Just a few minutes of Dog Gone Trouble makes the viewer appreciate Dreamworks, Disney, and Pixar. Trouble is a primer on how NOT to make an animation film. Start with sub-quality animation, an overused, predictable plot, and unlikeable characters. Then, add some really poor writing and mediocre music. Finally, sell it to Netflix and let them pawn it off on some unsuspecting subscribers. This is filler content at its worst. Please don’t take the Trouble to watch. It’s that bad.
Trouble is a pampered, spoiled dog, owned by elderly mega-rich Mrs. Vanderwhoozie. How pampered? Trouble has his own doggy therapist. The name Vanderwhoozie gives a hint as to the lackluster script. How lackluster? If you take out the repeated references to butt sniffing/scratching and squirrely “you touched my nuts,” there’s barely any dialogue left. Rousey is a stray pit bull who distrusts humans. If you are going to appropriate her name, then Ronda Rousey should be cast as this cynical, disenchanted dog. Her voice, and attitude, could only help. Further evidence of the inanity are the synchronized-dancing squirrels. Not only have they no individuality, they are mean. I give Trouble 1.5 Gavels and it receives a 6/10 IMDb score. The early Rotten Tomatoes Audience score sits at 31%.
Trouble wakes up to his usual massage and breakfast, ready to leap into the arms of Mrs. Vanderwhoozie. Confused, instead, he meets her money-grubbing niece and nephew, Claire and Norbert. They promptly kick him out of the mansion, only to discover that their inheritance depends on taking proper care of the beloved pooch. To find Trouble, they are forced to hire five-star tracker Thurman Sanchez aka The Thurmanator. In the meantime, Trouble finds trouble lost in the woods, clearly not an “outside dog.” Eventually, a pizza delivery lady takes pity on the mutt. Trouble‘s troubles are just beginning.
Wilmer Valderrama (Onward), wonderfully co-starring as Special Agent Nick Torres on NCIS, can not be blamed for the absurd Thurmanator. Crawling and sniffing clues, he seems to be some sort of Jim Carrey knock-off. So, why not use Jim Carrey? Lucy Hale of Pretty Little Liars is our singing pizza lady. It’s a shame that the songs are so poor. The voices of Betty White and Snoop Dogg get some audio time, both to little effect.
More bad punny dialogue includes “Thurman always gets his vermin.” When an ungrateful Trouble finds Zoe’s one room apartment to be less than luxurious, he proclaims “I think I’ve been saved by a poor person.” At the end, Jason Mraz declares Zoe to be the next “superstar.” At best, maybe a lounge singer in Alburquerque.
“Home is at the center of Dog Gone Trouble, about a lost pooch whose owner has just died. But this Netflix animated family feature is nothing to write home about.” New York Times
“Thurman turns out to be a good tracker, according to the makers. But in reality, it seems like his character is just scripted to get to the conclusion as he ridiculously knows everything. The makers somehow also think that making Thurman repeat the term, ‘I will kill the dog’ is somehow funny when in reality it’s offensive.” Leisure Byte
Don’t be an “indoor dog” like Trouble. Get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine.