The Furry Fortune does a terrific job in showing what is important in life and that money should not be at the top of the list.
Two of the main characters in the movie, twins Zoe and Dax (Juju Brener and Mason Blomberg), are typical brothers and sisters. They disagree over things and have little to do with one another. Zoe is super intelligent and plans to attend an Ivy League college (Harvard!) one day. Dax enjoys playing with his purple lightsaber. He imitates Luke Skywalker from Star Wars by crying out, “No!” from the scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Luke learns Darth Vader is his father.
As the story opens, we’re told it will include a dog, Nuzzles, but we’re told by Zoe: “No, our dog doesn’t talk. It’s not that kind of story.” Nuzzles may not talk, but he has a special ability. He sheds money!
Zoe and Dax’s mom, Emily, owns a boutique while their dad, Doug, is an accountant. They tend not to have a lot of time for the kids, with Doug even saying, “Time is money. Money is time.” Daughter Zoe calls her dad “Doug,” and he says, “Could you just be a normal daughter and call me ‘Dad?’” Despite the occasional lack of respect, various factors will soon bring the family together and bind them closer than they’ve ever been. And in one scene the kids are grounded. The characters all grow in this story which is one of the plusses of the film.
The film incorporates cute moments along with some comedy peppered in here and there. In one scene, Nuzzles has Doug’s keys in his mouth, ready for Doug to grab them before rushing off to work. Nuzzles is loyal and will soon help the family out in an unexpected way. The family begins to find money in the house, hundreds and fifties and other denominations, and they don’t know where it’s coming from. Then the kids discover that Nuzzles is shedding money! Yes, it’s far-fetched but it does set up some nice scenes of the family discovering what truly is important in life.
In one of the film’s humorous scenes, Dax acts like Batman and says he’s going to build a Bat Cave for Nuzzles and himself. Zoe wants to get a pony and have it live in the Bat Cave. “Name it Alfred and we’ve got a deal!” says Dax. Zoe agrees. They enjoy their treehouse and time with Nuzzles but things are about to change.
Enter new and annoying neighbor named William Kearst the Third (Adam Kulbersh) and his son Odom (Mason Wells). We learn that Kearst’s wife and Odom’s mom has left the family, and it soon becomes apparent that Odom misses having a mom in his life. Kearst soon figures out that there’s something going on with the neighbors and the amount of money they have available.
Mom and Dad learn it too when they discover all the new gifts the kids have bought for themselves. One of the running jokes is a delivery man who shows up day after day with new items the kids have purchased. When Mom and Dad discover the endless ATM machine called “Nuzzles,” they decide the family needs to go on a “family trip” by the end of the summer.
But life won’t be without problems. When Dax uses his super-powered water gun on the new neighbors, Mr. Kearst is livid and determined to get revenge. And when family members Uncle Fred (Sean Whalen) and Aunt Didi (Donna Morgana) visit, and spot the neighbors spying on the family, things become more complicated. Odom tells his dad that the dog next door is a “money machine,” and Mr. Kearst is intrigued.
There are things to think about in this film. At one point Dax tells Zoe that she cares more about the money than Nuzzles. And when Nuzzles comes up missing, this sets up other scenes where the family begins to examine how the money is changing their lives, and not all for the better. What is important in life is discussed and they wind up agreeing that their family, and spending time with one another, is the most important thing. In a nice scene, the family decides to donate some money to charity, and they realize unconditional love should be the family priority. They even make peace with the neighbors. A couple of catchy songs run during the credits, including “Have Yourself a Lovely Day,” performed by Paul Williams, and “The Bravest Thing of All,” performed by Frank Ray. This movie has earned our Dove seal for Ages 12+.
THE DOVE TAKE: If you want to discuss the importance of family in life with your family, this movie is a good one to see.