By Ryan Traynor, Editor-in-Chief
Each holiday season I look for a special movie that is funny, entertaining, and sends a good message. I was able to find all that and more in the movie Shelby, a Magical Holiday Tail which has been released on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital HD format just in time for the holiday season. It can be purchased on Amazon.
Shelby, a Magical Holiday Tail is narrated from the view of the stray dog, Shelby. Shelby spends his days roaming the city and escaping from the dogcatcher, played by Tom Arnold. When he is caught and locked up in the dog pound, a spoiled rich kid tries to adopt him, Shelby escapes and hides in the home of Jake, a lonely 10-year-old aspiring magician. With the dogcatcher on their tale, Jake and his family must pull together to save Shelby from the dogcatcher, and make him a part of their family forever.
I found the dog Shelby to be funny and cute, but his constant jabbering does get a little irritating by the end of the movie. The boy who plays Jake, John Paul Ruttan, delivers a very realistic and heartfelt performance, making up for the dog’s shortcomings. The dogcatcher, played by Tom Arnold, managed to portray the “evil” dogcatcher that has heart to perfection. I wasn’t sure if I was rooting for him or against him throughout the whole movie, which added a sense of excitement to the plot. Because Mr. Arnold pulled off this complicated character, you were able to fully understand the ending. The visiting grandpa, played by Chevy Chase, had some scenes where he was too hard on his son. I felt that character trait was not really necessary in the grandpa, although they did have him change at the end. His support of the boy, Jake, would have been more effective if he would have treated his own son in the same way. Overall, I found this film to be very satisfying with its theme about Christmas magic creating family togetherness. It will be a fun, entertaining movie to watch with the whole family this holiday season.