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A Dog of Flanders

54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Poor but happy, young Nello and his grandfather live alone, delivering milk as a livelihood, in the outskirts of Antwerp, a city in Flanders (the Flemish or Dutch-speaking part of modern-day Belgium). They discover a beaten dog (a Bouvier, a large sturdy dog native to Flanders) and adopt it and nurse it back to health, naming it Patrasche, the middle name of Nello's mother Mary, who died when Nello was very young. Nello's mother was a talented artist, and like his mother, he delights in drawing, and his friend Aloise is his model and greatest fan and supporter.

Amazon.com

An appreciation for fine art, virtue, and relationships marks this family film set in Europe when Flanders was still Flanders before it was swallowed up by France and Belgium. But parents should be aware that this 95-minute video also features a good dollop of death, beginning with the demise of the hero's mother at the very beginning when he is just a baby. Raised by his impoverished grandfather (Jack Warden), Nello (Jeremy James Kissner) nevertheless finds happiness in the dog he finds left for dead, a neighbor girl who becomes his soul mate, and the talent for drawing he inherits from his mother. He even becomes the protégé of the town's premier painter (Jon Voight). But life holds many bitter lessons for Nello, including the death of his grandfather when he is a teen, betrayal by those he trusts, and his own near-death. Gorgeously shot on location by director and cowriter Kevin Brodie, this movie has many rewards, including, finally, a happy ending. For mature 7-year-olds and up. --Kimberly Heinrichs


Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Warden, Jeremy James Kissner, Jesse James, Jon Voight, Cheryl Ladd
  • Format: NTSC, Color, Closed-captioned, Dolby
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003G1FG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #708,417 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Dog of Flanders" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Tsuyoshi on April 30, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
It's a long loved story from the pen of the 19th Century then popular female writer Ouida, and now "A Dog of Flanders" is again treated as a movie for family viewing. Though the result turned out a mixed bag, it's not totally a messed job, and if you think about giving something to a kid, this is not a bad choice. And this film displays something very intersting about the cultural difference between Japan and USA.
This famous short story follows a hard-working Belgian boy Nello, whose ambition is to be a great painter, namely this case, Reubens. Through the boy is loved by his grandfather Daas and his girlfriend Aloise, and not least his Bouvier dog Patrasche, his life is not an easy one, bringing milk to the town every day with Patrasche pulling the cart. One day, he is "found" by a graet master of painting Michell (Jon Voight with a hevey accent), and Nello learns from the master that there is an annual contest for aspiring painters. But while he was trying to finish his work, a tragic accident happens to his life.
The film makes great changes to the original short story (especially the ending), but how you respond to that liberty will depend on your judgement. The fact that the critical reaction was at best very luckwarm proves that adults viewers might find this one very ordinary and mundane, and probably the film deserves better treatment. Though the locations are perfect, the story looks too banal, and -- this is more important -- it doesn't know its audience. Parents might be uncomfortable to see a dog is beaten by a drunken guy, or most of all, the secret of Nello's parentage is revealed.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By G. Roger Priddy on April 26, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A Dog of Flanders is a touching film, and well shot with beautiful scenery. No it's not a masterpiece, far from it, but it is a solidly good family film, you don't see very often now-a-days. The two main children characters are acted well by the young actors and actresses, Warden is good as the aging grandfather, and John Voight, one of my favorite, is once again superb in his role as a very talented artist, Michael. The film's title is A Dog of Flanders, but don't be fulled, it really isn't about the dog (who was cute) that much. It's more about a poor, young boy (Nello) with lots of artistic dreams, overcoming obstacles to be the best that he can be. The ending is good if a bit predictable (my father knew how it would end only a few minutes into the movie). A Dog of Flanders is good, clean, enjoyable, family fun. It doesn't make your brain frazzle with its storyline, and no Oscar winners are here, but I'll take it any day over these shoot-em-up, cuss-em-out, vulgar movies hollywood is churning out by the minute today.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By the commish on December 20, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Although different from the four previous versions, A Dog of Flanders(1999) basically follows the same story line.
This version showed less dog than the rest, but was more acurate in depicting the breed, as the filmmakers use three wonderfully shaggy Bouviers des Flanders for the role of Pastrache.
Jeremy James Kissner's portrayal of Nello is lifeless and exhibits little emotion making it was hard to connect with his plight. Although I prefer the 1959 version (David Ladd's Nello was more believable, and he used the correct Belgium terms for grandfather and mother), a wonderful performance by John Voight makes this movie worth watching.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. M Paul on October 15, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
It starts out slow with what looks to be a really boring rainy village dog film but turns out to be a wonderful and original movie. The acting is great on all hands but especially by the lead actor who plays Nello. Adults and children alike will enjoy it. There is a fight scene with a cleaver which though not bloody at all could frighten young children. Also a scene with a gypsy fortune teller that as achristian I zipped over. It is a sweet story that is very inspiring.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Schryer on December 22, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Frankly I'm surprised that a film this poignant could have been made in this era when violence and special effects, rather than plot and compelling characters, seem to be the cinematic norm. Nevertheless, this outstanding film was made quite recently and it is outstanding. The story is quite sad much of the time, but it does conclude happily. If you are not too sophisticated to enjoy a well made tear-jerker, I think you'll like this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kibbitzmom on October 11, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film was OK. It wasn't great. It wasn't lousy. It was OK. Nice story but kind of formulaic. It tries to cover far too much time in too short a film and ends up feeling kind of disconnected. It's about an orphaned boy living with his grandfather. He has inherited artistic talent from his mother. No one knows who his father is. A well known artist becomes a mentor to the boy. At one point, the boy is suspected of arson. At another, he enters his work into a contest that he should have won but didn't because the contest is rigged. He runs away and nearly freezes to death. He finds out who his father is.

My biggest complaint about this movie is that the whole story could have been told without the dog in it at all. Yes, there are a few scenes in which the dog was the main character. For example, the dog kills his former abusive master by knocking him down some steps. In that scene, everyone who witnessed the event seems rather ho hum about it. Yeah, the guy was a drunken lout. Good riddance. Someone please clean up that mess on the steps.

In another scene, the dog finds the boy after he runs away and lends his body heat to keep the boy from freezing. Still, the entire plot moved along quite independent of the dog. In fact, had they not been trying so hard to incorporate the dog into the film, it could probably have moved along more smoothly. Considering the name of the movie, one would think the dog would be front and center, but we learn very little about the dog as a character in the movie or about the breed, Bouvier des Flandres, a great herding and guard dog.
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