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Film / The Ugly Dachshund

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The Ugly Dachshund is a 1966 Walt Disney Productions comedy film directed by Norman Tokar and starring Dean Jones, Suzanne Pleshette, Charlie Ruggles, Robert Kino and Mako.

The film centers arround the Garrison couple, Mark (Jones) and Fran (Pleshette), whose pet dachshund Danke has given birth to three adorable puppies. As a reward for the occasion, the veterinarian (Ruggles) gives Mark a baby Great Dane who is the runt of its litter and is in need of nourishment. Mark decides to take care of it and assimilates it into the dachsie family. Soon, little Brutus grows to be a very big problem, inciting several comical disasters in and around the Garrison house and putting Mark's marriage into the doghouse, especially after Fran's big dinner party descends into total chaos. Nevertheless, Mark thinks Brutus has what it takes to become an obedience trial champion (and also wants to spite his wife).

The film was released alongside the Disney cartoon featurette Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree.

This film contains examples of:

  • Angry Guard Dog: Brutus is very protective of the Garrison family, chasing several people over the course of the film an forcing them to climb in trees.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: "RION!"
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the beginning, Mark and Fran are in a rush to get to the hospital for a birth. The mother in question is their female dachshund, Danke.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Brutus, though he's very clumsy.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Danke's puppies are this, as they's smart enough to provoke Brutus and do whatever damage they want inside the house or during the party without ever getting suspected while Brutus always takes the blame.
  • Canis Major: Brutus, compared to the dachshunds' size.
  • Conveniently Empty Roads: When Mark and Fran rush to take Danke to the veterinarian at the beginning of the film, the streets are very conveniently empty, except for the policeman that fines Mark for speeding.
  • Heroic Dog: Brutus, when he saves puppy Chloe from a garbage truck.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Brutus is fed with Danke's milk as a puppy. By living in contact with dachshunds, he develops a habit of crawling on the floor to get closer to their size.
  • Living Motion Detector: Mr. Toyama invokes this when he mistakes Brutus for a lion.
  • Pet Contest: Mark enters Brutus in a Dog Show, where Brutus encounters a female Great Dane and promptly realizes how to finally be himself.
  • Treated Worse than the Pet: Downplayed and Played for Laughs. Although the Garrisons love each other, Fran frequently bosses around Mark, her husband, and prioritizes her four dachshunds over him. The fact that she made him return Brutus, the Great Dane puppy that Mark wanted to adopt, just increases his resentment, but he feels guilty when she complains that he is "distant". However, when Mark makes reservations on a restaurant to celebrate his birthday, Fran makes him cancel to throw a small "party" at home and receive lame gifts "from the daschies", including a bronzed bone and a music box that plays "Oh Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone". Mark finally snaps and gives her a "Reason You Suck" Speech about her inconsideration and how tired he is from having her dogs getting on his way. Subverted when Mark finds that Fran has brought Brutus back as her birthday gift, but he has to apologize to her and the two conclude that he is the selfish one, not her. Meanwhile, Fran's precious little devils devour Mark's birthday cake.