EIGHT BELOW - Go for the dogs
Disney's latest family flick, EIGHT BELOW follows Gerry Shepard (Paul Walker) mushing through Antartica, hauling a dim witted scientist (Bruce Greenwood) trying to find an extraterrestrial rock and essentially having the dogs do all the work.
And you know ... I didn't hate this film.
For a family film, there is a great deal going on between Gerry Shepard (Walker) trying to raise enough money to rescue his beloved dog sled team to the dogs surviving the harsh elements and each other. The chase sequence between Max the dog and the evil sea lion, alone baffles me.
While its emotional depth isn't as labourious as MARCH OF THE PENGUINS, EIGHT BELOWs 8 canine characters keep up with each individual personality that therein lies an actual emotional arc, surprising both myself and my fellow film goer.
Yes, you read that, the dogs have a character arc ... who would've thought. Not since HOMEWARD BOUND: The Incredible Journey was there ever such a touching team. In fact, while watching, I really didn't want to see Paul Walker or any of the human characters, but rather was more interested in how these dogs survived Antartica's 'most severe snowstorm of the movie' left alone for months on end.
The storytelling is rather simplistic, but not to the point where the adults in the audience feel out of touch. Dare I say, it may be better than the other family film released earlier this year, NANNY MCPHEE, which I thoroughly enjoyed. (Mix 1 part SOUND OF MUSIC with 2 parts MARY POPPINS = Where is Julie Andrews?)
In any case, the movie belongs to the dogs ... now MUSH!
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