"When Ancient Man woke up he said,
'What is Wild Dog doing here?'
And Ancient Woman said,
'His name is not Wild Dog any more,
but First Friend,
because he will be our friend,
for always and always and always.'"
A doomed Antarctic Expedition
Man Leaves His Best Friend Behind
Can Eight Brave Canines Now Survive
In a Frigid Environment Not at All Kind
What can they possibly find to live on
Which will emerge as leader of the pack
Can they ever possibly trust mankind again
Will their former human master ever be back
To Me the Stars of this new Disney Movie
Are These Eight Canines and the Antarctic Scenery
Not Much Dialogue is Needed When Nature and Animals Star
And I Think This is a Movie Every Nature and Animal Lover Should See
Eight Below is the new Disney film about a team of eight loyal sled dogs left behind to fend for themselves in the extremely brutal Antarctic winter when their master and a visiting scientist must be evacuated from their research station before the arrival of an epic winter storm.
It’s a movie inspired by a real life 1957 doomed Japanese Antarctic expedition which did leave their dogs behind, and which was made into a 1983 Japanese movie called Nakyoku Monogatan (Antarctica).
The original 1983 movie was quite graphic in its portrayal of the extremely tragic plight of these loyal left behind canines, now forced to scavenge for their lives, in the most inhospitable environment on our planet.
In this new Disney version, let’s just say the film has been made a lot more ‘child friendly.’ And the true Antarctic winter in reality is almost completely pitch black twenty four hours a day, whereas most of this movie was filmed in bright sunlight.
But I guess Disney wanted to make a movie that everyone in the family could see and enjoy, and discuss afterwards; and in this regard, I believe they have succeeded.
I think this is a beneficial film for people of all ages since it highlights the ingenuity of animals, their compassion and loyalty to each other, and what our forlorn pets are often forced to endure when we abandon them.
Hundreds of dogs ‘auditioned’ for these eight movie slots – six Siberian Huskies and two Alaskan Malamutes – and I think the dogs in this movie are truly the stars, each with a truly unique and vibrant personality.
Native to Siberia, the Husky had been used for centuries by the Chukchi people in Siberia to pull sleds, herd reindeer, and perform watchdog functions.
The Alaskan Malamute is a Nordic dog, descended from the Arctic wolf. Its name comes from Mahlemuits, an Alaskan Native American tribe that raised and cared for these beautiful dogs over 2,000 years ago. These canines were their only form of transportation and were highly valued by them.
I got to know several ‘left behind’ Huskies and Malamutes in our pet rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina, and these two breeds are remarkably hardy and extremely intelligent .
This is also a movie definitely worth seeing on the Big Screen, to fully appreciate and take in the extremely foreign and inhospitable Antarctic landscape.
AD Author Leland Waldrip recently reviewed Eight Below in the AD Articles Section. Check out what he had to say about this film.
And I recently posted my review of another Nature film – Grizzly Man, The Documentary, in the Articles Section. If you’re as concerned as I am about the extremely sad plight of earth’s wild animals in our modern world today, in my opinion, this is a ‘must see’ movie as well.
©2006, Ed Kostro