Thursday, August 31, 2006

Disney Dogs Gone Wild
Greg, me and baby McKenna watched the movie of the evening, officially called "Eight Below." By the middle of the thing, we had renamed it "Disney Dogs Gone Wild."
I may be 50 years old, but I have never lived in a world without Disney. How many Disney movies have I seen in my lifetime? I really can't even guess. But enough that I CAN guess -- no, I don't even have to guess. I just know what is going to happen in Disney movies. Especially movies with eight cute dogs left on their own for months in a raging Antarctic winter. The worst winter in 100 years, as a matter of fact, with the worst storm ever. What else could it be in a Disney movie!
Four attractively generic human stars...bureaucratic red tape to cut...insurmountable problems...and an improbable but heartwarming resolution!
Yep, despite all odds, six out of the eight intrepid Disney dogs made it through the winter, with just two dying sad yet heroic Disney dog deaths. (One perishing while still attached to their lead line, buried in snow, causing Jayme to remark, "Maybe they should have named it "One Below.")
Who else (and I do mean the anthropomorphic "who") could wrench themselves from their sturdy chain tie-down, keep warm in impossibly below-zero and blizzard conditions, learn how to herd and catch and eat birds, communicate with each other by barking, whines, and cocked heads, and not become cannibalistic upon the deaths of those unfortunately chosen Disney dogs? Who else could fight off the menacing lion seal, chase it away from the dead whale, and then eat said whale for dinner? Of course, their master's (in this case, I think he was the "Lassie," since he was the one trying to get back to them. They had to be left at the base camp because of that worst. storm. ever.) favorite Eskimo dog is the one nipped in the leg by the ferocious seal, setting up that heart-warming, tear-dropping moment at the end when Lassie thinks only five (ONLY?) have survived their little extended vacation at the bottom of the world, when Max the aging wonder lead dog takes him to the injured Maya (of course, as Lassie's favorite, subject to that requisite Last Long Look when the humans had to ditch the Disney dogs, setting the whole thing up). Maya looks dead, but it's a fake Disney death! She's really alive! Her ears moved!
And they all board the convenient snow trolley they stole from the Italians' research camp and ride off into the frigid sunset, reunited at last!
My head hurts. Within a week, we've watched both "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," that paean to ghetto resilience through rapping, and "Disney Dogs Gone Wild," the paean to the resiliance of Disney dogs through anything. Old Yeller would be proud.

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