Silverstar... I'm with you. I took my nephew to see this on Friday night along with my parents... and we all quite enjoyed the movie. It's cute, doesn't have a terrible plot, and moved along quite quickly throughout. The kids were laughing hysterically throughout most of the movie.
I, too, wish there had been a long eared puppy as the Odie casting... but the relationship was still cute.
Dagwood, i don't think you'll feel ripped off if you go see this now. You'll be pleasantly surprised.