Disney+ is going to the dogs with their newest original series, It’s a Dog’s Life with Bill Farmer. Bill may not be a household name, but he is a Disney Legend for voicing Goofy and Pluto for over thirty years. Now he’s stepping in front of the camera in this family affair, co-produced by Bill Farmer and his wife Jennifer. Their son Austin also co-wrote the theme song.
With an animated opening that features Pluto, It’s a Dog’s Life instantly brings in the Disney touch, with more fun along the way courtesy of Bill Farmer’s many, many voices. You can hear a bit of Goofy in his natural speaking voice, but he’s clearly a natural voice artist. He becomes a pirate for a moment while on a boat at sea and later becomes a Texas ranch hand, all within the first episode.
The half-hour episodes follow a format of showcasing two dogs with a short break between them. During the break, Bill gives viewers some of “Pluto’s Pointers,” training advice for dog owners. Bill stands in front of a yellow splash image, similar to the one that appears behind Pluto at the start of his classic shorts. The episodes close with a “Hometown Hero,” a shorter segment about a dog that is sent in with Bill there to facilitate an interview.
I had the pleasure of screening the first two episodes in advance of the May 15th premiere. The first dog featured sets the expectations high when audiences meet Eba, a special dog who helps whale researchers in Washington by being able to sniff out whale poop in the ocean. From herding dogs on a California ranch to dogs who are paired with cheetah cubs at the Cincinnati Zoo, fans of man’s best friend will find a lot to love on this show.
It’s a Dog’s Life with Bill Farmer feels like a bit of a marriage between a Disney unscripted series and something you’d expect from Nat Geo WILD. It’s pure fun for dog owners and it’s the kind of show you’ll love to watch while snuggling with your four legged friend. It’s edutainment at its finest and fans of Disney and dogs will love it.
I give It’s a Dog’s Life 4 out of 5 orca pancakes.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.