is the son of a mailman.
If anyone remembers Disney's Mickey Mouse Club, which is even before my time, many of the mouseketeers are there: Kirk, Funicello, Considine and Corcoran (Moochy).
Wilson Daniels (Fred MacMurry) loves people but hates dogs. All dogs. Any dog. He claims to be allergic to all dogs. His wife Freeda (Jean Hagen) is patient with his madness but with reservations. By the way, the husband and wife in this film do not get in bed together. Oh, for the days of black-n-white when the camera would, for example, follow a newlywed couple (not married in real life) to the door of their motel suite, film the door closing then fade off to something else. Nowadays the camera follows them ...
Another word on "Oh, for the days of black-n-white." In this black-n-white version, though the children practice a smidgen of deception, the children show respect and humility toward their father and are openly submissive to his authority. In the 2006 version, the daughter repeatedly shows disrespect toward and even contempt for her father. More on this later.
Wilson's eldest and teenage son, Wilby (Tommy Kirk) -- at least the IMDb says his name is Wilby though it sounds like Willoughby in the film -- is a science nut. Wilson's other son, preteen Montgomery .. er .. Moochy is the typical Hollywood version of the little brother pest who comes through for Wilby in the end.
After accidentally launching a rocket through the house roof, Wilby must give up his science hobbies. While Wilby and Moochy try to fix the hole in the roof, Wilby's pal, Buzz Miller (Tim Considine) shows up to take neighbor Allison D'Allessio (Annette Funicello), the current object of the affection of both boys, to play tennis.
While the two boys are engaged in a verbal war about a past due debt of $7.00, the new girl in town, seventeen year old Franceska Andrassy (Roberta Shore) drives by to take up residence with her father, Dr. Mikhail Andrassy (Alexander Scourby) in an empty house across the street from Allison. Dr. Andrassy is to be the new curator at the local museum. Dr. Andrassy has more than skeletons in his closet.
While snooping about a museum exhibit, Wilby meets Professor Plumcutt (Cecil Kellaway) who is fascinated with the dark and sinister Lucretia Borge history. As Wilby clumsily tries to leave at Prof. Plumcutt's insistence, Wilby knocks over a tray of Borge artifact jewelry. One of the rings fall into his pant cuff.
While back at home, Wilby recalls his year of Latin as he reads the inscription on the ring. Over and over. Soon, Wilby is cursed by an evil spell that changes him into a sheepdog. [Deut. 18:10 - 11, Rev. 21:8]
Now the plot thickens. It seems Dr. Andrassy is involved in espionage to steal a secret device, Section 32, from the local missile plant. [Hab. 2:9] It seems also that the only way to break the spell Wilby is under is for him to perform an act of bravery since a dagger in the heart is not an option Wilby wants to explore.
Above I spoke to "more on this later." This is the "more." One of the great features of most films of yesteryear is a general level of humility in the young performers, or at least an absence of the "it ain't good enough no matter what 'it' is" attitude of many of today's youthful performers. Indeed, it is not so much the violence, sex and drugs in and as entertainment of today which so deeply influence our youth. These have a negative influence, to be sure, but are simply spinoffs or by-products of the strongest presence in much of modern entertainment ... the attitude.
A display of arrogant and rebellious emotions by a skilled youthful performer can reach not only into and change the opinion level of youthful perception but well into the values level and even into the beliefs level, each level progressively insulated against change. As Managing Editor David Kupelian, of the WordlNetDaily said about filmmakers "And believe me, skilled directors and actors can manufacture emotion by the truckload. It's what they do for a living." For more information, see our report ATTITUDE: In Perspective -- Investigation Area Scoring and Trend in CAP Entertainment Industry Investigations.
The strongest presence in this 1959 version of The Shaggy Dog was of violence and crime but not nearly as strong as in much of today's entertainment. There were no extremes which saturate many modern films. About the most violent portrayal in this film was talk of "a dagger deep in his heart" to break a spell. [Prov. 16:29, Hab. 2:9]
About extremes, we have become so drugged by the narcotics of extremes in and as entertainment that what once was morally unacceptable has become morally invisible. [Ps. 12:8] And this matter applies not only to violence but across the thespian board. For example, a teen girl is abducted in this film of yesteryear but she is not beaten, sexually assaulted, threatened with a firearm or any other form of such violent invasions.
In fact there are no instances of sexually immoral behavior in the entire film whatsoever. But in today's entertainment, even for children, it is likely the abducted girl would be violated in a number of ways instead of simply escorted to a car. Even Annette Funicello's tennis shorts did not reveal the lower curvature of the gluteous maximi as do almost all of today's sports shorts. The times, they are a-changin'. But God's Word is not. And won't. We have His Word on it.
While the 2006 version used a virus as the device to cause the shape-shifting into a dog, this 1959 Disney film uses witchcraft/sorcery spell casting to cause the change in Wilby. Many of Disney's films delve into witchcraft and sorcery. [2Chr. 33:6] Even Fantasia, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and others of Disney fare use witchcraft/sorcery, each of which is family/children's entertainment.
In keeping with the comparative feature of the CAP Analysis Model, following is a comparison of the scoring distribution between the two versions of The Shaggy Dog:
Above is one of the best features of the CAP Analysis Model. In a glance you can compare the relative position of morality in each film. Clearly, in a couple seconds one can tell the 2006 version contains more assault on morality and decency than the 1959 version ... and how much ... and where. All revealed by the same standards, the same computer application, the same methodology, the same equations, even the same investigator. No skewing is assured. There are a number of additional ways from various perspectives in which the CAP Analysis Model can be used to help you make your own comparisons and moral assessments of a film. If interested, please visit our CAP Graphic Data Display Explanation.
Above are a number of the examples of programming that might raise your parental eyebrows. The refreshingly short listing in the Findings/Scoring section presents all that were noted.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Christian Educators Association International
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
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