So, we were perusing through our DVD collection today only to discover we own several kid movies we’ve yet to watch with our kids. Some, it has been an issue of maturity, the movies were just too sophisticated for such little kids. Others, got lost in the fluff. So, for the next few Monday’s I’ll be giving my un-compensated review of a movie we’ve chosen to watch. Most are not recent commercial successes although some will be…
This Monday’s selection is a Disney live-action movie from the 1970’s starring Darren McGavin and perennial Disney favorite Don Knotts as hapless safe crackers who end up with Academy Award winner David Niven’s grandchildren who are running away from their grandfather during a school break they thought they would be spending with their mother played by Agent 99 herself, Barbara Feldon. Oh and the kids have a pet. A skunk.
The kids think their plan is fail-safe, they plan to hide out with Duke (McGavin) and Bert (Knotts) and exhort money from their grandfather to finance a trip to meet with their mother in Hong Kong where she is on business and to help Duke and Bert pay off loan shark Big Joe for his money he invested into their failing garage. They had returned to their life of crime hoping to rob an airport safe (do airports still have safes?) in an effort to get money for Big Joe only to end up tripping an alarm and ending up in the same cab as the kids. Unfortunately, their grandfather’s butler sees the kids jump in a cab and follows them and thus, he is onto their plan all along. The police are also called in, the same detective assigned to the safe-breaking case is also assigned to the “kidnapping.” All the while, Duster, the skunk, provides tons of unusual antics for the crew to be involved in.
Ultimately, things do all work out for all involved and best of all, the children and their grandfather begin a new and hopefully better relationship. There is no profanity in the movie and it has lots of silly laughs (mostly at Don Knotts’ expense), a car chase that is more hijinks than danger and the only thing close to scary is Big Joe breaking a pencil. I highly recommend this movie for families to watch together as one of the main themes is the danger of a parent’s work overtaking their role as a parent (there is no mention at all of the children’s father which is different for Disney, typically it’s the mother who goes missing or dies). Enjoy!