The chronology-defying adventures of a hyper-intellectual dog (voice of Ty Burrell) — whose many accomplishments include the invention of a time machine –— and the perky human son (voice of Max Charles) he adopted as an infant turn perilous when the lad takes an unauthorized trip to the past in the company of a classmate (voice of Ariel Winter) he’s anxious to impress.
Director Rob Minkoff’s 3-D updating of a popular TV cartoon of the 1950s and ‘60s adds a tiresome amount of potty humor to the elaborate, sometimes groan-inducing puns characteristic of the original material. But basic history lessons for the youngest moviegoers, together with a worthy message about respecting people of different backgrounds — even if they do happen to be canines — endow this more than usually literate children’s film with some countervailing virtues.
Scenes of mild peril, several scatological jokes and sight gags, a single double entendre.
The Catholic News Service classification is A-I — general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.