BBC2: Saturday 26 December, 9.5am
Testing the patience of social worker Don Cheadle, orphaned youngsters Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin are on their fifth set of foster parents in three years. A stray dog turns their lives around… The polar opposite of dreck like Marmaduke, this is an attractively shot children’s comedy that places the emphasis on visual story-telling.
And it’s kind of refreshing that the dogs – homeless pooches of all shapes and sizes – don’t talk. Even more amazing for a Hollywood studio picture, none of the kids is a brat. The fairy tale is wrapped up with happy endings for everyone, even panto villains Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon. BBC2 also has 2009’s G-Force at 11.35am, one of the most wretched children’s films ever made. And Disney’s name is on it.