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Man, can't a dog ever get a break? After saving Easter, saving the holidays (whatever that means), saving Halloween, saving the Christmas vacation, saving Christmas itself, Zeus the dog is back again to save the day again. Or not just a day this time but the summer as a whole! Don't even ask how or why, since I honestly don't know but luckily that hardly really matters in this case!

First of all, no the title of the movie doesn't make much sense in the context of the movie but hey, it's at least of course in tone with the previous movies in the series. Sure, the movie takes place during the summer time but that hardly seems relevant to anything and Zeus the dog is constantly busy doing a whole bunch of stuff, except with actually 'saving' the summer. This is not any criticism toward the movie itself of course but it shows you how this movie isn't really too concerned or busy with trying to make sense, or with taking things too seriously. And I actually mean this as something positive in this particular case. After all, here we have a movie about a talking dog! The more you try to make sense of things, the less likely it's going to be that it shall work out as a very convincing or enjoyable movie to watch.

To be honest, I'm pretty fed up with talking animal movies by now. Most of them aren't much good but what's even worse is that they aren't even trying to be remotely original or creative with anything. Most of them keep relying on the same clichés over and over again. They are lazy movies, which perhaps is the best way to describe them as. But then again, these movies also aren't made for me of course. They are obviously catered toward very young children but that however doesn't mean that the movies should be allowed to get away with everything. They still need to be creative and take their audience as serious as possible, by offering them plenty of surprises, entertainment, without constantly talking down to the young kids watching it and by showing its viewers how some serious time and effort went into the making of the movie. And whether it's something it's fully aware of or not, this is something "The Dog Who Saved Summer" does quite well all.

As straightforward and as simple as the movie of course is, there is plenty of creativity in it. There actually constantly is a whole bunch of stuff happening at the same time, which maybe isn't always a good thing for the movie but it at least also ensures that the movie never turns into an either dull or tiresome one. It isn't a repetitive movie, or one that recycles many of the old talking animal movie's jokes and clichés. There are multiple different story lines, featuring different characters, that don't always work out together very well or feel very organic but it does give the movie a good pace and ensures that there is plenty of variety in it.

I'll admit though, that the movie tends to be a bit confusing to watch at times, as weird as that might seem to say about a simplistic children's movie. It's because of the reason that not all story lines feel connected to each other and I'll even bet that some of the actors never even met any of the other ones while shooting this movie. It's as if some of them act in totally different and individual movies, that unfortunately never blend in effectively enough with each other. The actors all still look like they were having a lot of fun doing this movie and they don't just act and walk around like it's just another paycheck for them, which makes up for a lot!

It's definitely true that the movie lacks a good main focus at times though. Is it a movie about Zeus? Is it a movie about the Bannister's? Is it a movie in which Zeus is trying to stop the criminals? Is it a movie about Zeus winning a contest? I can't really tell you and the simple answer is that it's a about a bit of everything, without unfortunately lacking one good and solid main plot line, that's constantly present and an important element throughout the entire movie. This simply could have been achieved by focusing on Zeus his owners, the Bannister's, more often but for some reason their story and the characters get pushed to the background this time.

Will any of this matter to the kids watching it? I'm sure that to some extend it will but of course for most part it really isn't going to bother them. They'll surely enjoy the movie for what is and laugh at the gags and almost cartoon like comedy of the movie and feel happy while looking at the cute looking dogs, doing cute little dog things. It besides is a very bright, positive, colorful and happy little film, that never gets tense or scary in any way. It makes this perfectly light entertainment for the young kids and their parents, who definitely should be able to enjoy this movie as well.

It's some simple, harmless, clean and fairly well made fun, that you shouldn't over-analyze or be too critical toward. After all, it entertains and brings some fun and joy into your living room, which is all that really matters with these type of movies.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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