Togo – 2020, directed by Ericson Core and staring Willem Dafoe (in my list of actors to always watch) and tells the true story of Togo, the sled dog who lead the desperate race across the Yukon to collect serum – but was always considered too small and weak for such an intense race against time.
My take: shockingly, I had never heard of the Serum Run true life saga, but this film is persistently snout-butting its way to remaining on top of my favorite films of 2020, to date. The use of real animals is wonderful to watch – and you can tell it’s real because Togo’s eyes are never quite watching Willem Dafoe’s face but on following the lead of his handler outside of shot. The film is set within magnificent scenery and is an all-round feelgood film (and what a great movie poster!) My only gripe, no credit appears to be given to the actual dogs used during filming. Come on guys! We wanna know who plays Togo??
Call of the Wild – 2020, directed by Chris Sanders and based on Jack London’s classic book of the same name (see a previous book review on Views from Westley Piddle). It tells the story of Buck, a big and kindhearted dog, stolen from his comfortable Californian home enslaved as a sled dog for the Klondike Gold Rush.
My take: the CG muttwit (Buck) is so good you are always left guessing ‘is this a real dog’ if you didn’t already know it. However, for people used to dogs some of the mannerisms and expressions will appear a bit too anthropomorphic to be true. This does not detract from a truly classic story, a beautifully made film full of of excitement and pathos, and fun for all ages. Loved it.
Allan the Dog – 2020, directed by Barry Murphy and about an average Joe and his talking dog who both fall in love with the same girl. Which alpha male will win over the pretty girl at the end of the day…
My take: the only reason I have included this film (which in all others ways is stereotyped, and full of troupes seen 000s of other light comedies involving hindlegs and fourlegs – think TED) is that the humor and repartee are somewhat similar to the Fourlegs speak found in the stories of our blog Usual Muttwits. What raises the story above the mix is the lovely use of puppetronics (Jim Henson style) and the interactions with humans. Worth a few laughs – but don’t expect more.
(Btw, all the movies available for either rental or purchase at Amazon.com).
That’s it for this week. Hope you’ll all trot round again to the west Pid. Muttplex soon.