Magic movies and other memories of yesteryear

My wife and I had a chance to check out Hotel for Dogs over the weekend, along with my sister and niece. As I expected from the previews, it turned out to be a fun movie. There is plenty of hilarious dog action, plus an underlying story that is both heartwarming and important.

One aspect that I particularly liked is that, unlike many of today’s “family” movies, Hotel for Dogs did not contain a bunch of double-entendres and other so-called “clever” attempts at “over-the-kids’-heads” humor that is really meant for adults. If you are looking for a movie to entertain your munchkins, I highly recommend this one.

Though it is not a Disney movie, Hotel for Dogs reminded me of one of my favorite shows growing up, ABC’s The Disney Sunday Movie. Hosted by Disney’s then-CEO Michael Eisner, The Disney Sunday Movie featured a different family film each week. Sunday nights at 7 was a magic time.

One of my favorites was Love Leads The Way, which was the true story of Buddy, America’s first guide dog for the blind. I vividly remember enjoying this movie. This aired back in 1986, so I was eleven-years-old. Love Leads The Way does not seem to be on DVD at the moment, unfortunately. The story is also a great candidate for a remake.

Another installment of The Disney Sunday Movie that I enjoyed back then was Young Harry Houdini. I believe this started me on a brief magic phase. Kind of like video games, I enjoyed magic but was never very good at it. While researching the movie just now, I found out that it was none other than Wil Wheaton, star of Stand By Me and Star Trek: The Next Generation, that played Houdini.

Hotel for Dogs also brings to mind another great 1980s movie, Benji the Hunted – probably the best installment of the Benji series. Though it also apparently aired as a Disney movie special, I definitely first saw Benji the Hunted at the movie theater.

I am glad they’re still making fun movies that the entire family can enjoy. Hotel for Dogs is playing now.