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Teacher's Pet (2004 film)

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Teacher's Pet
Teacher's Pet film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTimothy Björklund
Written byBill Steinkellner
Cheri Steinkellner
Based on
Teacher's Pet
Produced byStephen Swofford
StarringNathan Lane
Shaun Fleming
Debra Jo Rupp
Kelsey Grammer
David Ogden Stiers
Jerry Stiller
Rosalyn Landor
Music byStephen James Taylor
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • January 16, 2004 (2004-01-16)
Running time
74 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$10 million
Box office$6.5 million[1]

Teacher's Pet is a 2004 American animated musical comedy film, based on the 2000 television series of the same name created by artist Gary Baseman. Produced by Walt Disney Television Animation and distributed by Buena Vista Pictures, the film was directed by series director Timothy Björklund and written by series creators Bill and Cheri Steinkellner. The film serves as the series finale of the television series, as it ends the central storyline. The film was released theatrically on January 16, 2004, to mostly positive reviews, but flopped at the box office, making only $6.5 million on a $10 million budget.[2]

The film is dedicated to Baseman's dog, Hubcaps, who died while the film was in production.


For the past year, a dog named Spot has been dressing as a boy named Scott Leadready II and going to school with his master Leonard Helperman. Leonard is looking forward to spending the summer with his dog, but Spot wants to become a real human boy ("I Wanna Be a Boy"). Mary Lou Helperman, the fourth-grade teacher and Leonard's mother, is nominated for a "Teacher of the Year" award, and given use of Principal Strickler's Wentawaygo to travel to the finals in Sunny Southern Florida, under the condition that no dogs are allowed in the RV. Leonard sadly bids farewell to Spot ("A Boy Needs a Dog") as he and his mother depart.

Spot, along with the Helpermans' other pets, Pretty Boy and Mr. Jolly, are left with a pet-sitter where The Barry Anger Show's special guest is a "wacko" named Dr. Ivan Krank, who claims he can turn animals into human beings, who happens to be located in Sunny Southern Florida. Spot chases down the RV and meets up with Leonard at a gas station. Spot, as Scott, fools Mrs. Helperman into believing that his family has allowed him to travel with the Helpermans. Spot, Leonard, and Mrs. Helperman continue on their way to Florida, singing through all fifty states ("A Whole Bunch of World").

Meanwhile, back at home, Pretty Boy and Mr. Jolly learn that Krank can't actually turn animals into people, but rather into terrifying hybrid creatures. They decide that they must track down Spot and stop him from being turned into a monster, but Mr. Jolly is afraid to leave the house. Pretty Boy assures him that they can be tough despite their size ("Small But Mighty")

Upon arriving in Florida, Mrs. Helperman goes directly to the Teacher of the Year finals, and Spot reveals to Leonard the real reason he came to Florida. Leonard is skeptical, but accompanies Spot to Krank's lab, where Krank agrees to turn Spot human, and gives him a nickel as payment for being his test subject. Krank anticipates finally being respected in the scientific community ("I, Ivan Krank") and turns the machine on Spot.

Spot wakes up to find that he is indeed human, but due to dog time, he is a fully-grown man rather than a boy. Krank locks Leonard and "Scott" up, planning to exhibit the "dog-man" around the world, proving wrong those who said it could not be done. Ian, Krank's nephew and Leonard and Spot's classmate, is tricked into setting them free. Krank grounds Ian and sends his two previous creations, Dennis, a human-alligator hybrid, and Adele, a fly hybrid, off to find them. Leonard and Scott are hungry and Scott's clothes no longer fit him. Scott uses the Twilight Bark to locate a lost dog with a $100 reward, along with four puppies she had birthed. This prompts the dog's owner to give them $500. Now rolling in money, Leonard and Scott enjoy a day on the town. ("Take the Money and Run")

The two lose track of time, but manage to make it back to the Wentawaygo just in time for dinner, forgetting that Mrs. Helperman will not recognize Scott in his new body. Scott and Leonard quickly make up a story that Scott Leadready II had to go home, and the nearest adult, Scott Manly-Manning, helped him out. Mrs. Helperman invites Scott in for coffee and soon begins to fall for him. Scott considers marrying Leonard's mother so they can all stay together, but Leonard refuses to allow it. Scott tells Leonard he's not his dog anymore, and Leonard tells him to leave, taking back his collar. ("I'm Moving On").

Pretty Boy and Jolly finally make it to Florida, and help Leonard realize that he should support Scott's dream. He comes to the conclusion that the only way they can be together is for him to be turned into Scott's dog. ("A Boy Needs a Dog (Reprise)"). Scott arrives moments after Leonard leaves, and after getting over the shock of seeing Spot as a human, Pretty Boy and Jolly tell him that Leonard has gone to Krank's lab.

Krank plans to turn Leonard into a dog and use him as bait to get Scott back, and then he will have both the boy-dog and the dog-man. Scott arrives at the lab and destroys Krank's machine by inserting the nickel that Krank had given him earlier into a slot on the machine marked "Quarters Only". The machine starts firing at random, turning Krank into a mouse and seemingly killing Scott, turning him into a pile of blue dust. Leonard angrily beats the machine and it fires at the blue dust and turns Scott back into his original dog form. Leonard and Spot reunite, and Spot decides that he is "Proud to Be a Dog".



The film was animated by Walt Disney Television Animation and Toon City. On its story, instead of telling the original Pinocchio story, the filmmakers thought of putting a little twist on the tale, which relates to the theme of the movie: "Be careful what you wish for." Nathan Lane returned to reprise his role as Spot Helperman/Scott Leadready II after working on the Mel Brooks Broadway musical The Producers. The movie itself serves as the series finale to end the entire series.


Original songs performed in the film include:

1."I Wanna Be a Boy"Brian Woodburry & Peter LuryeNathan Lane, Shaun Fleming & Chorus 
2."A Boy Needs a Dog"Randy Petersen & Kevin QuinnShaun Fleming & Nathan Lane 
3."A Whole Bunch of World"Cheri Steinkellner, Randy Petersen & Kevin QuinnDebra Jo Rupp, Nathan Lane & Shaun Fleming 
4."Small But Mighty"Randy Petersen & Kevin QuinnJerry Stiller & David Ogden Stiers 
5."I, Ivan Krank"Cheri Steinkellner, Randy Petersen & Kevin QuinnKelsey Grammer 
6."Take the Money and Run"Cheri Steinkellner, Randy Petersen & Kevin QuinnJack Sheldon 
7."I'm Moving On"Cheri Steinkellner, Randy Petersen & Kevin QuinnDebra Jo Rupp, Nathan Lane, Shaun Fleming, Kelsey Grammer, Paul Reubens, Megan Mullaly, Jerry Stiller, David Ogden Stiers & Chorus 
8."A Boy Needs a Dog (Reprise)"Randy Petersen & Kevin QuinnNathan Lane & Shaun Fleming 
9."Proud to Be a Dog"Brian Woodburry, Peter Lurye, Cheri Steinkellner, Randy Petersen & Kevin QuinnNathan Lane, Shaun Fleming & Chorus 
10."Teacher's Pet"Joe LubinChristy Carlson Romano 


Teacher's Pet was originally planned for a September 5, 2003 release before getting rescheduled for February 2004. The film was then moved up to January 16, 2004.

About a week before release, Toon Disney aired a four-hour marathon of episodes for viewers to catch up on the series.[3][4]

Box office

Over its four-day opening weekend, the film made $3.6 million in 2,027 theaters, $1,777 per theater, making it one of the lowest openings in history.[5] By the end of its run, the film had grossed $6.5 million.[1]

Critical reception

On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 76% based on 74 reviews, with an average rating of 6.52/19. The site's critics consensus reads: "Despite its short running time, Teacher's Pet is a witty and irreverent family film."[6] On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the film has a score of 74 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[7] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.[8]

Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B−.[9] Google Play gave the film 3.9 out of 5 stars.[10] Common Sense Media gave the film four out of five stars, claiming it to be "Fast, fresh, funny and entertaining for all", but they also give warnings for minor potty humor and violence.[11] There were also some mixed reviews. Adan Cook from gave the film 2.5/5 stars, claiming that people should watch the show before they watch the film.[12]

Home media

Teacher's Pet was released June 15, 2004, on VHS and DVD, and later on Google Play in 2012. The DVD includes the first episode of the series, "Muttamorphosis", "The Art of Gary Baseman" featurette, two deleted scenes, Christy Carlson Romano's "Teacher's Pet" music video, and a sing-a-long selection.

The film, along with the TV show, is available on Disney+.[13]

Deleted scenes

The deleted scenes are only animatics as they were either incomplete in time for the film or replaced with a different scene.

  • "Pretty Boy and Mr. Jolly On the Road": Pretty Boy and Mr. Jolly end up traveling numerous ways to Florida to save Spot and Leonard.[14]
  • "NEATO Awards": Spot, Pretty Boy, and Mr. Jolly cheer on Mrs. Helperman as she accepts the award at the "NEATO" awards. Pretty Boy claims that they can't get home on the RV since they're supposed to be home (Mrs. Helperman doesn't realize that they're in Florida also) as Spot quickly figures out a way to get them home.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Teacher's Pet (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 10, 2009.
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (3rd ed.). New York: Checkmark Books. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-8160-6600-1.
  3. ^ "Teacher's Pet Marathon on Toon Disney". January 9, 2004. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  4. ^ "(MIRRORED) Disney's Teacher's Pet Episode Twenty - S02E07 - The Grass Seed is Always Greener... - Video Dailymotion". Dailymotion. February 27, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  5. ^ "Delgo worst opening ever". Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  6. ^ Teacher's Pet at Rotten Tomatoes Edit this at Wikidata
  7. ^ Teacher's Pet at Metacritic Edit this at Wikidata
  8. ^ "Teacher's Pet". CinemaScore. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  9. ^ "Disney's Teacher's Pet". January 14, 2004. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  10. ^ "Disney's Teacher's Pet - Movies & TV on Google Play". Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  11. ^ "Teacher's Pet - Movie Review". Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  12. ^ "A ★★½ review of Teacher's Pet (2004)". Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  13. ^ "Here's Basically Everything You Can Watch on Disney+". D23. October 18, 2019. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  14. ^ Scott Leadready II (July 28, 2014). "Disney's Teacher's Pet Deleted Scene #1 (2004)". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved June 3, 2017 – via YouTube.
  15. ^ Scott Leadready II (July 28, 2014). "Disney's Teacher's Pet Deleted Scene #2 (2004)". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved June 3, 2017 – via YouTube.

External links