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Nine Dog Christmas: The Movie
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Nine Dog Christmas (DVD)
Just two days before Christmas, Santa's reindeer come down with the notorious North Pole flu and are unable to fly Santa's sleigh. In hopes of finding replacements, Buzz, the head elf, makes a trip to New York and stumbles upon a ragtag traveling circus of misfit dogs that he takes back to the North Pole for flight training. On Christmas Eve, the dog's greedy owner steals the dogs back leaving Santa grounded. With the help of his quick-witted protege, Buzz returns the dogs in time to help Santa bring Christmas to the children of the world.]]>
From the Back Cover
The North Pole elves have stuffed the last present into Santa's sack. Soon, Christmas will come to the world. And what to our wondering eyes should appear: but Santa's sleigh and his lively rein...dogs?!
Narrated by James Earl Jones and featuring songs by Grammy Award winner Gary Morris, "Nine Dog Christmas" is the delightful animated tale of nine homeless canines who take the place of flu-stricken reindeer. Lead elf Buzz (Scott Hamilton) must give them flying lessons. And somehow the dogs must escape back to the North Pole after a troublemaker kidnaps them. But Snowplow, Tank, QT and the rest succeed. And little do they expect that the list Santa has checked twice includes a sweet surprise for them.
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hadn't yet heard of; clearly, it was brand new and had made its way
silently onto shelves. Somehow, it struck me as being a cartoon movie
worth seeing and not a cheesy disappointment. I was right. The DVD
features are surprisingly good; a music video, game, instructional
holiday crafts video for kids, and a particularly nice segment on the
dog breeds represented in the movie as well as mixed breeds comprise
the features. The story, although geared toward younger viewers, is
unique, clever, amusing, and touching enough to make 'Nine Dog
Christmas' suitable for nearly any viewer.
I found the characters of the movie to be in many ways similar to
previously known canine characters. In fact, the movie reminded me of a
six-way cross among "Homeward Bound 2," "All Dogs go to Heaven 2,"
"Oliver and Company," "Lady and the Tramp," "101 Dalmatians," and "Nick
and Noel." It's not that the movie is simply a conglomeration of these
and hasn't got a style all its own. It's simply that MacGregor, the
Scottie, strongly brings to mind Jock of "Lady and the Tramp."
Snowplow, the mysteriously Australian-accented Old English sheepdog, resembles both
Nick from "Nick and Noel" and the Colonel from "101 Dalmatians."
Further, the Chihuahua Cheech is like Tito of "Oliver and Company."
It's almost as though cousins of these dogs were now starring in their
Tank, one of the main characters along with Snowplow, is a cute, wide-eyed Basset and/or Beagle cross. He and his streetwise stray buddy meet up with and unwittingly join the rest of the pack. The other dogs of Pierre LeRond's traveling circus are great; Chester the boxing British Bulldog
is perhaps the funniest. No-Name is a lovable old hound dog obsessed
with going 'home,' never realizing that he hadn't had a true
"home"...until Santa gave him one. Fetch is a hyper hound mix (possibly
part Lab or something else.) Q.T. is the pretty
Cocker spaniel mix girl who falls in love with Tank rather quickly; the
fantasy scene between those two is quite unexpected but fun. Frenchy
the Bull Terrier, a loner and initially separate from the main band of dogs, is the most multifaceted character. He's complex, interesting, gruff, bitter, and independent, yet dutiful and capable of fierce loyalty. He is one of those characters whom change sides during the film, from "bad" to "good." On the whole, though, the dogs seem to be
quite 'Disneyesque.' The songs, especially the Tank/Q.T. one (which
reminded me of Audrey's 'Somewhere that's Green' number from 'Little
Shop of Horrors' because it involves dreaming of that sort of perfect
home with someone else), and the song between elves Buzz and Agnes
Anne, are not half bad.
Where do I find the most fault with this movie?
Without a doubt: its length. I felt it could have been made much longer
without losing the audience's interest. In fact, had the story been
elaborated, it would have drawn an audience in even more effectively.
An hour just passes for 'full length,' but I thought it could have
stood to be even longer. Still, 'Nine Dog Christmas' did impress me as
one of the better little holiday cartoon movies of late. Clever and
entertaining, it focuses on the holiday in general (in a way anyone
could appreciate), and also doesn't beat the usual kids-movie morals to
death. It finds its own way to get messages across. With decent
low-budget animation and great voice acting on most characters, 'Nine
Dog Christmas' is all in all an awesome for children that has good
enough dialogue (and, let's face it, enough cute dogs and cool music
and such) for everybody.
It's worth a solid score of 9 stars out of 10! ;) If you get a chance to watch
this tragically ignored little Christmas gem, by all means--go for it! It's been one of my
annual holiday favorites since I fortunately spotted it at Target in
2004. Now, if I only knew what happened to the little plush Snowplow
that came with it...! :(