© Paramount Pictures Germany

Das Hundehotel (Hotel for Dogs)
U.S.A./Germany 2009

Opening 5 Feb 2009

Directed by: Thor Freudenthal
Writing credits: Jeff Lowell, Robert Schooley, Mark McCorkle, Lois Duncan
Principal actors: Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin, Don Cheadle, Johnny Simmons, Kyla Pratt

What do stray dogs and foster kids have to do with one another? In this case they create a family. After losing their parents in a car accident, Andi (Emma Roberts) and Bruce (Jake T. Austin) haven’t been able to find the right foster family. They seem to be getting into nothing but trouble. The reality is that they are concealing their pet Friday, a Jack Russell Terrier, from their foster parents. Their current foster family is a burned-out, rock-star pair which is clearly doing it for the money. Since he is not in on their secret, their social worker continues to advise them to stop taking so many risks and wonders why they are stealing money and food. The fun really begins when the kids discover an abandoned hotel with great props inside. Soon they have made new friends and are trying to save all the stray dogs in the city. The hotel becomes a dog’s dream: golden fire hydrants, mechanical doors to scratch on with different sounds behind them, a candy machine that delivers shoes instead of treats to the dogs. The film is humorous and creative although it portrays the wrong picture that dogs are just like humans and have the same needs. The most amazing question about this film is how did they shoot so many dogs at the same time while keeping them under control? Patience had to be an important quality in this film. This is a film for dog lovers, and your kids will be laughing and crying at the same time. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

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