Monday, February 8, 2010

DVD Doppelgangers: The Dog Who Saved Christmas vs. Marley & Me

Welcome to another installment of "DVD Doppelgangers," in which I search the video store for DVD covers that are a little too similar to be a coincidence.

First we have the cruel and sadistic dog killin' movie, Marley & Me. I love the blurb at the bottom that reads, "The Best Family Film Of The Year." Sure, if you're the Manson family.

I'm all for teaching kids about the circle of life, but did they have to give us a full twenty grueling minutes of Marley being put to sleep? That's right folks, I just spoiled the movie for you. Marley dies. But he doesn't just die quickly or heroically. Here the camera lovingly lingers over every single detail of his drawn out demise. Keep your kids far away from it, unless you want them telling their court appointed psychiatrists about it someday.

Then we have The Dog Who Saved Christmas. Looks just a little familiar, doesn't it? Good Lord, they even used a yellow lab! In fact it wouldn't surprise me if this was the exact same dog they used on the Marley DVD, just a few months older.

They even placed this dog in the same white, formless void as the Marley cover. The font isn't exactly the same, but it's darn close. Half the text is even red here as well.

And would you look at that, there's a broken Xmas ornament on the invisible floor. Why, this dog is just as mischievous and accident prone as poor old dead Marley! Gosh, if I didn't know better, I'd think that this studio was hoping fans of Marley & Me would see this DVD and buy it, thinking it's a sequel. But we all know that no corporation would stoop that low.

By the way, for those who might be thinking that this is somehow a sequel (and who could, since Marley's dead?), I feel I have to point out that Marley was somewhat realistic, while this movie is a fantasy tale. Marley was portrayed as a real dog. Zeus, the canine in The Dog Who Saved Christmas, is a talking dog. Yeah, you heard me. He talks. Except only the audience can hear him, not the characters in the movie. Pretty much like the baby in Look Who's Talking. And he's voiced by Mario Lopez (!). The film makers accomplish this amazing talking effect by showing Zeus staring off into the distance, mouth closed, while Mr. Lopez's voice is dubbed over the soundtrack. It's quite an impressive effect.

Because this is a holiday movie, they Photoshopped a Xmas tree branch in the dog's mouth. Nice touch. Xmas trees are toxic to dogs. They won't kill them, but they can make them really sick if eaten.

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