A live action movie based on the original Underdog
animated series, that was made in 2007 by the Walt Disney
Company. It tried to reinvent a Funny Animal
cartoon as a snarky comedy starring an actual dog. It bombed at the theaters.
A small police dog (fired for his terrible sense of smell) is captured by the Mad Scientist
Simon bar Sinister to make experiments on. These grant the dog superpowers and it escapes. It is found by a retired cop and his teenage son; the boy discovers the dog's secret and convinces him to become a superhero under the name Underdog. But bar Sinister is looking for him to try to gain the powers for himself.
Underdog provides examples of:
- Animal Talk: Animals understand each other, and can understand humans, but only Shoeshine can speak when he has his powers.
- Animal Superheroes
- Bad Boss: Barsinister. Lampshaded by Underdog: "If he was a better boss, he'd be able to afford a higher quality sidekick!"
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Underdog gets hurled out of Earth's atmosphere by the bomb he buries, but that doesn't make any difference.
- Big Bad: Dr. Simon Bar Sinister
- Catch Phrase:
- Invoked with bar Sinister's "Simon says..."
- Also, after Jack tells him he needs one, Underdog goes through several, winding up with "There's no need to fear; Underdog is here."
- Chekhov's Skill: Shoeshine's bad sense of smell. And his frisbee-catching, and his super-speed digging.
- Clark Kenting: Nobody recognizes Shoeshine despite not even wearing glasses.
- To be fair, a lot of dogs look alike to people. And one civilian does note the resemblance. This doesn't excuse that Polly can't tell the difference, despite Shoeshine not even changing his voice as Underdog.
- Cone of Shame: Underdog wears this to avoid being recognized.
- Deadpan Snarker: Several characters, but notably Shoeshine and Bar Sinister.
- Disney Death: Underdog, at the end.
- Do Wrong, Right: One of Jack's teachers when he attempts to skip a class: "I don't know why I'm more disappointed - that you forged a note to get out of class, or that you did it so poorly you couldn't fool a high-school gym teacher."
- The Dragon: Cad Lackey although he thinks he is in a Big Bad Duumvirate with Dr. Simon Bar Sinister.
- Going for the Big Scoop: Polly Purebred's owner, Molly, evokes this, and runs into the same kind of trouble.
- Hero's First Rescue: Shoeshine saves Molly and Polly from muggers.
- Heroic Dog: Who do you think?
- Human-Focused Adaptation
- I Have Your Family: Barsinister pulls this on Underdog. Given that Underdog is an Expy of Superman, this worked about as well as you would expect.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Shoeshine.
- In Name Only: Well, it uses some of the names from the cartoon. Everything else is different.
- Insistent Terminology: Barsinister is Cad's "partner", not his "boss".
- Ironic Echo: "I prefer the term 'visionary'".
- "It will only hurt a lot."
- Loves My Alter Ego: Shoeshine has the same problems as the early Clark Kent did getting his Love Interest's attention.
- Mad Scientist: And is named so by the supporting crazy hairless dog.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Barsinister's German Shepherd minions, who turn on him when they realize that he sees them as tools and not as "sparkling individuals."
- Mythology Gag: Underdog's secret identity is named "Shoeshine". In the original cartoon, Underdog's secret identity was as a shoe shine boy.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: While Barsinister's German Shepherds might have listened to Underdog anyway, Barsinister didn't help his case by calling them "worthless mutts".
- Reactive Continuous Scream: "Give the dog your food!" "...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!"
- Rhymes on a Dime: Shoeshine, as Underdog.
- Secret Identity: Of course.
- Shout-Out: Lots.
- Several to the Superman movies.
- One to the sequence in the first Spider-Man movie where the hero gains his powers. And the second one, in the scene with Cad impersonating an old lady while hanging from a building, with an American flag no less.
- Bar Sinister is a Small Person version of Doctor Doom, complete with scarred face.
- "It's clobbering time!"
- Dogs on a date batting meatballs back and forth? Lady and the Tramp.
- Title Drop: Given that the movie's title is the hero's name, it happens all over the place.