Beethoven's Big Break (also known as Beethoven: The Reel Story and Beethoven's 6th) is a 2008 American direct-to-video animal comedy film, the sixth installment in the Beethoven film series, and a complete reboot, disregarding all storylines from the previous five films. The film was directed by Mike Elliott, produced by Wayne Morris, and co-written by Derek Rydall and Brian Levant.
Eddie, a struggling animal trainer and widower dad, is an assistant animal trainer to Sal DeMarco, an untalented, egocentric animal show host. Both men have been hired to train the animals for a film called Frizzy, The Bichon Frise: Sal as the dog handler, and Eddie is given only the responsibility of training the lizard. When Frizzy is kidnapped, Sal quickly claims that Eddie was responsible for the dog handling. Eddie is promptly fired. The director refuses to pay the ransom and decides to instead hold auditions for the new Frizzy.
Meanwhile, Eddie's son, Billy, is walking around town when he discovers a large, stray dog is following him. Billy then brings the dog home and names him Beethoven after the dog shows interest in Ludwig van Beethoven's 5th symphony, after initially trying to call him Wolfgang. Eddie comes home to discover that, not only is his job gone, but now his house is wrecked by an oversized dog adopted by his son.
We will soon learn that the one responsible for Frizzy's disappearance is Sal, accompanied by his two other cronies. He admonishes them for not waiting until Frizzy had already shot some of the movie, in order to make her valuable.
The next day, when auditions are held, the director has trouble finding the right dog to replace Frizzy. Eddie has arrived (with Billy and Beethoven in-tow) to pick up his lizard, Pete. Suddenly, Beethoven bursts in and performs an impressive chase scene with Pete the Lizard, which instantly makes the director love him. Beethoven and Eddie are hired on the spot, and Sal is fired.
To celebrate, Eddie takes Billy and Beethoven out for hamburgers, but Beethoven escapes with the burgers and leads Eddie and Billy on a chase. Finally, they find where Beethoven was going: he had been caring for his three small pups in an alley, as their mother had apparently died. In Beethoven's 2nd, she wasn't heard from again. Eddie begrudgingly adopts the puppies, as well.
Eddie is then charged with having Beethoven perform the requested stunts in the movie. Unfortunately, Beethoven proves to be "untrainable", and instead, often crashes through the scene and making a sloppy mess in the process. Each time, Eddie is prepared to be fired, but the director finds these scenes even more funny and orders the scenes printed for the film. Lisa, the film's writer, requests from Eddie to spend more time with Beethoven so that she can write more appropriately for him.
As revenge for being fired, Sal orders his henchmen to kidnap Beethoven for the million-dollar ransom, planning to kill him after the ransom is paid. They kidnap him while Billy is flirting with his crush in the park. Eddie, Billy, Lisa, and the puppies then head to Sal's show stage, which doubles as his secret lair, and rescue Beethoven. Sal and his goons are arrested, and Eddie and Lisa begin a relationship.
The film ends with Eddie, Lisa, Billy, Katie, Beethoven, the pups, and Pete the iguana, all enjoying snacks while watching the film's premiere.
Why It Sucks
- It does a rather poor job in trying to reenact the production of the 1992 original.