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Tots 100 Film Club Review: My Dog Skip

This movie marked a new venture for us. My boys are pretty keen on watching films but they have definitely preferred the cartoon variety up until now. The time has come, I thought, to introduce them to some great, classic films with real life actors preferably with some big old themes to talk about afterwards.

My Dog Skip was just the perfect way to start. A gentle film, set in the American South during World War 2, it charts a young boy’s path through childhood guided by his dog, Skip. It is based on a book by Willie Morris, who the boy grew up to be. An outsider at first, the dog helps him to overcome his inhibitions and to start making friends leading to adventures and the beginnings of a new journey into adulthood. I loved it, a peaceful, gentle movie albeit with a rose tinted view of childhood, but a golden lovely one nonetheless.

The actors did well. Kevin Bacon and Diane Lane as Willie's parents were good, but the star of the show was without a doubt Frankie Muniz as Willie, and the dog playing Skip was recognisable as Eddie from Frasier. That last bit of information was lost on my boys, but I enjoyed knowing that.

*Spoiler Alert*

Be warned, the ending is a real weepy. I absolutely howled. The 7 year old was also in tears, but more because the boy left behind his dog to go to England than because the (then pretty old) dog died before he came back. I guess he hasn’t really had to comprehend death in any way, so the boy going away was more real than his dog’s actual death. With an aging dog ourselves, we are going to have to address this one sooner rather than later. I've made a mental note to watch this film again in a few years when the boys are a little older and so is our dog.

Did the boys love the film? It was probably a little old for the 5 yo who enjoyed parts of it very much but wandered off before the end to go and find something else to do. I asked the 7 yo whether he liked it.

‘Yes Mummy, I loved it almost as much as Back to the Future’

Heathen child. Although Back to the Future is a classic. Maybe he’ll make a decent critic yet.

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Tots 100 Film Club Review: My Dog Skip + love