Cheaper by the Dozen reimagined–modern upgrade or cheap remake?


Lauren Williams, Staff Writer

Cheaper by the Dozen is a classic story of a big family adapting to a new school, neighborhood, and community. While facing judgment, they persevere–coming together as a family. Based on the original 1950 movie, the 2003 version starring Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt is beloved by many. It caught the attention of long-time friends then Disney released the newest remake.

The 2002 version of Cheaper by the Dozen stars Zach Braff and Gabrielle Union as Paul and Zoe Baker.

It’s available on the streaming platform Disney+. Released on March 16, it’s rated PG with a runtime of 1 hour and 47 minutes.


While it seems like a good idea to bring the movie to a new generation, remaking it to fit into modern times, some disagree. On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie scored a low 34% on the Tomatometer and a 40% audience score.

Mrs. Saunders, a teacher at MMS, said, “Movies like Cheaper by the Dozen have a certain nostalgia about them and don’t need to be remade, because the very thing that makes them classic is the nostalgia.” She also went on to say, “My love of Steve Martin makes me wary that Zach Braff could fill that role.”

A top critic on Rotten Tomato wrote, “It’s kinda like a movie, kinda like a sitcom. Not really either. But its sweet emotions and modern sensibilities eventually make it endearing.”

Despite the changing vibe, the movie was still enjoyed by some.

Photo by Merrick Morton. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved. (Merrick Morton)

Zoey White,  8th grader, recently viewed both the new movie and the original. “I did like the messages they tried to bring into the new movie. I do like the old ones better, but I think it was still overall a good movie.” 

In the 2003 remake of the movie, the parents had 12 biological children. In this movie, some kids are from previous marriages, one is adopted, and one is a cousin who came to live with them. It offers more diversity to the movie, changing it to fit into what a more modern family looks like.

Eighth grader Cecilia Ortiz had a positive review of the movie though she hadn’t seen the originals. “I thought it was actually pretty good.” It seems like those who came into the movie without previously seeing the original had different expectations and enjoyed it more. When asked if she wanted to see a sequel, Cecilia said, “Yes, I want to know what they do about the sauce… Honestly, that sauce sounds pretty good.”

The sauce, said to be hot, sweet, or savory, depending on what you put it on, was a large factor in the family’s restaurant’s success. A large portion of the movie was based off of their decision to sell their brand. 

Although the movie has a wide variety of reviews, most seemed to enjoy the fun theme. It is unsure if there will be a second movie and fans are split on if they want one.