Despite the lack of success Disney had gone through in the 2000’s after experiencing a big golden age in the 90’s, with the exceptions of “Lilo and Stitch” and the Pixar movies, I happen to like a lot of those films. Movies such as “Brother Bear”, “Home on the Range”, and “Chicken Little” were huge failures. However, I enjoyed all three of those movies when I was a kid.
But one of the biggest flops and most forgotten Disney films of all time happens to be one of my favorites. That is, you guessed it, 2004’s “Teacher’s Pet”. This started out as a TV show on Toon Disney from 2000 – 2002. I didn’t have Toon Disney on my television at the time. But those years, I watched Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. It was not until my senior year of high school in 2011, when I discovered that “Teacher’s Pet” started out as a TV series. But it only made a couple seasons until the film in 2004.
I was ten when the theatrical release came out. And I absolutely, times a million, loved it. I went to go see it a second time, but it was the last showing and I was pretty disappointed. But when the DVD came out, I would watch the movie every single day.
At seventeen, I reunited with the movie. While I didn’t watch it everyday, I still enjoyed it very much. Even now at twenty-four, I consider it one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. I have even fantasized about how I thought (and still think) it would have made an excellent Broadway show or honest trailer on YouTube.
So the story is about a dog, named Spot, who wants to be a boy. He disguises himself as a fourth grader and attends school with his master, Leonard. He has gotten away with the disguise. And now he wants to actually become a boy. Spot discovers a mad scientist who claims he can turn animals into humans. Regardless of the principal’s rule about no dogs in his special vehicle awarded to Leonard’s mom and teacher, Spot manages to find the Helpermans and makes it to Florida. Things change from there.
Aside from the story, the songs were fantastic. I also admire the wacky distorted style of the cartoon, compared to classic Disney movies such as “Cinderella” or “Aladdin”.
That being said, “Teacher’s Pet” does have some flaws. For instance, Leonard is in fourth grade, so probably 9 or 10 years old. But he cannot handle being away from Spot. I’ve always thought, “Spot isn’t going to go to college with him,” but that’s another story. Another imperfection is that the characters are the opposite of believable and will believe and fall for anything the other characters want just for plot convenience. Other instances in the story didn’t make sense, either. But that doesn’t bother me.
I would rate “Teacher’s Pet” 5 stars, and I am proud to call myself a fan.