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Western Animation / Rover Dangerfield

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A 1991 Animated Musical produced by Hyperion Pictures and released by Warner Bros. starring the voice talents of comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who also wrote and co-produced the film. The story follows a street-smart dog named Rover, who is owned by a Las Vegas showgirl named Connie. One day Rover accidentally ruins an important deal between Connie's boyfriend, Rocky, and a group of gangsters. In revenge, Rocky stuffs Rover in a bag and tosses him over Hoover Dam. Rather than dying, Rover is saved downstream and ends up earning a living on a farm that's very different from the Strip.

This film contains examples of:

  • Dies Wide Open: The turkey goes out like this. It's very disturbing. Rover doesn't even realize she's dead until he sees that her neck is broken.
  • Dirty Coward: The mobsters, who are spooked by a pair of dogs dropping a bone on their meeting and flee in fear of it being the police, even though the cops are nowhere to be seen or heard.
  • Drowning Unwanted Pets: Happens to the title dog by his owner's boyfriend after ruining an shady deal for him. He ends up being rescued downstream before he can die.
  • Epic Fail:
    • Rover fails so badly at sheep herding that when he turns his back on them to be with Daisy they've somehow gotten stuck up a tree.
    • In a scene right out of Animal House, Rover valiantly saves the farm's turkey from a pack of hungry coyotes...and it dies anyway from shock! And just to add insult to injury, then the farmer shows up and assumes that Rover killed it.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Unlike Connie, Rover knows very well that Rocky isn't to be trusted.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Yes, children, the silly turkey dies, on camera, mouth agape, eyes wide in terror, and broken neck swaying.
  • Fanservice: There's a shot of Connie in a very skimpy Las Vegas showgirl uniform at one point — it shows a shocking amount of skin considering it's in a movie for children.
  • Fish Eyes: As is apparently common in cartoons of Rodney Dangerfield himself, Rover's eyes are often drawn slightly like this.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Connie, if her relationship with the Obviously Evil Rocky is any indication. It isn't until he reveals that he threw Rover off the Hoover Dam that she realizes maybe he's not that great of a guy.
  • Humanoid Female Animal: Inverted—the film provides a rare example of the opposite! Rover (a male basset hound) is the humanoid animal while his love interest Daisy (a female collie) is more realistically dog-like.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Many of Rover's one-liners contain puns.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Rodney Dangerfield...AS A DOG!!!
  • Ironic Echo: "I'll miss you, Rover/ Rocky!"
  • Jerkass: Rocky, the nastiest dog-kicking classic "bad boy" you'll ever see. He totally deserved to see the Hoover Dam in the end.
  • Karma Houdini: The mobsters. They evade punishment for their murder of Rocky and other unknown crimes.
  • Karmic Death: Rocky goes out the same way he tried to kill Rover.
  • Long Bus Trip: Eddie, Rover's little buddy at the beginning. Whatever happened to him in the end?
  • Mood Dissonance:
    • Two characters are unambiguously killed off during the span of the movie, one on-screen and one off-screen, and both in rather dark ways. And Rover himself nearly gets the Old Yeller treatment after being wrongly suspected of killing the turkey.
    • Rover's "I'm a dumb mutt!" breakdown. It comes out of nowhere and is really dark.
  • Neck Snap: What the turkey died from.
  • Nice Guy: Raffles.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Rover fights off a pack of wolves who are after the farmer's turkey (or tries to, anyway). He is rewarded for his efforts by being accused of killing the turkey.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The toothless wolf is named Fang, despite him, you know, have no fangs.
  • Non-Standard Character Design:
    • Rocky is drawn with more hard edges that clash with the more Disney-esque design of the other human characters.
    • Due to how much he's drawn to resemble Rodney Dangerfield, Rover is much more cartoonish than the other dogs, right down to being able to walk upright.
  • No Sense of Humor: The turkey doesn't get Rover's jokes.
  • Obviously Evil: Rocky is this. Connie is apparently a Horrible Judge of Character, since she doesn't notice.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: Rover attempts this with the turkey. The farmer isn't fooled.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Rover is understandably not too thrilled to discover that Connie has asked Rocky to take care of him while she's away.
    • He also has this reaction when he discovers that the turkey died.
  • One-Liner: The movie is full of them, all of them from Rover.
  • Sad Clown: When Rover's at his lowest point, he keeps making jokes as a coping mechanism.
  • Tempting Fate: After the wolves who were after the turkey run off, Rover says, "Whew! I'm glad WE'RE okay!", then it's revealed that the turkey died anyway from a broken neck. And just to add insult to injury, then the farmer shows up and assumes that Rover is responsible.
  • Viva Las Vegas!: Though most of the film takes place on a farm, the shots in Vegas have lots of scenes of flashing lights, casinos, and sequin clad feathery showgirls.
  • Wham Line: After Cal finds Rover with the dead turkey and, despite Rover's efforts, decides he's had one too many chances.
    Cal: "Tomorrow morning, I'm gonna take him out and... (mumbling) kill him."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The turkey was holding her egg before she was tackled by the wolves and dying. What happened to the egg?