This one’s for the kids. Earlier this week, I tapped into my inner child and checked out the prescreening of Marmaduke. I’d say the movie was Homeward Bound meets Mean Girls meets Superbad… of course not as “adult” funny as the latter two.

Based on a comic strip of the same name (dating back to the 1950s), Marmaduke the movie is about a suburban family that movies to the O.C. from Kansas, as the man of the house has a great job opportunity there. Speaking of great. Great Dane. That’s the kind of dog that Marmaduke is, and he’s main character and narrator in the film. He’s a big dog and he manages to continually get himself in an equal amount of big trouble. Perhaps the dog version of Dennis the Menace – he means well, but it’s just one thing after another.

It’s a star studded voiceover cast, with Owen Wilson playing Marmaduke , and George Lopez playing his sidekick cat, Carlos. Moving to a new neighborhood means that Marmaduke has to face a new community of pooches. The “Top Dog” in the neighborhood is Bosco, played by 24‘s Kiefer Sutherland. He’s the bad ass purebred dog you don’t want to mess with. In fact, all the purebred’s are totally pretentious and rule the dog park. Fergie plays Jezebel, Bosco’s girlfriend who is also a purebred. Of the other non purebreds, Emma Stone (House Bunny) plays Mazie, a dog that helps Marmaduke figure out how things work around there. Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays a small dog named Giuseppe, who is essentially the dog version of same character he played in Superbad – McLovin’.

Marmaduke’s owner, Phil Winslow (Lee Pace) introduces Marmaduke to his boss.

THINGS I LIKED

  • William H. Macy plays a hilarious/annoying boss named Don Twombly (pictured above), and he nails it. You can totally relate to or appreciate what it would be like to have a boss like him. *Cringe*
  • Loved the all star voiceover cast. I found myself listening extra hard to see if I could figure out who each dog (or cat) was. Figuring out who Gieseppe was (aka. McLovin’) was my favorite discovery. Great casting.
  • Gotta give props to Emma Stone, Kiefer Sutherland, and of course Owen Wilson. They were all brilliant at their characters, coming up with a believable voice as to what you’d imagine their dog doppelgangers would sound like.

Marmaduke and four of his new friends in the O.C. dog park.

THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE

  • “Marmaduke!” the parents exclaimed, every time Marmaduke purposefully…passed gas. Didn’t find it very funny and that’s kinda how the movie began – and ended. Oops, I ruined the ending for you.
  • I didn’t like the overkill on some of the computer animation of the dogs. At the end, the dogs have a dance number and it’s total cheeseballs.
  • I wish Judy Greer (who played the mom of the household) had a bigger role in it. She was one of the few big names that were “real life” cast members, and I always find her fantastic.

Movie Trailer: Marmaduke

RATING: 2.5 out of 5 stars. I think if you’re a child it’d be higher rating. Hey – it was better than Garfield!