dir. Michael Feifer
Quite how this dog has managed to spawn an entire series is anyone’s guess, but thus far he has managed to save Christmas, Christmas Vacation, Halloween, Easter, and Summer, as well as simply the Holidays (which, yes, is just Christmas again). Joey Lawrence provides the whiny inner monologue of the pooch, Zeus, beloved pet of the Bannister family. The big conflict of this movie is that the Bannister family have a brand new puppy named Eve – oh no! Will our heroic Zeus learn to bond with Eve and be a good big doggie brother? Of course he will, because this is a dumb kids’ movie, replete with knock-off Home Alone villains who bumble around and are ultimately thwarted by a dog tripping them up while they try to steal Christmas decorations. It helps that the dog knows how to use the landline phone, the movie not even bothering to edit out the human hand holding his paw as he dials. Regardless, Zeus’ heroism obviously renews the love of his master, a bargain store Kevin James (played by Gary Valentine – genuinely, Kevin James’ brother). Oh, and there’s an entirely pointless background story involving the Bannister family aunt (depressingly played by Shelley Long) trying to one-up her neighbour’s Christmas lights. In summary, this idiot-fest is exactly what one would expect from a movie called The Dog Who Saved the Holidays, so you can’t really get mad at them for false advertising. At least the dogs are cute to look at.