Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rod Daniel|
|Produced by||Michael C. Gross |
|Written by||Len Blum|
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Edited by||William D. Gordean |
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Beethoven's 2nd is a 1993 American family film directed by Rod Daniel, and the It starred Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, and Debi Mazar, and is the second of eight installments in the Beethoven film series. Initially, no sequel was planned, but it was produced after the unexpected financial success of the first film. It is the last entry in the franchise to be released theatrically, as well as the last to feature the original cast.
In the Newton family home, George, Alice, Ryce, Ted, Emily, and Beethoven are all well adjusted to living together. Beethoven sneaks out and meets Missy, a female St. Bernard, and her owner Brillo. Regina, Brillo's future ex-wife, arrives with her boyfriend Floyd, takes Missy, and is seeking $50,000 in the settlement as alimony. She has retained full custody of Missy and only plans to transfer her to Brillo once the divorce is finalized.
With Beethoven's help, Missy escapes from Regina's condominium, and they fall in love. Meanwhile, Ryce develops strong feelings for her classmate, Taylor Devereaux, after he kisses her. Ted and Emily become aware of Beethoven constantly sneaking out of the house and follow him, where they discover he and Missy had four puppies in the basement of the building. The janitor, Gus, also finds them and informs Regina. She reclaims Missy and plans to get rid of the puppies, even if it means killing them, but Gus talks her out of it by pointing out that purebred puppies are worth a lot of money and suggests that she could sell them at a pet store and make a fortune.
Thinking Regina plans to drown the puppies, Ted and Emily sneak out of the building with the puppies and take them home. They keep them in the basement so their father will not see them. Realizing they took them, Regina plans revenge. Ryce, Ted, and Emily take it upon themselves to feed and care for them. Eventually, Alice and George discover the puppies and reluctantly agree to keep them until they are mature.
The Newtons are offered a free stay in a lakefront house at the mountains owned by one of George's business associates. Ryce attends a party with friends where she is exposed to teenage drinking and harassment. Beethoven destroys the house's patio deck, removing her from potential danger. Regina and Floyd, are staying in a location unknown to Brillo, coincidentally near the Newtons' vacation house. They go to a county fair with the dogs, and the children persuade George to enter a burger eating contest with Beethoven, which they win. Regina and Floyd were also at the fair but left Missy in their car.
Missy escapes from the car with Beethoven's help while Regina snatches the puppies' leashes from Ted and Emily. Beethoven and Missy run into the mountains, followed by Regina and Floyd. The Newtons follow and catch up. After a confrontation between George and Floyd, Floyd threatens to drop the puppies in the river below and pokes George in the stomach with a large stick. Beethoven charges into the stick and rams it into Floyd's groin, causing him to lose his balance and fall over the cliff, pulling Regina down with him. They fall into a pool of mud and are swept away by the river.
Five months later, Brillo visits the Newtons with Missy, revealing that the judge in the divorce had granted him full custody of her and denied Regina's claim. The puppies, much older, run downstairs to see Missy.
Production required more than a hundred smooth- and rough-coated St. Bernard puppies of various ages starting at seven weeks, who were then returned to the breeders. Missy was played by three adult short-haired dogs, and Beethoven was played by two long-haired ones, although only the dog who created the role in the first film is credited; a mechanical dog, a dog's head for specific facial expressions, and a man in a dog suit were also used.
The film grossed more than $118 million at the box office worldwide.
Brian Lowry of Variety wrote that the film "[amounted] to a live-action cartoon" and was "certainly a more pleasing tale" than the first.Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it two stars, calling it "no masterpiece" but praising Grodin's work and noting that the dogs carried the film.Kevin Thomas in the Los Angeles Times rated it "just as funny and appealing as 'Beethoven' the first" and also praised Mazar as Regina.