A series of films about a St. Bernard named after LudwigVanBeethoven. Unlike in its [[BeethovenTheAnimatedSeries animated spin-off]], Beethoven could not speak, although he still had AmplifiedAnimalAptitude. In keeping with the theme of the composer, the sequels were named ''Beethoven's 2nd'', ''Beethoven's 3rd'', etc. It was originally executive produced by Ivan Reitman, who had previously produced and/or directed such films as ''Film/{{Meatballs}}'', ''Film/{{Stripes}}'', ''Film/{{Ghostbusters}}'', ''Film/{{Twins}}'', ''Film/KindergartenCop'', ''{{Dave}}'', ''Film/{{Junior}}'', and ''SixDaysSevenNights''. It was also originally co-written by Creator/JohnHughes, writing under the pseudonym "[[Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo Edmond Dantes]]."

The original film, released in 1992, focused on Beethoven's adoption by the Newton family -- curmudgeon father George (Charles Grodin), earnest wife Alice (Bonnie Hunt), CoolBigSis[=/=]BrattyTeenageDaughter Ryce (Nicholle Tom of ''TheNanny'' fame), geeky son Ted (Christopher Castile of ''StepByStep'' fame) and CheerfulChild Emily (Sarah Rose Karr of ''Film/KindergartenCop'' fame). Unbeknowst to them, however, Beethoven is an escaped would-be test animal for a lab run by Dr. Varnick (Dean Jones, who would later voice George Newton in the animated series - Nicholle Tom was the only other cast member to return for the series, providing Ryce's voice), a veterinarian who sounds like Satan and is stealing his customers' dogs for use in unethical experiments.

Reportedly, the American Veterinary Association wasn't happy about the film featuring an evil veterinarian who uses dogs as ballistic test dummies, and wrote a scathing letter to Jack Valenti (then-president of the Motion Picture Association of America). Probably as a result, the sequel has a 'safe' villain in the form of Regina, a [[Disney/OneHundredAndOneDalmatians Cruella de Vil]]-esque RichBitch played by Debi Mazar. ''Beethoven's 2nd'' was the last film to feature the original cast and the last to be released theatrically. It was also the last film to involve Reitman as executive producer.

Seven years after ''Beethoven's 2nd'', the series was resurrected with some {{Direct-to-Video}} sequels. The family members were replaced with {{Suspiciously Similar Substitute}}s, with the explanation that Beethoven was living "[[SequelNonEntity temporarily]]" with George's brother Richard Newton (Judge Reinhold) and his family. This family includes wife Beth (Julia Sweeney), son Brennan (Joe Pichler) and daughter Sara (Michaela Gallo). After two films with them, ''Beethoven's 5th'' featured Sara ([[TheOtherDarrin now played by Daveigh Chase]]) bringing Beethoven along on a visit to her Uncle Freddie (Dave Thomas) with the rest of the family absent. ''Beethoven's 5th'' was followed by ''Beethoven's Big Break'', which [[ContinuityReboot rebooted]] the franchise. The most recent sequel is ''Beethoven's Christmas Adventure'', which was released in late 2011.

An eighth film, ''Beethoven's Treasure Tail'' will be released direct-to-video Fall 2014 - it being a continuation of ''Big Break.''
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!!'''Provides Examples Of:'''

* AdultFear: In the first film. What if your young child got too close to the pool when the babysitter wasn't paying attention?
* BedmateReveal: Beethoven keeps climbing into bed with George.
* BigDamnHeroes
* BigFriendlyDog: The titular character.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Dr. Varnick.
* BrickJoke: At the beginning of the first movie, a biker woman comes into the pet shop saying she has a big junkyard and needs a big junkyard dog. She rejects the St. Bernard puppy after he pees on her and exclaims, "You got any pit bulls?" Much later in the film, when Dr. Varnick's goons flee the dogs, they take cover in a big junkyard, occupied by four big '''dobermans'''.
* CarFu: [[spoiler:Ted]] crashes the family station wagon into the bad guys' warehouse in the first movie.
* ComicBookTime: There's a seven-year gap between ''Beethoven's 2nd'' and ''Beethoven's 3rd'', but they apparently take place in immediate succession. So evidently the world just randomly jumps from the early '90s to the early '00s.
* CruellaToAnimals: Dr Varnick uses poor innocent dogs for his deadly animal experimentation, ''and'' he wants to test a new type of bullets on Beethoven, something he expresses with perverse pleasure. Played straighter with Regina in the second movie. She initially wants to get rid of Beethoven's puppies by any means necessary, and only decides not to drown them when she finds out that they're purebred and worth a bunch of money.
* DateRapeAverted: Happens to Ryce in ''Beethoven's 2nd''.
* [[DefrostingTheIceQueen Defrosting The Ice King]]: It takes George a while before he warms up to Beethoven, and later to his pups.
* DogsAreDumb: Played with, it's intentionally left vague just how smart Beethoven is and he does things that are both astoundingly brilliant and incredibly dumb, sometimes simultaneously.
* EatingContest: In the second movie.
* EvenTheDogIsAshamed: In the first movie, when George goes to the vet to [[spoiler: have Beethoven put down]] you see three dogs with their owners in the waiting room as he exits. All three of said dogs look away from George and/or whimper at him.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: Ryce comments on the "perfection" of her secret crush's girlfriend.
* EvilDetectingDog
* FirstPetStory
* FourEyesZeroSoul: Dr. Varnick.
* FreudianExcuse: George's reason for his hostility towards Beethoven.
* GroinAttack: [[spoiler:Dr. Varnick gets this visited upon him by another dog.]]
** Also what happens to Floyd, Regina's henchman, in the second movie.
* HeroicDog: Beethoven saves Emily from drowning, Ryce from being raped, the family from being swindled and performs tons of other feats of heroism.
* HeyItsThatVoice: So [[Disney/LiloAndStitch Lilo]] from the fifth movie is raising Beethoven now?
* HiddenDepths
* TheIgor: Floyd in ''Beethoven's 2nd''.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: George
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: Dean Jones as Dr Varnick in the first movie and Debi Mazar as Regina in the second one (she's known to be a great dog lover).
* {{Mooks}}: The two characters played by Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt.
* OhCrap: The two mooks from the first movie upon realizing that they just tried to take shelter in a junkyard... one patrolled by some ''very vicious Doberman dogs''.
* PapaWolf: Don't cross George Newton. He may not look like it, but he is very protective of his kids and his dog.
** Beethoven in the sequel for his pups. When one of his sons were threatened, he didn't hesitate to [[GroinAttack ram a tree branch in Floyd's crotch.]] He even looks out for his human owners, especially George.
* PlayingAgainstType: Dean Jones as the evil Dr. Varnick.
** CastingGag: Jones was {{typecast|ing}} as the sort of character Charles Grodin was playing in many Disney films of the 60s and 70s (starting with ''Film/ThatDarnCat'').
* PrinceAndPauper: Whole plot of ''Beethoven's 4th''.
* RichBitch: Regina in ''Beethoven's 2nd''.
* SoftGlass: [[spoiler:George]] enters the bad guys' warehouse through a skylight in the first movie.
* SuddenlyVoiced: In ''Beethoven's Christmas Adventure'' (the seventh movie), Beethoven can now speak (with the voice of Creator/TomArnold).
* TheTalk: In the second film, Ted and Emily need George [[WeNeedADistraction to be distracted]] so they can sneak Beethoven's puppies into the house. Emily asks George where babies come from and it works perfectly.
** Even better is that, after he's been desperately trying to tell her in a way that's both pretty honest and as non-sexual as he can muster, she finally ends it with, "You don't really understand this, do you dad?" and walks away.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Harvey and Vernon, Dr Varnick's two henchmen.
** Tommy and Bill in ''Beethoven's 3rd''.
* TooDumbToLive: Dr Varnick's dim-witted thieves in the first film, and Floyd in ''Beethoven's 2nd''.
* YouExclamation: George shouts this at Beethoven in the first movie, after coming home on a rainy day to find his house completely trashed and the mud-soaked dog lying on his and Alice's bed. Beethoven stands and shake himself dry, much to George's further disgust.
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