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Tuesday
Jun282011

My Dog Tulip  

  This is an animated film for adults based on venerable BBC staffer J.R. Ackerley's delightfully scatological, not at all politically correct classic of doggy literature.   Ackerly, a bachelor who'd spent a lifetime hoping for but never finding an "ideal friend" in human form, was in his 50s when Tulip came into his life.   Dog lovers will laugh in recognition and remembrance of their own dogs (and themselves) in the relationship portrayed on screen, especially, perhaps, those for whom a dog is their sole companion.

Christopher Plummer's voice is a perfect fit for Ackerly's, conveying his tone of wry disappointment in the human world, while Paul and Sandra Fierlinger's animated watercolors bring to life his funny, fanciful descriptions of dog behavior.   The artists have a real talent for rendering a dog’s body--Tulip in repose and in action: running, tumbling, puking, crapping, humping, barking...and, above all, delighting in the world around her and in Ackerly’s company.

I won’t soon forget the little lyric Ackerly invents for Tulip as she sniffs excitedly at the world around her: "Human beings are prudes and bores/You smell my arse, I smell yours."

Rating: ****   

Key to ratings:

***** (essential viewing)
**** (excellent)
*** (worth a look)
** (forgettable)
* (rubbish!!)

 - Jan 13, 2011

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