If you’re from Pittsburgh, you know that Dr. Claw’s intimidating glass castle is just PPG Place.
Otherwise, this is a movie with perfect cartoon to real-life casting. You have Matthew Broderick as the Gadget, Rupert Everett as Dr. Claw, Michelle Trachtenberg as Penny and Dabney Coleman — the most perfect of these casting decisions — as Chief Quimby.
It then ruins all that good will by showing us Dr. Claw’s face, a fact that never ever happened across every season of the cartoon.
Perhaps the best part of this movie is the minions anonymous scene, in which a variety of henchmen appear, including henchmen include Mr. T and “Famous Bad Guy with Silver Teeth” (Richard Kiel as Jaws), “Famous Villain with Deadly Hat” (Richard Lee-Sung as Oddjob), “Famous Identifier of Sea Planes” (Bobby Bell as Tattoo from Fantasy Island), “Famous Native American Sidekick” (Hank Barrera as Tonto), “Bane of the Bumbling, Idiotic Yet Curiously Successful French Detective’s Existence” (Jesse Yoshimura as Cato Fong from The Pink Panther), “Son Before Second Son” (John Kim as Lee Chan, number one son of Charlie Chan) and “Famous Assistant to Dr. Frankensomething” (Keith Morrison as Igor).
After disastrous test screenings, the film was cut down from 110 minutes to 78 minutes. I have no idea just what was so upsetting in those 32 minutes, nor do I understand why this movie had to be any longer than 75 minutes.
Disney still made money from this movie, despite scorched earth reviews, as there weren’t a lot of kid-friendly films out in the summer of 1999. Throw in a bunch of cheaper direct to DVD sequels and a McDonald’s promotion to make your own Inspector Gadget that had parents traveling hundreds of miles to complete and even the worst of films can be a success.