Jim Hill blogged today about how Disney is revamping story of American Dog, now that Chris Sanders has been let go. Hill reports that:
“He’s no longer a cute little round brown hound dog. But — rather — a heroic-looking white German Shepherd with a lightning bolt-shaped patch that runs down the left side of his body. In fact, Bolt is actually this character’s new name. And Bolt stars with Penny (a 12-year-old girl) in the hit television show, “American Dog.”
After getting accidentally shipped to New York, Bolt is befriended by a hamster (named “Rhino”) who “is a huge fan of “American Dog,” having seen & then memorized virtually every episode of the series.”
For all the negative talk about direct-to-video sequels, some of these changes bring to mind plot elements and characters in 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure (written by Jim Kammerud and Brian Smith). Co-producer Leslie Hough writes us:
Our film “Dalmatians II” features a German Shepherd deluded by his own stardom named Thunderbolt. In our version Patch, the puppy, is Thunderbolt’s biggest fan and has memorized all the episodes of his show. When I first heard about American Dog, I thought the story was similar, but now it is too close for comfort.
Is it possible that the people at Disney Features have never seen 101 Dalmatians 2? Or have they and thought it was so good that they would use the same story in a bigger budget arena? Or do they just not care? Leslie Hough says, “Disney is welcome to rip itself off, but we, the filmmakers of the first film are kind of shocked.”