Inspired by a passionate story from 1958 about sled dogs, a 1983 Japanese film has been beautifully remade by Disney and is appropriately called Eight Below. Gerry Shepherd (Paul Walker) is a guide and the owner of 8 sled dogs stationed at the National Research Base in Antarctica. When geologist, Dr. Davis McClaren (Bruce Greenwood) arrives to look for a fragment of a meteorite from Mercury that landed in the Antarctic, he asks Gerry to be his guide. With the help of his 8 sled dogs, Gerry transports Dr. McClaren out to the meteorite and makes it back to the base just before a major storm hits. Katie (Moon Bloodgood) is the pilot who’s been instructed to evacuate everyone, tells Gerry there’s not enough room on the plane for the dogs but she promises to come back in a couple hours. (Since Dr. McClaren thought it was so important to look for a hunk of rock I thought he should have stayed behind instead of the dogs.) Unfortunately the storm intensifies, winter sets in and Katie can’t return to pick up the dogs. While Jerry tries to find a way back to Antarctica the dogs struggle to survive in the inhospitable wasteland. They have to look for food, fight off predators and try to stay warm in the sub-zero temperatures waiting for a rescue that may never come. This movie is engaging, full of tension and some scenes are very emotional. I give Disney a great deal of credit. Everything that the dogs experienced was very realistic and Disney handled the violent and sad scenes in a very sensitive way. The dogs were fabulous but the story slowed down when the humans were on screen. In fact, it was more compelling to watch the dogs act than the people. (That’s not saying much.) This is a wholesome, wonderful family film and I’m giving it a B- rating.
This movie has been given a PG rating by the MPAA
Although I am blind, I can appreciate a good movie as well as sighted individuals.
I rely more on a good story line than special effects.