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LOS ANGELES, California, May 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Panned by critics but earning millions dollars at the box office, “Show Dogs” contains a dangerous message for kids:

Don’t protest — just think happy thoughts — if somebody fondles your genitals.

The live-action comedy sends FBI agent Frank (Will Arnett) and his canine partner Max (voiced by rapper Ludacris) undercover to an exclusive dog show believed to be a front for exotic animal smuggling. The humor of the film relies heavily on jokes about the dog’s genitals and backside. Even worse, Max is coached to overcome his discomfort with having his genitals touched by a judge.

In a now-viral review, mom and children’s film critic Terina Maldonado describes the disturbing plot line:  

“As part of any dog show, contestants are judged on their abilities and physical attributes. One part, in particular, is the inspection of the dog's private parts. Being that Max is new to competing, he needs to learn the process so his partner, Frank, along with a former show champion work to get him ready for the final round of the competition,” Maldonado writes.

“Since the inspection of the private parts will happen in the finals, Frank touches Max’s private parts to get him used to it. Of course, Max doesn’t like it and snaps at Frank for him to stop. Max is then told by the former champion, who has been through the process before, that he needs to go to his ‘zen place’ while it happens so he can get through it. More attempts are made by Frank to touch Max’s private parts, but Max is still having trouble letting it happen and keeps snapping at him.”

Max’s “need” to overcome his discomfort is not merely incidental to the plot but an important part of the story line. Not submitting means that he will fail in his mission to save a baby panda.

“The day of the finals come and if Max doesn’t let his private parts be touched, he may lose the competition and any hope of finding the kidnapped panda,” Maldonaldo explains. “It all rests on his ability to let someone touch his private parts. The judge’s hands slowly reach behind Max and he goes to his ‘zen place.’”

And in the film this “zen place” is just wonderful.

“He’s flying through the sky, dancing with his partner, there are fireworks and flowers — everything is great — all while someone is touching his private parts,”  Maldonaldo writes.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is warning parents that this storyline poses a danger for kids.

“The movie ‘Show Dogs’ sends a troubling message that grooms children for sexual abuse,” said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.  

She observed that the advice to find a “zen place” and the reward for submitting are standard “tactics” for pedophiles.

“Disturbingly, these are similar tactics child abusers use when grooming children,” she said, “telling them to pretend they are somewhere else, and that they will get a reward for withstanding their discomfort. Children’s movies must be held to a higher standard, and must teach children bodily autonomy, the ability to say ‘no’ and safety, not confusing messages endorsing unwanted genital touching.”

Other critics wrote that “Show Dogs” is an “awful” movie and has an unseemly focus on private parts.

“I just hope the careless display of anal fetishism go sailing over the heads of younger, more impressionable viewers,” wrote Scott Marks of the San Diego Reader.

Roxana Hadadi of “Popcorn Parents” wrote in the Chesapeake Family Magazine that the film was “embarrassing.”

“The amount of time this movie devotes to a dog’s private parts is extremely weird,” she observed.

Even the trailer features a scene in which Max has a “bikini wax”and screams with pain.

But his experienced guide to life as a “show dog” has advice for that, too.

“The pain passes, but the beauty shall remain,” he smugly says.

Show Dogs, produced by Global Road Entertainment, is rated PG. It was directed by Raja Gosnell of “Home Alone 3,” “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” “The Smurfs,” and “Scooby-Doo.”


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Dorothy Cummings McLean is a Canadian journalist, essayist, and novelist. She earned an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Toronto and an M.Div./S.T.B. from Toronto’s Regis College. She was a columnist for the Toronto Catholic Register for nine years and regularly contributes to Catholic World Report. Her first book, Seraphic Singles,  was published by Novalis (2010) in Canada, Liguori in the USA, and Homo Dei in Poland. Her second, Ceremony of Innocence, was published by Ignatius Press (2013). Dorothy lives near Edinburgh, Scotland with her husband.


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