Rover Dangerfield is a 1991 American animated musical comedy film produced by Hyperion Animation and released by Warner Bros., starring the voice talents of comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who also wrote and co-produced the film. It is about a street dog named Rover, who is owned by a Las Vegas showgirl. Rover gets dumped off Hoover Dam by the showgirl's boyfriend. However, rather than drowning, Rover ends up on a farm.
Theatrical release poster
|Screenplay by||Rodney Dangerfield|
An original idea|
by Rodney Dangerfield
|Music by||David Newman|
|Edited by||Tony Mizgalski|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
Rover is a street dog that lives a life of fun in Las Vegas with his owner Connie, a showgirl. He gambles and chases girls with his best friend Eddie. One night, he sees Connie's boyfriend, Rocky, in a transaction with a pair of gangsters, and accidentally disrupts it. Thinking that Rocky is an undercover cop setting them up, the gangsters flee, telling Rocky that he has blown his last chance. The next day, Connie goes on the road for two weeks, leaving Rocky to look after Rover. In retaliation for ruining his deal, Rocky stuffs Rover in a bag, drives him to Hoover Dam and throws him into the water. The bag is later pulled out of the water by two passing fishermen, who take Rover back to shore and place him in the back of their pickup truck. However, Rover regains consciousness and jumps out of the truck when the fishermen stop for gas, and begins to wander down the road. He ends up in the countryside, and eventually runs into a farmer, Cal, and his son, Danny, who convinces his father to take the dog in. Cal agrees on one condition: at the first sign of trouble, he'll be sent to an animal shelter, and if nobody claims him, the animal shelter can put him down.
Rover has difficulty adjusting to life on the farm, but with the help of Daisy, a beautiful dog next door, and the other dogs on the farm, he succeeds in earning his keep. Rover spends Christmas with the family, and begins to fall in love with Daisy, who returns his affections. However, one night, a pack of wolves attempt to kill a turkey on the farm. As Rover tries to save the turkey, the wolves ran off, but the bird ends up dead and Cal mistakenly believes Rover to have been responsible. The next morning, Cal takes Rover into the woods is about to put him down, but is attacked by the wolves. Rover manages to fight the wolves off, and brings the other farm dogs to get the injured Cal home.
Rover's heroics make the papers, allowing Eddie and Connie to find out where he is. Danny informs Rover of his trip back to Las Vegas and he departs the farm. Although initially happy to be reunited with Connie and his friends, Rover soon begins to miss his life on the farm. When Rocky comes into Connie's dressing room, and upon seeing him, Rover initiates revenge for what he did to him. After Rocky accidentally confesses to what he did, Connie angrily breaks up with him. Infuriated, Rocky tries to retaliate against Connie, but Rover and his dog friends chase him out of the casino, where he runs into a limo filled with the gangsters. At first, Rocky is relieved that they seemingly came to his rescue but then questions why they were even there in the first place. The thugs proceed to reveal that they set him up and imply that they are going to murder him by throwing him over the Hoover Dam, much to Rover's delight as he watches the limo drive off with a horrified Rocky.
Sometime later, Rover, missing Daisy, becomes depressed. Connie, realizing her old companion met someone, takes Rover back to the farm to stay. Rover is reunited with Daisy, who reveals to him that he is now a father, unveiling six puppies. The story ends with Rover teaching his kids how to play cards, and playfully chasing Daisy around the farmyard.
- Rodney Dangerfield as Rover
- Susan Boyd as Daisy
- Ronnie Schell as Eddie
- Ned Luke as Raffles
- Shawn Southwick as Connie
- Sal Landi as Rocky
- Bert Kramer as Max
- Robert Pine as Duke
- Dana Hill as Danny
- Eddie Barth as Champ
- Dennis Blair as Lem
- Don Stewart as Clem
- Gregg Berger as Cal
- Paxton Whitehead as Count
- Chris Collins as Big Boss/Sparky/Horse
- Chris Collins and Tom Williams as Coyotes
- Chris Collins, Bernard Erhard and Danny Mann as Wolves
- Robert Bergen as Gangster / Animal
- Tress MacNeille as Queenie / Chorus Girls / Hen / Chickens / Turkey
Conceived in the late 1980s, the film was planned at the time for a December 1988 release. It was originally planned as an R-rated animated film, in the vein of Ralph Bakshi's films, but Warner Bros. wanted the film's content to be toned down to a G-rating. Cartoonist Jeff Smith, best known as the creator of the self-published comic book series Bone, described working on key frames for the film's animation to editor Gary Groth in The Comics Journal in 1994.
Entertainment Weekly graded the film a 'C', questioning Dangerfield's decision to make the film and said, 'Dangerfield should have known he had written a no-win scenario. His strongest suit — that gleeful lounge-act vulgarity — has always been a little too crass for kids. Yet when Rover offers gooey, sentimental life lessons, it feels unconvincing, like a rock star in a suit. This mongrel-movie badly wants to be a kidvid hit, and with that star and decent animation chops, it stands a chance. But don’t bet the farm on it.' TV Guide awarded the film two stars, criticizing the tone and inconsistent animation, and said, 'The result is a confused hybrid creation, suspended in a twilight zone between Don Bluth's benign but dull children's fare and Ralph Bakshi's gratingly hip work.'
The film was released on VHS and LaserDisc on February 12, 1992. The most recent release was a re-release of the same DVD, but bundled with The Fearless Four, which was released on July 4, 2007. Warner Archives later released the film on DVD on December 7, 2010.
- Beck, Marilyn (1987-04-03). "Donner Works on Sequel". The Victoria Advocate. p. 7D. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
A Rodney Is a Rodney Is a Rodney
- "Old Brew". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011.
- "The Jeff Smith Interview". The Comics Journal. December 1994.