The Queen's Corgi (2 stars)

The Queen's Corgi

Poorly judged canine animation that features tasteless humour and Trump

Donald Trump is an unquestionably divisive and, for many, deeply unpalatable figure, so it's strange that the Belgian creative team behind this children's animation about the Queen's beloved corgis would choose a Trump state visit to London as their jumping-off point. 'Grab the puppy!' exclaims the president, and it's only the first of several unfortunate lapses of judgement in Vincent Kesteloot and Ben Stassen's film.

Rex (voiced by Jack Whitehall in the UK version) is a pampered pooch living in Buckingham Palace until Trump (Jon Culshaw) and his oversexed dog Mitzi (Sarah Hadland) arrive. Desperate to avoid Mitzi's advances, Rex bites the president's crotch, and consequently fears that the Queen (Julie Walters) may not love him anymore. Lured outside of the palace by fellow corgi Charlie (Matt Lucas) on the pretext of a potential transfer to the Vatican to become the Pope's dog, Rex discovers it's a trick to help Charlie take Rex's place in the Queen's affections.

Although the character designs are good, and the evocation of the palace interiors are grand, most of the action in The Queen's Corgi takes place in a dingy dog pound, where Rex tangles with floozie Wanda (Sheridan Smith) and tough-nut bully Tyson (Ray Winstone), who forces him into a brutal fight club. It's regrettable that, rather than featuring the royals themselves, the film bizarrely trades in underworld stereotypes and narcotics-based humour; a sniffer dog mistaking a white shoelace for a line of cocaine is unlikely to amuse parents or children.

Family animations tread a fine line between simple pleasures and knowing references; The Queen's Corgi gets the mixture wrong, with lame gags normalising sexual assault and a crude jibe at a bearded 'queen'. Kids are unlikely to take offence, but concerned adults may well feel that the tasteless humour is not worth the awkward questions afterwards.

General release from Fri 5 Jul.

The Queen's Corgi

  • 2 stars
  • 2019
  • Belgium
  • 1h 25min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Vincent Kesteloot, Ben Stassen
  • Cast: Jack Whitehall, Julie Walters, Sheridan Smith, Ray Winstone, Matt Lucas, Tom Courtenay

Rex (Whitehall) is a corgi living in Buckingham Palace until Donald Trump (Culshaw) and his oversexed dog Mitzi (Hadland) arrive. Poorly judged Belgian animated feature with lame gags normalising sexual assault and bizarre underworld stereotypes and drug-based humour. Kids are unlikely to take offence but adults may feel…