Cast & Crew
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.
Robert O. Cook
Marvin Aubrey Davis
William R. Koehler
La Rue Matheron
Frank R. Mckelvy
Glenn Randall Jr.
Arthur J. Vitarelli
The Ugly Dachshund
The Garrisons, Mark (Dean Jones) and Fran (Suzanne Pleshette in her first Disney film) are a married couple who rush their pregnant prize dachshund, Danke, to the veterinarian to give birth, only to be asked to have their dog nurse a Great Dane puppy whose own mother has rejected him. Mark wants to keep the Great Dane, who is named Brutus, and the puppy is raised with the dachshunds, taking on their characteristics with comic results.
With a screenplay by Albert Aley, based on the 1938 novel by G. B. Stern, the film was directed by Norman Tokar. In the cast were Charlie Ruggles, Parley Baer, Charles Lane, Dick Wessel, and Mako. This would be Wessel's final film. Although he died after the principal photography was complete, the company found that some of his lines needed to be redubbed. In order to avoid having to reshoot all of Wessel's scenes with another actor, Tokar brought in famed radio actor and voice over artist Paul Frees, who looped all of Wessel's lines. Pleshette was a dog lover who owned a Yorkshire terrier named Missy during the making of The Ugly Dachshund. Missy became upset when she smelled the other dogs on Pleshette when she returned home from the studio. To avoid problems with Missy, Pleshette had to shower and change clothes at the Disney Studios in Burbank before returning home each night. Several Great Danes played Brutus to avoid delays due to doggy temperament, including a dog named Duke, who had appeared six years earlier in the Disney film Swiss Family Robinson (1960).
The Ugly Dachshund was released as part of a double-bill with a featurette, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (Disney's first Pooh film) on February 16, 1966, earning a reported $6 million at the box office, which was then considered to be a hit. The uncredited reviewer for The New York Times clearly favored the Pooh film over the Great Dane, writing, "Three cheers for Winnie the Pooh! The Ugly Dachshund? He'll do. [...] [The Ugly Dachshund] calls for a heap of tolerance not only of dogs but of dog-owners, as personified here by Suzanne Pleshette and Dean Jones. Based--ever so remotely, we suspect--on a book by G. B. Stern, this is a thin, contrived, one-joke comedy [...] To one viewer, at least, a dog is a dog. And there is something distinctly off key, even unhealthy, about a young couple whose every waking minute revolves around a bark or a tail-wag. If ever a Disney picture--and a marriage--needed children, it's this one."
The Ugly Dachshund later debuted on the Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color television program as a two-part special in 1968.
SOURCES: "A Disney Package: Don't Miss the Short" The New York Times 7 Apr 66
The Internet Movie Database
By Lorraine LoBianco