Paws

**

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

A Jack Russell that speaks Glaswegian in Australia sounds ominously like a Babe spin-off. Have no fear. It doesn't come close. The characters are pre-teen comic book flatpacks and the plot has a healthy disregard for irony. A brazen enthusiasm for the predictable is quite charming, really. At least, Karl Zwicky (real name?) does not kid on that he's original, or anything.

Zac (Nathan Cavaleri) is at the age when parents can't do right. His dad's dead for starters and he thinks of him as the greatest guy ever. If he was alive, it would be different, of course. His mum has married Steve, an unemployed hunk, and they've moved from Melbourne to Sydney. Zac hates it there. Next door neighbour, Amy, has a snack stall at the dog race track. She's a lovely, huggy, overweight person, with a snooty daughter, Samantha (Emily Francois), about Zac's age, who thinks boys are a bit backward (she's not wrong).

Amy has a friend, Alex, an old codger with a gutsy wee dog, called PC. Alex is an inventor, or was before he lost his way working in the real world. Alex's ex-wife, Susie, who wears a silver wig and talks with a thick Icelandic accent has tracked him down. She wants his dosh, a million dollars, no less, which is quite a surprise since he lives in squalor, surrounded by electronic gismos. When Alex knows she's onto him, he gives PC a disk to take to Amy. Susie turns up, gets heavy and flings Alex over the banister. Zac adopts PC and, through some computer link-up, gives him Billy Connolly's voice (excuse for comic relief).

What's on the disk? Will Zac learn to like Steve? Will Samantha learn to like Zac? Will Susie find the money? You know the answers. You're right.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Paws packshot
A boy and a talking Jack Russell have a big adventure.
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Director: Karl Zwicky

Writer: Harry Cripps

Starring: Nathan Cavaleri, Emilie Francois, the voice of Billy Connolly, Sandy Gore, Joe Petruzzi, Caroline Gillmer

Year: 1997

Runtime: 83 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: Australia, UK

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