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Review: Animated sequel ‘Space Dogs: Adventure to the Moon’ feels earthbound

A scene from the animated movie "Space Dogs: Adventure to the Moon."
(Epic Pictures Group)

There’s so much quality children’s entertainment on TV and at the movies these days that there’s no real reason to take your kids to see a dog — or, more specifically, “Space Dogs: Adventure to the Moon.”

The sequel to 2010’s “Space Dogs” follows the son of a canine cosmonaut as he stows away on an American rocket ship to try to find his missing father. Like its predecessor, “Adventure to the Moon” originated in Russia but has been given an American rewrite and English-language voice cast (including Alicia Silverstone and Ashlee Simpson).

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The revisions pay off best in a semi-abstract fantasy sequence, set to an American pop song. Otherwise, the voice work is fairly generic and the dialogue merely functional, verging on corny. The jokes aren’t especially clever, and the story’s too cluttered, adding characters that range from an aloof poodle (with a French accent, naturally) to a blustery American monkey (no comment) to a cute alien.

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The original “Space Dogs” had some ties to the actual history of space exploration, but this sequel doesn’t even have that to recommend it. Kid flicks can be cut some slack in the sophistication department, but not too much, given how outstanding the work being done by so many animation companies around the world.

Can you imagine how awesome “Adventure to the Moon” might have been if it had been made by Laika?

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‘Space Dogs: Adventure to the Moon’

MPAA rating: G

Running time: 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Playing: MGN Five Star in Glendale; and Galaxy Mission Grove Luxury+, Riverside

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