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Recommended age 5-12
90 minutes
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RUSSELL MADNESS cover image Click to play video trailer
This film is hilarious, adventurous and much more! It will appeal to kids as well as adults and has a very unique idea. Russell Madness is a perfect family story that will be enjoyed by many. Russell Madness has a feel of comedy with a wrap-around of family ties, while still having a core of wrestling and a little sprinkle of suspense.

The story starts when a family moves back to Oregon to take over an old wrestling ring which belonged to the family for a long time. It is a bit run down, but a new generation opens it back up. Then, during a first match, something very interesting happens. A dog named Russell (completely by coincidence) comes into the ring where a big tough and strong wrestler is. What happens next is absolutely unexpected and surprising.

This film is stupendous! Something I really like about it is that Russell's coach is a monkey named Hunk. And yes, it is a talking monkey, played by a very smart and adorable monkey named Crystal, except for the talking parts of course, which I think is a great and smart idea. The acting is wonderful and the whole film has that perfect amount of cheesiness, cuteness and positivity to make it a wonderful family film. Also, the jokes are original and hilarious.

My favorite scene is about the family's first encounter with Hunk. Hunk tells them to take in Russell as a family dog and offers to train Russell to be a wrestler. But, his price is many things doing with bananas. It is funny and an important scene in the movie.

I recommend for kids ages 5 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars for fantastic acting, production, directing, and unbelievable animal training. Don't miss it when it comes out March 10, 2015. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.

Watching a movie with talking animals that do athletic activities makes me feel nostalgic, especially that movie is made by the same people that made the movie that gives me nostalgia: Air Bud. When I was younger, I remember watching Air Bud and wanting a dog like that. But after watching Russell Madness, I experienced that same feeling all over again.

Russell Madness is about a Russell terrier named Russell (very punny) that meets a family, the Ferraros, that just so happen to have recently gained the ownership of a vintage wrestling arena from their grandfather. At this arena he meets a monkey named Hunk. Russell seems to be a timid dog, but once Hunk begins to train him he becomes a world class wrestler. On the way to stardom, he gains the love of his new family and this is something that he has longed for. However, as his popularity grows, he runs into bigger opponents.

It was great to be able to watch a different storyline that involves animals. I think that so many movies have the same plot, one way or another. However, Russell Madness brings a completely different story and uses it to its advantage. It is also perfectly executed with good actors and great dialogue. I enjoyed the small jokes here and there. While some jokes are aimed at the younger kids, they do include some jokes for the older kids and adults. I really enjoyed seeing the wrestling dog but I think that actors that played the wrestlers could have been much better. Some of the extras looked slightly out of place and that was little distracting. The cinematography is good. I enjoyed the different angles that the movie is filmed from. In some cases, the camera is low to show that the animals are talking and their point of view is different than that of people.

This movie brings back a lot of memories from my childhood. Russell Madness looks like its going to leave a mark in a new generation of children just like Air Bud did for me. This can also rekindle the flame that was lit by Air Bud for older kids and even for adults. I recommend this movie to kids from the age of 5 to 16, because it is a heart-warming story that kids of any age can enjoy. I give this movie a rating of 4 out of 5 stars and I hope that everyone enjoys it as much as I did.

Reviewed by Jorge Lopez, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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This tail-wagging comedy-adventure from the Creators of "Air Bud" and "Air Buddies" stars John Ratzenberger, Will Sasso and Fred Willard. Russell is an undersized but big-hearted terrier who dreams of having a family of his own. After running away from his pet store, Russell gets taken in by The Ferraros, a family desperate to revive their grandfather's pro wrestling arena. That's when they discover their new pet pooch has incredible wrestling skills. With help from his coach, Hunk, a savvy and hilarious monkey, Russell rockets to the top of the pro wrestling world and becomes a famous sports superstar. But when a dishonest promoter double-crosses the Ferraros, Russell will face his biggest challenge and discover that the strongest tag team is family.
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