Sneha Girap (Editor)

The Shaggy Dog (1959 film)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Director  Charles Barton
Film series  Shaggy Dog Film Series
Country  United States
6.5/10 IMDb

Genre  Family, Comedy, Fantasy
Initial DVD release  March 7, 2006
The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) movie poster

Language  EnglishFrenchLatin Spanish
Writer  Lillie Hayward, Felix Salten
Release date  March 19, 1959 (1959-03-19)
Cast  Fred MacMurray (Wilson Daniels), Jean Hagen (Freeda Daniels), Tommy Kirk (Wilby Daniels), Annette Funicello (Allison D'Allessio), Tim Considine (Buzz Miller), Kevin Corcoran (Moochie (Montgomery) Daniels)
Similar movies  John Wick, Back to the Future, Shiloh, Saving Shiloh, Shiloh 2: Shiloh Season, Lady and the Tramp
Tagline  "I was a Teen-age boy!"

The shaggy dog 1959 tommy kirk scene

The Shaggy Dog is a black-and-white 1959 Walt Disney film about Wilby Daniels, a teenage boy who by the power of an enchanted ring of the Borgias is transformed into the title character, a shaggy Old English Sheepdog. The film was based on the story The Hound of Florence by Felix Salten. It is directed by Charles Barton and stars Fred MacMurray, Tommy Kirk, Jean Hagen, Kevin Corcoran, Tim Considine, Roberta Shore, and Annette Funicello. This was Walt Disney's first live-action comedy.


The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) movie scenes

Walt Disney Productions filmed a successful sequel in 1976 called The Shaggy D.A. which starred Dean Jones, Tim Conway, and Suzanne Pleshette. It was followed by a 1987 television sequel, a 1994 television remake and a 2006 theatrical remake. A colorized version of the film can be found on the 1997 VHS and on DVD.

The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters5824p5824p

The shaggy dog 1959 scene 1 colorized


The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) Cineplexcom The Shaggy Dog

Wilbur "Wilby" Daniels is a boy who is misunderstood by his father, Wilson. Wilson thinks Wilby is crazy half the time because of his elder son's often dangerous inventions. As a retired mailman who often ran afoul of canines, he is allergic to dogs, and he simply cannot understand why his younger son, Montgomery "Moochie" would want a dog.

The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) The Shaggy Dog 1959 film Wikipedia

Wilby and his rival Buzz Miller go with a French girl named Francesca Andrassé to the local museum. Wilby gets separated from the other two, who leave without him. Wilby encounters former acquaintance Professor Plumcutt (whose newspaper Wilby used to deliver), who tells him all about mystical ancient beliefs, including the legend of the Borgia family, who used shape-shifting as a weapon against their enemies.

The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) Cineplexcom The Shaggy Dog

On the way out, Wilby collides with a table that holds a display case of jewelry. He accidentally ends up with one of the rings in the cuff of his pants. It is the cursed Borgia ring, and no sooner does he read the inscription on it ("In canis corpore transmuto," which, unknown to Wilby, means, "Into a dog's body I change") then he transforms into Chiffon, Francesca's shaggy "Bratislavian sheepdog". Confused, Wilby as a dog goes to Professor Plumcutt, who says he has invoked the Borgia curse upon himself, which can only be broken through a heroic act of selflessness. After getting chased out of his own house by his enraged father (who fails to recognize him as a dog), Wilby has a series of misadventures while switching back and forth between human form and dog form. Only Moochie and Professor Plumcutt know his true identity, as Wilby has spoken to them both in dog form. While at a local dance in his human form, he accidentally transforms himself into a dog.

The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) The Shaggy Dog 1959 Find your film movie recommendation movie

The next day, Wilby, as a dog, and Moochie are talking when Francesca's butler Stefano comes out and drags Wilby into the house. Stefano and Francesca's adoptive father, Dr. Valasky, are discussing plans to steal a government secret, and Wilby, as a dog, overhears. Unfortunately for him, he transforms into human Wilby right in front of the spies and has been discovered, but not before he hears Dr. Valasky expressing his wish to get rid of his own daughter.

The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) Cineplexcom The Shaggy Dog

The spies angrily capture Wilby and force Francesca to leave with them, leaving the human Wilby bound and gagged in the closet at once. Fortunately, Moochie sneaks into the house just after Dr. Valasky, Stefano and Francesca leave, and discovers Wilby, who is transformed into a dog, still bound and gagged in the closet. Wilby reveals the secret to his dumbfounded father, who goes to the authorities, until Wilson suddenly finds himself accused of being either crazy or a spy himself.

The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) The Shaggy Dog Trailer YouTube

When Buzz appears at the Valasky residence to take Francesca on a date, Wilby, still in his dog form, steals Buzz's hot rod automobile. Buzz reports this to Officers Hansen and Kelly, who are in disbelief until they see the shaggy dog driving Buzz's hot rod. Wilson and Moochie follow Buzz and the police, who end up chasing everyone. The spies attempt to leave aboard a boat, but the police call in the harbor patrol to apprehend Dr. Valasky and stop his boat. Wilby, in his dog form, swims up and wrestles with the men, as Francesca gets knocked out of the boat. He then saves her life and drags her ashore, which finally breaks the curse. When Francesca regains her consciousness, Buzz tries to take credit for saving her. This angers Wilby, who is still a dog, so much that he attacks Buzz. Seconds later, Buzz is surprised to find himself wrestling with the real human Wilby, and the real Chiffon reappears. Since he is soaking wet, Francesca concludes that he has really saved her from the ocean and she hugs and praises Chiffon.

The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) The Shaggy Dog 1959

Now that Wilson and Chiffon are declared heroes, Francesca is able to leave for Paris without her evil adoptive father and former butler, both of whom have been arrested for illegal espionage; and she gives Chiffon to the Daniels family for them to keep as her way of thanking them. Since Wilson has gotten such commendation for foiling a spy ring because of "his love of dogs", he has a change of heart over his allergy to dogs, a promise to change his ways, and a sense of humor (while he also realizes that his dog-hating attitude isn't really good anymore), so he allows Moochie to care for Chiffon as he wanted a dog all along. Wilby and Buzz decide to forget their rivalry over Francesca and resume their friendship instead.


  • Tommy Kirk as Wilby Daniels
  • Fred MacMurray as Wilson Daniels
  • Jean Hagen as Frida Daniels
  • Annette Funicello as Allison D'Allessio
  • Tim Considine as Buzz Miller
  • Kevin Corcoran as Montgomery 'Moochie' Daniels
  • Cecil Kellaway as Professor Plumcutt
  • Alexander Scourby as Dr. Mikhail Valasky
  • Roberta Shore as Francesca Andrassy
  • James Westerfield as Officer Hanson
  • Strother Martin as Thurm
  • Forrest Lewis as Officer Kelly
  • Jack Albertson as reporter (uncredited)
  • Ned Wever as Security Agent E.P. Hackett
  • Gordon Jones as Police Captain Scanlon
  • Jacques Aubuchon as Stefano
  • Paul Frees as Dr. J.W. Galvin, the psychiatrist (uncredited)
  • Sam as the dog
  • Novelization

    While the movie itself is based on Salten's The Hound of Florence, a novelization of the movie published by Scholastic eight years later in 1967 made some interesting changes to the plot. First, Funicello's character Allison was removed entirely, and her name is not listed among the movie's principal performers. As a result, the rivalry between Wilby and Buzz is greatly reduced. Also, Dr. Valasky is changed into Franceska's uncle, not her adoptive father.

    A comic book adaptation also appeared from Western Publishing Company, which followed the movie's storyline more closely. This was reprinted in 1978 as a companion story to an adaptation of The Cat from Outer Space.


    The Shaggy Dog was at that time the most profitable film produced by Walt Disney Productions, which influenced the studio's follow-up live-action film production. Using a formula of placing supernatural and/or fantastical forces within everyday mid-twentieth century American life, the studio created a series of "gimmick comedies" (a term used by Disney historian and film critic Leonard Maltin) with action to keep children entertained and some light satire to amuse the adult audience. Using television actors on their summer hiatus who were familiar to audiences but did not necessarily have enough clout to receive over-the-title billing (or a large fee) from another major studio was one way these comedies were produced inexpensively; they also tended to use the same sets from the Disney backlot repeatedly. This allowed Walt Disney Productions a low-risk scenario for production, any of these films could easily make back their investment just from moderate matinee attendance in neighborhood theatres, and they could also be packaged on the successful Disney anthology television series The Wonderful World of Disney.

    The initial release of The Shaggy Dog grossed more than $9 million on a budget of less than $1 million – making it more profitable than Ben-Hur, released the same year. The Shaggy Dog also performed very strongly on a 1967 re-release.

    The popular television series My Three Sons (1960-1972) reunited MacMurray and Considine, and also features a pet shaggy sheepdog named "Tramp".


  • The film was followed in 1976 with a theatrical sequel, The Shaggy D.A., starring Dean Jones as a 45-year-old Wilby Daniels.
  • In 1987, a two-part television movie set somewhere in the 17 years between the events portrayed in The Shaggy Dog and The Shaggy D.A., entitled The Return of the Shaggy Dog, presented a post-Saturday Night Live Gary Kroeger as a 30-something Wilby Daniels.
  • Remakes

  • In 1994, the first remake of the film was a television movie, with Disney regular Scott Weinger as a teenaged Wilbert 'Wilby' Joseph Daniels, and Ed Begley, Jr. playing a part similar to the one originated by Fred MacMurray in 1959.
  • In 2006, Disney released a remake of the movie with Tim Allen as a 50-something Dave Douglas. This film has an entirely different story, characters, and transformation plot device unrelated to the original trilogy. To tie-in with the theatrical release of the 2006 remake, the original 1959 movie was re-issued in the USA as a special DVD labeled "The Wild & Woolly Edition," which featured the movie in two forms: one in the original black and white, the other a colorized version. The colorized version however is not restored and suffers from age. In the UK, however, the 1959 movie has only ever been made available on DVD in black and white. The 2006 remake and Tim Allen's performance was poorly received by critics, with a moderately successful box office return.
  • References

    The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) Wikipedia
    The Shaggy Dog (1959 film) IMDbThe Shaggy Dog (1959 film) Rotten TomatoesThe Shaggy Dog (1959 film) Common Sense MediaThe Shaggy Dog (1959 film)