Release Date: 1976, Sequel to The Shaggy Dog, 1959
"When teenager Wilby Daniels became a part-time canine in THE SHAGGY DOG, he didn't realize that this condition would come back and "hound" him again in his adult years. In this side-splitting sequel, Wilby's all grown up now, with a wife and son. Unfortunately, he's still subject to a furry transformation every time the inscription on an ancient scarab ring is read aloud ... not a comforting prospect when you've bounded into the public eye as a candidate for District Attorney!"
Plot overview by Boomer The Dog, Boom@/\/\ailpuppy.com 4 of 5 Dogs found this
In this sequel to The Shaggy Dog, Wilby Daniels is an attorney now and is married to Betty, and has a son, Brian.
The family comes back from a game of golf, and finds that some phony movers have burglarized their home. Wilby decides to make a run for Medfield District Attorney, and "clean up the city". The burglars also steal a 'priceless' ring from the museum. This Borgia ring has legendary powers of transmutation; Lucretia Borgia once turned an unfaithful suitor into a Dog using the powers of this ring.
Well, the curse may be back, and Wilby hears a news bulletin about the stolen ring and is worried, remembering what happened to him as a teen, when he accidentally took that same ring from the museum..
Just before a TV interview on 'Meet your Candidate', Tim, the ice cream man, from Dolly Dixon's, reads an inscription on the ring, which he had bought from one of the burglars, and suddenly his Dog, Elwood, disappears. Mrs. Daniels and the TV reporter open the door to the den, and instead of Wilby being there, it's Brian standing next to the desk, with a big white shaggy Dog who looks just like Elwood!
Tim thinks this dad-in-Dog's-clothes really is Elwood, and Elwood has learned to talk, to ride a taxi, to roller skate, to drive, and to mug people in the park! How did Elwood learn to talk like that? Tim doesn't care, he just wants to get Elwood into show business, with his own talk show, so they can make 'millions'.
Meanwhile, Slade gets hold of the ring and repeats the inscription over and over, to be sure that Wilby remains a Dog. Slade and the animal shelter then pick Wilby up, claiming he's a 'vicious killer'. Wilby the Dog has to find a way to get the ring back, so he can go back to being a father, and run for D.A. against Slade..
The Shaggy DA was made during the era of Disney's lower-budget family comedies, like The Apple Dumpling Gang, Freaky Friday, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Herbie, The Ugly Dachshund, etc. Even so, the casting is what makes this film a classic. Everyone is good 'in character', including the Dogs.
I saw this movie at about age 11 with my dad, after watching a 'Disney's Dogs' show on TV's 'The Wonderful World of Disney'. On that show they were advertising The Shaggy DA, so I wanted to see it when it came out. I was thrilled with this movie, and as we were leaving the theater I saw a stand-up poster of Wilby the Dog poking his head out of a trash can, and thought about how much I wanted that poster. It's the same picture as on the cover of the movie book in this torrent.
I identified with Wilby transforming into a Dog so much, that I wanted to be a Dog too, dreaming of being Elwood and having other Canine friends. If I was a Dog, would I eat Dog food, and how would I let my parents know, so that they wouldn't send me to the pound?
I played at being a Dog a lot, and got to thinking that I'd be a better Dog than a kid, and I'm still a Dog. I'm not the breed that Wilby is though, instead I grew up to be a Pyrenean Shepherd. My guess is that there was something Dog-like about me, and seeing The Shaggy DA when I did helped to touch it off and give it direction.
The Shaggy Dog in this series of movies is an Old English Sheepdog, also known as a Bobtail, because they are either born without tails, or have their tails cropped. OES came from the West in England, where their job was herding sheep. In the latest Shaggy Dog 2006, Wilby is played by a Bearded Collie, a sleek stand-in for the OES.
Dean Jones - Attorney Wilby Daniels, Sheepdog Wilby
Suzanne Pleshette - Mrs. Daniels
Shane Sinutko - Brian Daniels
John Myhers - Admiral Brenner
Keenan Wynn - 'Honest' John Slade
Dick Van Patten - Mr. Slade's lackey
Vic Tayback - Eddie Roschak
Dick Bakalyan - Freddie
Tim Conway - Ice cream man
Jo Anne Worley - Tim Conway's girlfriend
Hans Conried - Museum Curator
Jonathan Daly - TV Interviewer
George Kirby - Kennel Dog Voices
Based on the book "The Hound of Florence" by Felix Salten