The Ugly Dachshund (1966)

93 mins | Comedy | 16 February 1966

Director:

Norman Tokar

Writer:

Albert Aley

Producer:

Walt Disney

Cinematographer:

Edward Colman

Editor:

Robert Stafford

Production Designers:

Carroll Clark, Marvin Aubrey Davis

Production Company:

Walt Disney Productions
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HISTORY

On 8 Aug 1962, LAT columnist Hedda Hopper announced that Walt Disney Productions had purchased motion picture rights to the 1938 novel by Gladys Bronwyn Stern. According to a literary review in the 14 Aug 1938 LAT, the original story is told from the perspective of “Tono,” a lone Great Dane raised with a brood Dachshunds who receive preferential treatment from their owners. The film version is told from a human perspective, and the Great Dane is renamed “Brutus.”
       The project remained in limbo for the next fifteen months, until the 9 Dec 1964 LAT reported actors Dean Jones and Suzanne Pleshette were cast in lead roles. However, the 7 Jan 1965 Los Angeles Sentinel noted that the picture was intended for the television series, Disney’s Wonderful World of Color (NBC, 1961 – 1969), to be broadcast in two episodes. Production was underway later that month, as reported in the 20 Jan 1965 Var.
       A news item in the 27 Mar 1966 LAT revealed that, during a scene in which he was pursued by the starring Great Dane, actor Kelly Thordsen ran out of camera range and perched himself in a tree, prompted by his “irrational fear of dogs.” The sequence appeared in the completed film.
       On 12 Jan 1966, Var announced the picture’s theatrical release, accompanied by the animated short subject, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966). Disney developed cross-promotional deals to publicize the package, such as the “V.I.D.” (Very Important Dog) campaign with Kal Kan dog food, which included ...

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On 8 Aug 1962, LAT columnist Hedda Hopper announced that Walt Disney Productions had purchased motion picture rights to the 1938 novel by Gladys Bronwyn Stern. According to a literary review in the 14 Aug 1938 LAT, the original story is told from the perspective of “Tono,” a lone Great Dane raised with a brood Dachshunds who receive preferential treatment from their owners. The film version is told from a human perspective, and the Great Dane is renamed “Brutus.”
       The project remained in limbo for the next fifteen months, until the 9 Dec 1964 LAT reported actors Dean Jones and Suzanne Pleshette were cast in lead roles. However, the 7 Jan 1965 Los Angeles Sentinel noted that the picture was intended for the television series, Disney’s Wonderful World of Color (NBC, 1961 – 1969), to be broadcast in two episodes. Production was underway later that month, as reported in the 20 Jan 1965 Var.
       A news item in the 27 Mar 1966 LAT revealed that, during a scene in which he was pursued by the starring Great Dane, actor Kelly Thordsen ran out of camera range and perched himself in a tree, prompted by his “irrational fear of dogs.” The sequence appeared in the completed film.
       On 12 Jan 1966, Var announced the picture’s theatrical release, accompanied by the animated short subject, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966). Disney developed cross-promotional deals to publicize the package, such as the “V.I.D.” (Very Important Dog) campaign with Kal Kan dog food, which included personal appearances by the film’s canine star. In addition, the studio licensed the “Winnie the Pooh” cast of characters to Sears, Roebuck & Co., for a line children’s apparel. Disney also commissioned a display to advertise The Ugly Dachsund at the National Dachshund Championships in London, England, as reported in the 11 May 1966 Var.
       The picture opened 16 Feb 1966 in Los Angeles, CA, and 6 Apr 1966 in New York City. Despite unenthusiastic critical response, the 2 Mar 1966 Var ranked it among the season’s most profitable releases. An article in the 23 Mar 1966 Var quoted Disney marketing vice-president Card Walker, who projected combined receipts of $6 million for the feature and its accompanying short subject.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Los Angeles Sentinel
7 Jan 1965
Section B, p. 6
Los Angeles Times
14 Aug 1938
Section C, p. 6
Los Angeles Times
8 Aug 1962
Section C, p. 10
Los Angeles Times
9 Dec 1964
Section D, p. 20
Los Angeles Times
13 Feb 1966
Section B, p. 14
Los Angeles Times
18 Feb 1966
Section C, p. 12
Los Angeles Times
25 Feb 1966
Section C, p. 13
Los Angeles Times
27 Mar 1966
Section B, p. 8
New York Times
24 May 1938
p. 17
New York Times
7 Apr 1966
p. 44
Variety
20 Jan 1965
p. 16
Variety
12 Jan 1966
p. 23
Variety
2 Mar 1966
p. 7
Variety
23 Mar 1966
p. 17
Variety
11 May 1966
p. 18
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Arthur J. Vitarelli
2nd unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd supv
Music ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Dogs trained by
Glenn Randall Jr.
Dogs trained by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Ugly Dachshund by Gladys Bronwyn Stern (London, 1938).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
16 February 1966
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 16 Feb 1966; New York opening: 6 Apr 1966
Production Date:
began Jan 1965
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Walt Disney Productions
16 December 1965
LP32136
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
93
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

When Mark and Fran Garrison's dachshund, Danke, gives birth to puppies, Dr. Pruitt, the veterinarian, persuades Mark also to take home Brutus, a Great Dane puppy that has been abandoned. Brutus grows up thinking that he is a dachshund, but his size causes problems for the Garrisons: he trees policemen, wrecks Mark's studio, and wreaks havoc at a garden party. Fran finally insists that Brutus must go, but the Great Dane redeems himself when he saves Chloe, Fran's favorite puppy, from the garbage heap. Fran trains Chloe for a dog show, and Mark secretly trains Brutus for the same show. His main objective is to convince the dog to behave like a Great Dane. At the show, Brutus almost disqualifies himself when he sees a dachshund and begins acting like one. A female Great Dane passes by, however, and Brutus assumes a proud stance and wins the blue ...

More Less

When Mark and Fran Garrison's dachshund, Danke, gives birth to puppies, Dr. Pruitt, the veterinarian, persuades Mark also to take home Brutus, a Great Dane puppy that has been abandoned. Brutus grows up thinking that he is a dachshund, but his size causes problems for the Garrisons: he trees policemen, wrecks Mark's studio, and wreaks havoc at a garden party. Fran finally insists that Brutus must go, but the Great Dane redeems himself when he saves Chloe, Fran's favorite puppy, from the garbage heap. Fran trains Chloe for a dog show, and Mark secretly trains Brutus for the same show. His main objective is to convince the dog to behave like a Great Dane. At the show, Brutus almost disqualifies himself when he sees a dachshund and begins acting like one. A female Great Dane passes by, however, and Brutus assumes a proud stance and wins the blue ribbon.

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GENRE
Genre:


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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Veterinarians, Police, Dogs, Family life
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.