Melissa Moniz
Wednesday - August 08, 2007
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Billie Takaki Lueder
Education Outreach Manager, Hawaii Humane Society
As Told To Melissa MonizWith whom did you see the movie?

I saw it with my husband Randy.

Overall what did you think of the movie?

I thought it was really good. I was really surprised, actually, because I wasn’t quite sure how they were going to pull off getting the dog to talk. I loved the cartoon when I was little and I was wondering how they were going to make it into a movie, and they did a really good job. Even my husband liked it, and it’s not the kind of movie that he would normally go and see.

How does the movie compare to the cartoon?

It’s packed with so much action and vivid details.A cartoon is a cartoon,and I think the movie really appealed not only to children,but to adults as well.


Did you have a favorite scene in the movie?

I don’t want to give away anything in the movie, but there’s a turning point where Underdog needs to make a decision toward the end of the movie,and he really has to weigh out what’s really of value and importance to him. I thought that was a very crucial moment.

So was it funny?

Yeah,it was funny.Good one-liners.Jim Belushi plays the father and he was awesome.And of course the beagle is so cute.There are moments when he acts like a dog and gives those whimpering sad eyes.And then he’s all tough, and you’re like he’s so cool!

Do you think you enjoyed the movie more because you love animals?

I think whether you’re an animal lover or not that you’re going to love the movie. Me especially, I love beagles. I collect Snoopy, so to see a beagle up there is just more exciting for me. But I think regardless if you’re an animal lover or not, you can’t help but be touched by the story.

Is it a movie that you would see again?


What type of audience would you recommend this film to?

Definitely families. It’s a really good family movie.It’s clean.So many movies nowadays are not really family friendly.

This is just really clean, good fun and has a really good moral story to it. It talks about a father-and-son relationship. There’s a story about a dog who just wants to be owned and loved by a family. And then there’s the whole connection of the human and animal bond.You see this relationship form between the son and the dog. It really teaches you different lessons.

You mentioned that you saw it as a cartoon, do you think for those who haven’t seen the cartoon that they will be able to appreciate the movie?

Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Do you think they did a good job in depicting a real dog who talks?

I was expecting cheesy mouth movements, but it looked so real that he looked like he was really talking.And just the direction of where he’s looking, it was all right on. It was funny because in the credits you’ll see a spoof off the dog and he’s like,‘I forgot my line.‘It’s really cute. And I was watching on the morning news an interview with one of the actors and he was saying that the dogs got treated better than the humans on set. And if the dogs were having a bad day, then too bad.

How was the acting?

The acting was really good. And I give the boy who played Jack, the son, a lot of credit. In the movie he’s talking to a talking dog, but when he’s acting the dog is not really talking,so he needs to make it believable. And that is really hard.But it looks really good on the big screen.

In a four star rating, with four being the highest, what would you rate it?

I’m a sucker,I would say four stars. (laughs) I’m an easy critic,but like I said it goes down to good storyline,good moral values and clean fun for the whole family.

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Red Vines and Icee. Coke and strawberry mix.

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

I don’t have a favorite movie of all time, but there are movies that I can watch over and over again like Goonies and A Knight’s Tale.

Who is your favorite actor/actress?

Mark Wahlberg. I think he’s come a long way from Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Right now he’s such a versatile actor.And the roles that he’s been choosing have been excellent.

What’s new?

Just graduated in May with my masters in public administration. On August 7,my husband and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. And we’re expecting our first baby in January.Besides being at the Humane Society, I do some professional image consulting,freelance work and emcee and modeling on the side. But that’s going to all stop once I get bigger.

Next week: a new movie, a new celebrity

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