Take a Drink: whenever anyone calls Alberto a butler.
Take a Drink: at every reference to a movie that a child would probably (hopefully) have never seen.
Take a Drink: for every sexual innuendo.
Take a Drink: for actual (implied) sex.
Take a Drink: for every Friskies product placement (apparently Friskies makes dog food in Spain)
Do as Many Shots as it Takes: to get the image of Pelusita out of your head.
By: BabyRuth (Six Pack) –
Sometimes when I’m bored and can’t seem to find anything worth watching on TV, I like to play a game I call On Demand Roulette. You can play this with any cable/satellite company’s library of available free movies and also with any streaming service (or if you’re really old school, the Walmart $5 DVD bin). The goal is to find the worst/strangest/most random movie possible based on only the title and summary (no Google or IMDB allowed) and then you have to watch the whole thing, for better or worse.
Recently, I got all the way to the “M’s” before I found something that caught my eye. There it was – Millionaire Dog. How awesome is that title? A dog that’s also a millionaire? Sign me the hell up!
I checked the summary to make sure this was a movie about an actual dog millionaire and not one of those tricky titles that contain the word “dog” but don’t have any actual dogs in it.
NOT about scarecrow dogs!
The summary read “After winning the lottery, a pampered pooch discovers that being rich isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when he becomes the target of kidnappers and unscrupulous businessmen.”
So let me get this straight. The dog is a millionaire because he won the lottery. Not the dog’s human owner. The dog. This dog showed up to the lottery headquarters and presented his winning ticket and then the lottery people gave millions of dollars to him, a dog.
I also learned upon investigation that Millionaire Dog is the English title and that this is a Spanish film called Pancho, el perro millonario. Now, I can only understand about ten words of Spanish from one year of high school Spanish and two other words that they definitely don’t teach in high school Spanish class, but fortunately there are English subtitles. That’s an added bonus because it gives the film an artsy feel.
So as the summary states, Pancho, a Jack Russell Terrier, becomes an instant millionario after winning the lottery. This all happens before the movie takes place, but we are treated to an animated origin story during the opening credits.
We learn Pancho is a bit of a thief, because his owner, albeit a mean owner who treats Pancho like a slave, hands him a lottery ticket to turn in, which Pancho does, but then keeps the money for himself and purchases a yacht, a mansion, and apparently, a trip to space.
Due to my unquenchable thirst for knowledge about this movie, I later discovered that Pancho is a bit of a celebrity and that this movie is based on the popular Spanish lottery ad that made him a star. It’s pretty much a live version of the title sequence I just described.
Sadly, Pancho does not talk (I can recommend a fantastic talking animal movie if you’re interested) but he does seem to understand English Spanish and his human personal assistant –don’t call him a butler – Alberto (Ivan Massague) can translate his barks into full sentences and Pancho can understand him right back. It’s all very Woof “What? Timmy’s stuck in the well?” Woof type of dog-human communication. Alberto is the only person who can decipher Pancho’s dogspeak though, as Pancho must pantomime to everyone else.
So there’s this rich, evil, businessman named Montalban who wants to invest in making Pancho a brand. One of the items he hopes to sell is a toy dog in Pancho’s likeness. But it turns out Alberto did his homework and discovered the toys made in Montalban’s companies are the result of child labor. Of course Pancho is against that and refuses to sign.
This prompts Montalban to send his two henchmen to dognap Pancho and I guess, force him to sign the sweatshop contract? Wouldn’t you know, they’re a couple of idiots and Alberto is able to thwart them and save Pancho. He instructs Pancho to escape into the city and keep his millionaire identity a secret and that he will come for him once he takes care of Montalban and it is safe.
But oh no, Pancho loses his collar, which has a tracking device (all those millions and Alberto never thought to get him microchipped?). Pancho, who located the lottery headquarters on his own, purchased property, and hired a personal assistant, ends up lost in the big city.
To find Pancho before the bad guys do, Alberto teams up with Montalban’s ex-attorney Patricia, who also happens to be his old law-school crush. Funny how stuff like that works out.
Pancho’s gaydar was very off. (Actual scene from this movie)
Though many of Pancho’s bizarre human mannerisms are the result of CGI, the dog is fantastic and smarter than many humans I know. He’s like the Spanish Uggie.
I can’t even teach my dogs not to pee on plastic bags let alone cook me dinner, so props to Pancho’s trainer.
The movie is consistently entertaining in the “I don’t know what the hell am I watching but I can’t stop” kind of way but it’s also very cute and there’s a heart –-OOH, I mean corazón (that’s one of the words I remember from Spanish class) to it, especially in some sweet scenes between Pancho and the little boy he ends up befriending.
They bond over video games. Yes, the dog plays video games. I’m telling you, this is awesome and you need to find it and watch it.
I’m not sure who this movie was made for but if it’s meant for children, I don’t know how many kids are going to get most of the movie references it makes. I mean, I guess The Godfather has been spoofed so much over time that it miiight be familiar to kids, but The Silence of the Lambs?
Kids love Hannibal Lecter
In addition, there are tons of sexual references and jokes including a beej sight gag (pun not intended, I swear).
Again, this is a children’s movie. At least, I think. (She’s actually hotwiring the car in case you’re wondering.)
After wandering around the streets for a day, Pancho is caught by a dog boot camp instructor/rescue organization and eventually adopted out to a seemingly nice and normal couple. That is until they bring him home and introduce him to Pelusita, their poodle. Their deceased and stuffed poodle.
HOLY MOTHER OF FUCK- WHAT?
Now I spent the majority of my childhood in the 1980s and let me tell you, that was a very dark and strange time for children’s entertainment. There was some pretty traumatizing stuff: The Dark Crystal, Return to Oz, The NeverEnding Story –I mean, could you imagine any of these films being released today? None of that shit would fly in the trigger-warning happy, everything-is-problematic world of 2015.
But even with the thick skin I developed in my early years of being exposed to harrowing imagery like that poor little shoe’s demise at the hands of Judge Doom, the image of creepy, dead Pelusita is truly, THE most disturbing thing I have ever seen in a children’s film and I’ve already had one nightmare about it.
“You know what we need in this movie? A Pretty Woman trying on clothes montage,” said writer/director Tom Fernandez, apparently. I guess he thought it would be a good way to move the courtship of Alberto and Patricia along while sneaking in yet another grown-up movie reference. The problem is he had nowhere to put it and no real reason to include it. No worries, just splice it into the looking for Pancho segment.
I could understand that logic. I know whenever I’m faced with a personal crisis, I like to go shopping for cute dresses.
I’ll just leave this here.
Millionaire Dog is one of those delightfully whacked movies you hope for while in a “I’ll watch whatever” kind of mood. It should be fairly easy (and free) to find and I COMPLETELY recommend it. Really, please someone watch it so I know it wasn’t a hallucination.