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Queen's Corgi, The


Stars: Voices: Julie Walters,Tom Courtenay, Jack Whitehall, Jon Culshaw, Debra Stephenson, Ray Winstone, Sarah Hadland, Matt Lucas, Sheridan Smith, Nina Wadia

Director: Ben Stassen, Vincent Kesteloot

When Carve Her Name With Pride was first shown in the (then British) colony of Tanganyika in 1958 my mother and her fellow government film censors had to decide that the sleeve of George VI, featured in an award-giving sequence, could be shown, or whether the image broke the then British Colonial censorship rule that Royalty could not be featured in feature films, (For the record, the sleeve made it into the release print since the entire monarch was not visible).

How censorship changes.

Now the daffy animated offering The Queen's Corgi barks its way uncensored onto the screen despite featuring Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh in all their glory (and otherwise). Mind you, it's a Belgian production, so presumably anything goes when it comes to a Common Market movie. Mind you, the simplistic and frequently just-plain-silly screenplay is the work of Britons Rob Sprackling and John R Smith who, I imagine, can safely say 'goodbye' to any chance of being titled for Services to Cinema.

When Our Canine Hero Rex joins the Queen's pet corgis in Buckingham Palace, his charm wins over Her Majesty and he becomes Top Dog.

Unfortunately for Rex his innate arrogance during a cruelly funny sequence when Donald Trump and Melania visit Buckingham Palace - 'I bit the President in the unmentionables' he boasts - lands him in deep disgrace and he ends up as a stray on the streets of London.

There, after a series of occasionally amusing adventures (including, as a salve, I assume, for accompanying adults, his refusal of a vet's offer of a suppository) Rex finally finds true love and royal redemption...

British vocal casting is good - Whitehall speaking for Rex, Walters and Courtenay voicing the corny comic-strip Queen and Duke of Edinburgh - creates mild amusement and helps keep the increasingly silly story trotting along.

Says co-director Stassen: 'The Queen's Corgi targets our usual key demographic: 5 to 10 year-old children, while making their parents smile'.

That's his opinion and he's welcome to it.

But in the final analysis, parents may enjoy the film rather more than their kids.

Alan Frank

Belgium 2019. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Colour.
85 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 06 Jul 2019