The Boy, the Dog and the Clown

The Boy, the Dog and the Clown


A young boy, Adrien, grieving the loss of his father, befriends a down-on-his-luck clown who performs incredible feats of magic. Fascinated, the boy vows to replicate the clown’s wizardry and keeps practicing, practicing, practicing! Meanwhile, Adrien’s mom also bonds with the gentle, good-natured clown, and they invite him on a camping trip to celebrate the boy’s 10th birthday, along with Adrien’s aunt and uncle. A fun party ensues and the clown entertains them by making butterflies appear out of thin air. When the clown’s dog chases after a squirrel, the distraught Adrien follows and gets lost in the woods. The boy ultimately realizes that he must use the magical powers taught to him by the clown in order to be rescued. A story of healing, courage, and most of all, the power of knowing that magic is real for those who believe.

Dove Review

Just as the title of the The Boy, The Dog, and the Clown includes a variety of characters, the film is a variety of feelings and cinematic flavors. Though the film is set currently, from a certain angle, it may remind one of some 1960’s European films. The poetic voiceover. The boy’s hopeful perspective. The warm colors of beaches and butterflies. The performer seeking a new life. And even a tinge of tragedy along the way to keep the emotion grounded in heart’s reach.

Very young audiences may find the pace of it slower, and some of the aspects—grief, potential dangers of alcohol, and a little violence—to be a bit mature. But, there is the potential for a positive family discussion regarding the negativity and destruction alcohol can have, as one of the elements of the story involves (though depicted via a newspaper and talking, not graphically) a man driving under the influence, and accidentally killing his wife and child. This aspect of the story is presented tastefully.

The Boy, The Dog, and the Clown also places emphasis on belief, although it does not expand very much beyond oneself as the focus of belief. This also could be a positive discussion to consider what the best way to believe in oneself is, and the best way to express it.

The boy says: “Sometimes, to believe is the real magic.”

This idea might apply to the film also. If one watching it does not appreciate the film, connect with the story, or enjoy the visuals, they may not have a very “magical” experience. But, if one does appreciate the film, go on the journey with the story, and like the visuals, then the film may be a wonderful time. The Boy, The Dog, and the Clown is Dove-Approved for Ages 12+.

The Dove Take:

Silly slapstick, striving for belief in oneself, and tragic sympathy combine in this family film which may be a bit mature for some kids.

Content Description

Faith: There are elements of faith, but they may not be considered theologically true. Some of the elements are: a boy’s father passed away, and the boy says “he’s probably watching over us right now,” and his mother says, “I think so.”; they also talk similarly later, but when she is talking to a different character, she says that she is not sure if the father is watching over them, saying “'cause I feel so alone”; she says that “I wanna believe. I really do.”; as a character passes away, he says that he will be with the people he is talking to even after he has passed away; “Magic is real, you just need to believe.”
Integrity: Emphasis on putting one’s mind and heart to something; talk of ”Believe in the impossible. Believe in yourself. Just believe.” and “positive thinking”; characters help each other; a mother loves her son, and seeks to find him when he is (though she doesn’t know it) injured.
Sex: None
Language: OMG/G-5 or 6; “What the heck! I swear!”; “What the heck”-3; “oh, my gosh” multiple times; “oh, my goodness”; name-calling,“freak”;
Violence: Characters push and shove; an apparently drunk man hits the clown, and the clown makes some noises of pain. Later, the clown is seen with some blood on his face and coming out his nose; a character says, “I’m bleeding”; a newspaper says that a son and mother die in a car accident because the driver, the father, was DUI; a woman wields a frying pan to potentially hit someone; a character slams into a door and falls; a character shoots someone with a slingshot.
Drugs: A man has a paper bag with, one may guess, a bottle inside. He and another character stumble around. The clown communicates that the other two characters should not drink; a newspaper talks about a deadly DUI car accident; The clown pretends that a chicken drumstick is like a cigar/cigarette; mention of allergy pills; a character has medication bottles and takes medication; a man is offered, by his wife, and takes the medication Midol for his leg cramp;
Nudity: A boy in swim trunks; a woman wears formfitting pants; swimsuits; a very brief (and possibly incidental) image with a woman wearing a low-cut top.
Other: Talk, some emotional, of a deceased character; a character talks about how a different character may have mental issues, including regarding “suppressed trauma” and how “he could be having a mental breakdown”; a practical joke of tying a character's shoelaces together while they sleep, and hitting them with a slingshot so they fall; mention of “hypnosis”, “creepy clown” and “ghost”; talk of “creepy clowns”, “creepy clown videos…” and “…afraid of clowns”; a character is distressed during a nightmare; a character has a suspicion; hypnosis; magic; mention of burned marshmellows looking like “bird poop”; mention of “talk to strangers”; shenanagins; a woman says about her husband, “I already married a clown”; a practical joke; a hand sign for being crazy; an incredibly brief moment when a woman is searching on the internet, and there are some spooky/scary things, including clowns, but the scene is incidental.


Company: Cinetel Films
Director: Nick Lyon
Producer: Ron Peer, Nick Lyon
Genre: Family
Runtime: 90 min.
Industry Rating: G
Reviewer: John P.