Movie Review: Pup Star (2016)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2016 family movie starring Kaitlyn Maher and Tom Everett Scott.

Synopsis: In a world where dogs have evolved and can now talk and sing, one of the most popular television shows is a singing competition known as Pup Stars. Yorkie pup, Tiny, auditions and earns a chance to compete in the show's final round in New York. However, her dreams are temporarily derailed when she is captured and held for ransom by a greedy dog catcher. She escapes with a grumpy dog named Charlie, who reluctantly accompanies her as she tries to make it to New York on her own.


My youngest daughter wanted to have a pizza/movie night last night so, after picking up some frozen pizzas while at the store, I took the time to find a family-oriented movie for us to watch before bed. After checking out several other options, I picked this film.

I primarily chose this movie because I figured it would be something she would like. I, however, also had some doubts about whether or not the rest of us would enjoy it. And, when we first started watching it, I was afraid it was going to be goofy to the point it wouldn't be all that enjoyable. However, after watching the movie, I was surprised when it exceeded my expectations.

I think the thing that really impressed me about this movie is it wasn't nearly as predictable as I thought it would be. The ending wasn't really anything that offered any real surprises. But, Tiny's (Maher) journey to New York had just enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. Also adding to some of the drama was the show's defending champ, Bark (Newbern) having a part in trying to keep her from competing.

As would be expected, this show had quite a few songs in it. At first, I thought they would simply be covers of popular songs but, instead, the filmmakers had the dogs performing original pieces. Some of those were actually pretty good too, bringing out all sort of emotions and, in some cases, had my oldest daughter trying to fight back tears.

I think my only real complaint about this movie is it never really gives us the full story behind the bad blood between Charlie (Scott) and the bounty hunter dog, Kano (Diedrich Bader). Based on the various conversations, Kano's interest in Charlie was personal rather than just professional. But, we never learn exactly why that is. I suspect maybe the backstory is a little too violent for the film's "G" rating but it did make me feel as though we were missing something.

Final Opinion

I picked this out for my youngest daughter but it ended up being a cute film that was enjoyable for all of us. I would recommend taking the time to watch it as a result.

My Grade: B

Updated: 04/15/2017, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 02/18/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
The plot does not make me think of Lady and the Tramp. But the pairing of a finer canine with a rougher canine does. Is Charlie a specific breed or some mix?

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