Poor old Beethoven. He deserved more than this. In the early nineties the character was a star. After two successful films back to back in 1992 and 1993, he had the world at his paws. Now look at him, a direct to DVD regular, eight entries into a franchise that would be better off being put out to pasture.
It began as a sweet series about grouchy dad George Newton (Charles Grodin) and his family, whose hearts were melted by an adorable St. Bernard. Nowadays it’s spiralled into a cash grab, and a general besmirchment of the big dog’s (reasonably) good name. A return to relevance for Beethoven has never felt so far away.
Oddly, John Cleese (Life of Brian) of all people lends his voice to Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure, as the narrator of the simplistic Christmassy yarn. The all-round nice guy and purveyor of comedy gold Curtis Armstrong (Revenge of the Nerds’ Booger) makes an appearance as a mischievous store elf as well, but neither helps to create the illusion that this is anything more than low budget, minimal effort filmmaking.
Do you know when you start a film, realise almost immediately that it’s going to be terrible, but it’s too late because you’ve already committed to it? That’s exactly what happened with this. It’s not even like I had any sort of high expectations, just that it might be a passable winter heart warmer…but not so much. And to top it all off, Beethoven talks, and (spoilers) he’s literally flying by the end. That’s really all you need to know. So instead of recommending Christmas Adventure, here are a few suggestions for other ways which you might prefer to use your time:
- Watch the original Beethoven.
- Watch Beethoven’s 2nd.
Beethoven’s 3rdbasically any other movie that springs to mind.
- Google pictures of St. Bernard puppies (no, seriously do, they’re amazing).
- Do the housework.
Just don’t watch this.
I’ll give it one star though, because cute dog, right?
Rating (out of 5):