With shades of Home Alone meets The Incredible Journey, because, let’s face it, your 7 year old probably hasn’t seen those and we can get away with it, Step-Dogs is a cutesy and fun adventure that kids will enjoy, and will hopefully get parents a free 80 minutes by putting it on.
Josh (Schmid) and Lacey (Jones) are brought together to be step-siblings when their parents get married, and they’re a typical oil and water mix. Josh’s father is a simple rancher, and Lacey’s mother is a Hollywood movie star. But each of them also brings the family pet to the mix: Meatball, a huge German Shepard, and Cassie, a lap sized Toy Pom. Needless to say, these animals talk when the humans aren’t around. And are generally cute. They also stop bad guys when they attempt to break into the house.
Seeing as I assume the 7 year olds that this movie was made for won’t be reading this, it means that I should really be talking about how suitable this movie is for the small ones. And in most ways it is, the actions are fairly harmless, the animals are sweet, the good guys win and the bad guys lose. And the family comes together to learn and love and grow together. I suppose it also has the added affected of helping normalize second marriages for small children, and that’s a good thing I think, another bonus for it.
In every way this movie achieves its hopes, which is to be a funny, cute, sweet romp for the kids. In an age where even kid related material can be quite raunchy without you expecting it, this is pleasantly agreeable along the whole viewing.