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DIFF Review…Red Dog

Every dog owner usually claims their pride and joy is the smartest or most loyal dog on the planet. But let me ask you this: Has your dog ever hitchhiked his way across the Australian Outback to find you? Neither has mine. The star of this film is the famous titular Australian that dog who did just that and a whole lot more. But, as the say in the film, “It’s not what he did, it’s who he was“. His name, as simple as the colored sand that stretches across that vast continent, is Red Dog.

In the film this highly lovable canine brings a community together as the remote town in the Pilbara region transitions into a major mining center. His good nature and loyalty appeal to those around him as he finds his way into the hearts of most everyone he meets. Akin to Lassie and other famous silver screen pooches, Red Dog saves the lives of some, inspires bravery in others and is always there when he’s needed. Although he’s not above hamming up the scene or interrupting a romantic kiss or two.

Based on the amazing true story, this heart-felt family drama narrates the impact a stray Kelpie/Cattle dog has on the lives of a group of tough, rugged miners. The story, legend rather of Red Dog (one of the better canine driven films out there) is aimed at that middle ground just above the kids and just below the adults. The result is a film that that’s moving yet lighthearted and appealing to keep it interesting and fun for all audiences.

The vintage film stock really helps ground the story in the time period and the nostalgic soundtrack plays in the film’s favor emphasizing some of the funnier/pluckier moments which kids are going to eat right up…especially when Red Dog has gas. Still in any story, there’s an antagonist and here it’s two fold. The “No Dogs Allowed” policy of the trailer park that tries to banish him is the least of his concerns. Though well traveled, Red Dog’s Herculean (and yet mysterious) hitchhiking journeys have not prepared him to face his most intimidating opponent yet; the feared Red Cat.

Well rounded and just a bit dry between flashbacks and montages Red Dog, is a rousing, heart-warming and delightful story for all ages. Further it’s a fun journey that shows you can find a friend in the most unexpected of places.

Click this link for more info and films in the 2011 Dallas International Film Festival.