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(2007), PG [Very Lite 13-PG*] (1hr 42min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
April 9, 2007
67 out of 100

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2007), PG [Very Lite 13-PG*] -- a hairline below PG

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, New Regency Pictures, Regency Enterprises
Distribution (US): Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Director(s): Todd Holland
Producer(s): Michael Colleary, Mitch Glick, Michael J. Maschio, Mike Werb
Written by: Claire-Dee Lim, Mike Werb, Michael Colleary
Cinematography/Camera: Victor Hammer
Music: Jeff Cardoni
Film Editing: Scott J. Wallace
Casting: Elizabeth Barnes, Tina Gerussi, Meg Liberman, Camille H. Patton
Production Design: Tamara Deverell
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

Firehouse Dog  earned a final score of 67. That places it at the very top of the scoring range earned by PG-13 films (55 to 67 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database ... only one point under the scoring range earned by PG-rated films (68 to 86 out of 100). This placement makes Firehouse Dog  a "hardcore PG" or a very lite 13-PG (films rated PG which earn scores earned by PG-13 films). Firehouse Dog  is a hairline below PG.

I can't wait until we can afford to compile for trending the massive  data we have accumulated in our 12 years of analyzing nearly 1200 films. We have trended the data for PG-13 films from 1996/7 to 2002 but not for later years of PG-13 films nor any of the data for films of other classifications. Once the compiling of data for trending has been completed I am certain the PG films will go the way of the PG-13 films. Likewise with G-rated films. Specifically, more and more assaults in morality and decency are permitted in a given classification each year. God warned us about this a l-o-n-g time ago [Ps. 12:8]. For example, the PG-13 data trending revealed that more than 60% of PG-13 films earned scores in the range of scores earned by R-rated films. For more information, see our R-13 or Harvard Agrees with Us. You will see how we revealed the "ratings creep" a full four years before  Harvard scientists. And we did it with God's Word! Imagine that.

That we use God's Word is precisely why we have been able to reveal the relative placement and movement of morality in and as entertainment. God's Word does not change. His Word defines the standards of morality. Thus our investigation standards, which are built by His Word, do not change with the tides of progressive and enlightened society. No matter how modern society corrupts morality each time we whip up a new set of moral standards to satisfy and placate every new agenda, our analysis model will remain as Rock-solid as God's Word.

The latest wonder dog celebrity, Rexxx (Arwen, Frodo, Rohan, Stryder) has fallen into finickiness. The star of "Jurassic Bark" and "The Fast and the Furriest" has become accustomed to living in the lap of luxury and waited on for every little thing. But because of some nitpick gripe Rexxx refuses to perform in his next role. If it were not for the loving intervention of Liz Knowles, (Bree Turner) Rexxx would never have gotten on the plane bound for his next role. But as fate would have it, Rexxx ends up falling out of the plane during a storm. Broken and bawling, trainer/owner Trey Falcon (Dash Mihok) launches a massive search, only to find Rexx's trademark hairpiece.

But fret not. From the plane Rexxx fell into a stakebed truck of tomatoes. Smeared and shaken, Rexxx embarks on a new life -- on the inner city streets. Alluding a city pound officer, Rexxx literally runs into Shane Fahey (Josh Hutcherson) who notes the movie prop dog tag on Rexxx that says his name is Dew, short for Dewey. So, Rexxx becomes Dewey.

Shane is the son of firefighter Captain Conner Fahey (Bruce Greenwood), Captain of Engine 55. Shane lost his mother when he was two years old. Shane also lost a few months earlier his uncle, Marc Fahey (Randy Triggs), the previous Captain of Engine 55. With all these traumatic losses in his young life, Shane has trouble adjusting. He "ditches" school. steals and lies. With an attitude.

And those are not the only pressures the circle of familiarity face. All the firefighters of Engine 55 are having a hard time dealing with the loss of Captain Marc Fahey as well as the mascot. On top of this, the city is nearing closure of Engine 55 due to lack of need. Much of the area around Engine 55 has become deserted. Mostly due to fires which seem to have a mind of their own since they form a pattern that stinks of development.

Initially, Shane sees Dewey as a "stinking" dog, useless and unwanted. But as soon as Dewey performs a few amazing acrobatic maneuvers no dog should be able to do, Shane begins to warm up to "Dewey." Asking Dewey "What else ya got?", Shane discovers an intelligence far beyond the typical street dog. Connor finally agrees to let Dewey stay at Engine 55 until a home can be found for him. But that, too, changes as Dewey nuzzles his way into everyone's lives.

One of the several positive notes to be had in this film is the way that trouble father and son move closer together after the loss of the brother/uncle. In a convincing way, Greenwood and Hutcherson portray communication as a way to overcome pain and anguish. Dad does not fail to point out the good qualities of Shane amidst all the grief-driven poor choices. Dad also does not fail to point out his own. Where is this going? If we as fathers spend our time saying things like "You don't know what you are doing" and "You'll never get it to work", a time may come when it won't.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
The only matters of violence involve rescue peril and firefighting peril. Demonstrations of the criminal nature include arson (including endangerment of a child) and a hit to the face. Other matters include skipping school, adolescent breaking and entering to steal, an animal threat plus a background TV set playing Hannibal  with a comment "I will not hesitate to kill you." [Prov. 3:31]

Impudence/Hate (I)
There are three uses of one word of the three/four letter word vocabulary, once by an adolescent. By the phrase in which the word is used, the profane nature of it is "masked", clearly just as an excuse to use foul language, in particular by the adolescent. [Prov. 22:11] Additional matters of impudence and/or hate include a man repeatedly using ugly speech, an adolescent lying, adolescent arrogance at a parent, a dog defecating in a pot of stew, lengthy demonstration of the "It ain't good enough, no matter what 'it' it" attitude and several other negative behavioral influences such as flatulence, cheating as if it is acceptable and a father letting his son roam the city streets at night. [Isa. 13:11, Isa. 2:17]

Sexual Immorality (S)
Posterior humor and people (including an adolescent) in their underwear are used to build the atmosphere into presenting canine prostitutes and innuendo regarding intercourse for dogs. [Eph. 5:4]

Drugs/Alcohol (D)
In addition to seeing a smoldering cigarette, drinking is seen at least three times. The American College of Physicians (ACP) found that presenting drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to emboldening youth to try it. Even the University of Connecticut corroborates the ACP finding. Please see the links in the reference to Eph. 5:18 in Scriptural Applications below. It is a rather sobering reality, mom/dad.

Offense to God (O)
Trey spouts about Rexxx being in Heaven and Rexxx is given an absentee funeral. There will be no dogs in Heaven. Dogs do not  go to Heaven. We have His Word on it. [Rev. 22:14-15] Animals do not have souls. In addition, God's name is used in vain three times, once by an adolescent. [Deut 5:11, Luke 17:2]

Murder/Suicide (M)
No murders or suicides were noted in the entire 102-minute film.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Prov. 3:31 Envy thou not the oppressor [man of violence, extortionist, etc.], and choose none of his ways. Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • Isa. 13:11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
  • Isa. 2:17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk or to drink in defiance such as underage drinking. A study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) has found an undeniable, inarguable link between the presentation of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in and as entertainment and abuse of them and arrogance/defiance with them by adolescents. And teaching/causing youth to abuse alcohol/tobacco (or drugs) by emboldening youth with them in and as entertainment invokes Luke 17:2. If alcoholic beverages in entertainment were not a problem for our young, why is there and why has there been such a push to get and keep booze commercials off prime time broadcast TV? Even the University of Connecticut corroborates the ACP finding.]
  • Rev. 22:14-15 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city [eternal life in Heaven]. For without [outside Heaven] are dogs ... [By His Word, dogs do not go to Heaven.]
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, `The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective  heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Firehouse Dog (2007) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • storm peril
  • skipping school
  • arson, repeatedly, including with child endangerment
  • adolescent breaking and entering
  • rescue peril, repeatedly
  • *Hannibal* on background television: "I will not hesitate to kill you"
  • firefighting action violence, repeatedly
  • animal threat
  • hit to face

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • three uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, once by an adolescent
  • multiple uses of a crude term
  • lies, including by an adolescent
  • adolescent use of a crude term
  • humans risking their lives to save a dog
  • dog defecating in a pot of stew
  • long display of "It ain't good enough no matter what it is" by an adolescent
  • flatulence, repeatedly
  • cheating as if doing so is acceptable
  • father letting adolescent son roam the city streets at night
  • dog urination

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • posterior humor
  • adult in underwear
  • adolescent in underwear
  • "canine" prostitutes
  • innuendo re: sex for a dog [Rev. 22:14-15]

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • burning cigarette
  • drinking, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O)
  • three uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive plus once by an adolescent
  • talk of dogs going to Heaven

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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