8. “Teacher’s Pet”

Released: January 16, 2004

While “Taken” might be one of the highest grossing wide releases in January history, “Teacher’s Pet” might be one of the lowest. The adaptation of a not-so-popular Disney channel show is much more winning than one would expect. The film takes the classic story of “Pinocchio” and applies it to a dog named Spot (Nathan Lane) who has been masquerading as a fourth grade student. When his owner/teacher is invited to a conference conveniently near a mad scientist’s office, Spot seizes the opportunity to be truly made a real boy. It’s a charming fable with more wit and humor than one would expect. The animation, which looks like creatures from Cranium come to life, is fun and colorful. It’s a quick trip and a fun ride. It’s sad this one got kicked to the curb from its initial release.