For those of us that grew up with a pet seal, this movie is like a welcome trip down memory lane! All of us remember the cans of salmon pilfered from the pantry. Those nights long ago when we would hook up an impromptu shower in the tool shed for our slippery friend seem just like yesterday! And I still can’t play a game of checkers without thinking about how my pet seal would always know the best move to make! I guess all that fish really is great brain food!
When I was a kid, there wasn’t a boy on my street that wasn’t begging their mom and dad for a freaking seal! If you could manage to snag one from the ocean and sneak it back to your house, you couldn’t ask for a better pet.
They played ball like nobody’s business and always seemed to be a jovial mood what with their clapping and barking. And who would you rather roll with when you went down to the local swimming hole or your rich neighbor’s pool when they were out of town? And they could get into all the mischief you would expect out of a chimp, but you didn’t have worry about them playing with their peter like chimps are prone to do! And the whiskers are so cute on them!
Arthur and Petey Loomis (Michael McGreevey and Bill Mumy in a pair of funny performances) are living the American dream one summer when they find a wounded seal they name Sammy. They nurse Sammy back to health, spend the summer playing with him and they all become the best friends in the history of the whole wide assed world! Nothing can tear these three apart! Not even the end of summer when the kids have to go back to cruddy old Gatesville!
So how did they convince their parents to strap in their fishy-smelling sea mammal buddy into the back seat of their Country Squire? They convinced them by hiding Sammy in the trailer they were towing behind the Country Squire! Yes, you can blame the kids for pulling a fast one on their dullard parents, but doesn’t Sammy bear a little responsibility, too? It wasn’t like he was busting his behind not being hidden in the trailer!
Once back home the kids spend every spare minute keeping Sammy hidden which causes the sort of misadventures, hi-jinks, shenanigans, monkey shines, and wacky frivolity that have made the seal man’s best friend since time immemorial!
When dad (Robert Culp sporting quite voluminous hair) needs to take a shower and Sammy is already in it unbeknownst to dad, the yuks come at you with the power of a watery seal fart! Dad mistakes Sammy’s barking for bad pipes and for his wife yelling at him from across the house! Admit it! You’ve been there! The old lady sometimes sounds like slimy sea varmint!
Dad pulls another inadvertent boner when he turns off the shower the kids have set up for Sammy in the tool shed! Sammy likes his shower so he does what any parched sea lion would and scoots on over to the pool party the neighbors are throwing! A pool party that Arthur and Petey’s parents are attending!
There’s no point in delving into the particulars of the controversy that rages at the party regarding the future of Gatesville because like, who cares? It’s all set up for Sammy kicking ass!
He starts by scaring the bejesus out of a partygoer in the pool by trying to make out with her, but that was only a warm up! He also pushes the guy giving the party into the pool! And the guy thinks Arthur and Petey’s dad did it! Sammy also kicks their poodle into the pool, too! Sammy’s sort of a thug, isn’t he?
The kids are total morons despite what you might believe from some of their schemes. You know, schemes like stealing a seal from the ocean to keep as a pet in the city.
You see, the kids know they have to let their parents in on the secret, but they need to wait for the right time. They want to show their folks that they can do a good job taking care of Sammy and they also need their parents in a good mood when they tell them. Thus, it was a bit odd that they finally had to own up to everything after Sammy totally trashed the local grocery store and ended up posing in the town fountain with the neighbor’s poodle!
Disney vet Norman Tokor (Rascal, Follow Me, Boys!) wrote and directed this two part Disneyland episode that was turned into a movie for the home video market and he hits every single expected and welcome note with this one! I’m sorry, but humans are biologically incapable of not loving any movie where the kids wheel their pet seal around town in a baby carriage!
And when Sammy starts running an elevator, causing a lot people to run up and down stairs, it was pretty much like Die Hard with seal! And the $5000 worth of tropical fish in the neighbor’s office? Oh no, Sammy! You did not just snarf all of them down in the three seconds when everyone’s back was turned! Damn, that’s cold!
But deep down in his blubbery heart, Sammy is a lover and so it is that even as his best friends have to give him back to the sea, he finds a girlfriend after about ten seconds back in the water! Them flippers just aren’t for swimming, are they Sammy? Truly, you are one way-out seal, bro!
© 2013 MonsterHunter