Come back, Scooby-Doo, all is forgiven
IF YOU ARE planning on adapting unlikely bits of the newspaper for the movies, then consider the death notices or the situations vacant or the skiing weather. Anything other than that dispiriting Marmaduke cartoon.
A creaky residue from the 1950s, the strip has, for too long, done stirling work in the field of stretching the same bad joke to – and beyond – the breaking point. The dog is big. He’s so big his head sticks out of the car’s retractable roof. The dog is big. He’s so big that walkies leads to owners being lifted clean off their feet. The dog is big. And so on. This, kids, is how animal lovers got their laughs before YouTube came along.
To be fair, the makers of the predictably appalling film version have added one more joke. The dog farts. Yikes. If primates had evolved at the same rate as the Marmaduke industry we’d still be picking ticks from each others’ rectums.
Mind you, it would not be accurate to say the film-makers have skimped in the plot department. Flipping the bird to the makers of Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (a narrative trifle by comparison) the team involves Marmaduke (voiced by a depressed Owen Wilson) in the sort of complex romantic shenanigans you’d expect to encounter in a Feydeau farce. There’s a posh lady dog. There’s a good-hearted lady mutt. Marmaduke’s owner has to dress up as a Mountie to impress his boss, but, crucially, forgets that this is the night the vicar is coming to dinner.
Yeah, yeah, I made some of this up. You have to find some way of keeping the brain active during the long, achingly frozen hours.
The dog is big.