“A Dog’s Life” Controversy

 In Friends of Toto Blog

A little bit about me:  I cannot stand to watch ANY animal movies.  Any.  Even cartoon animal movies.  Almost all of them have some element of death or loss associated with it that for whatever reason, my stomach (nor my tear ducts) can handle.  When I saw the preview for “A Dog’s Life” – it felt like what I think others feel about horror films . . . “Nope!”  This film seemed to go into the belly of the beast for me and I know I’d be sobbing harder than I did over the book “Marley and Me” (footnote:  I now no longer read books about animals either!).

Then this controversy broke about a hidden camera shot of a very scared dog being forced to do something it clearly didn’t want to do.  It seemed almost universally condemned, but I happened to catch the other day that both Ellen DeGeneres and the film’s star, Dennis Quaid, thought that the surprise video didn’t tell the whole story and that they thought the film should still be watched because of the power of the story.  I agree that there are some suspect elements of the released video:  namely, the timing of the release to ruin the film rather than interceding to help or releasing earlier to address.  Not sure though that that exonerates the film producers . . . however beautiful the story may be.

I suppose one definite good thing that will come out of all this is the extra scrutiny that the American Humane Association (the organization responsible for monitoring animals in film) will be a bit more careful going forward (at least one would hope).

What do you think?  Are you going to see the film?  Why?  Why not?

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