The Shaggy D.A. (1976)

THE SHAGGY D.A. (1976)
Article 5054 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-19-2016
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Featuring Dean Jones, Tim Conway, Suzanne Pleshette
Country: USA
What it is: Shopping Cart Movie

A man (who fell under the spell of a magic ring that turned him into a dog as a teenager) decides to run for district attorney to clean up the town and bring out the corruption of the current D.A. However, the magic ring is stolen from a museum, and when the inscription is read, the spell returns and the man becomes a dog again.

It took Disney seventeen years to return to their first shopping cart movie and make a sequel; this is the result. It’s wilder, messier, not as inspired, and the story is very contrived. The most impressive thing about this one is the wealth of familiar faces; Dean Jones, Tim Conway, Suzanne Pleshette, Keenan Wynn, Dick Van Patten, Jo Anne Worley, Vic Tayback, Richard Bakalyan, John Fiedler and Hans Conried all pop up. Most of the humor comes from the antics of the dog or from Conway; most of the shtick the latter is saddled with is pretty weak, but he makes the most of his good moments. For me, the cutest idea here is that all of the dogs in the dog pound are given the voices of various famous actors; there are imitations of James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Mae West and Peter Lorre, and it would have been a bit more fun if the vocal imitations had been better. The shopping cart movies were running out of steam by this point, and overall the movie is pretty tepid.

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