The Family Dog is a short, 30 minute cartoon animation telling the story of how a mild mannered non-descript canine is transformed from an inept homebody into a guard dog extraordinaire through the diligent efforts of Ms. Gerte LeStrange and her able assistant Vronga. Skip Binford, the dog's owner is equally mild-mannered and the family as a whole provides a hilarious foil for the eventual canine superhero. The Binfords are so perfectly average in fact that despite Billy being the neighborhood terror, and Buffy is, well a far cry from the later "Vampire Slayer" of the same name, that it's hard to find even a single moment in the film that the film could do without. Every moment will remind you of someone you know, some little Billy or Buffy, some other Skip or Bev in your own social circle. It is so hilarious because it is so true to American life as it was in the 1970s and 80s. It is as close to a once-in-a-lifetime hit as most directors and producers could ever hope for and deserves a special place in the annals of American animated cinematography. Long a family favorite in our extended family, my sister-in-law considered her VHS copy an invaluable tool in her arsenal for testing the sense of humor of potential suitors for herself. If Mr. X didn't find this film hilarious, he was history. She and I, to this day have nearly every line in the film memorized.
I consider this film, even more so than the series it inspired to be both Brad Bird's and Steven Spielberg's greatest gift to the genre of cartoon animation, and perhaps to cinematography at large.