Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Togo (2019)

Directed by Ericson Core

Starring Willem Dafoe, Julianne Nicholson, Christopher Heyerdahl, Richard Dormer


Touching tribute to a heroic dog.

This is standard Disney material. Cute animals having dainty moments with happy music, while one diminutive, rebellious underdog with unflappable spirit rises above the rest. The structure is also pretty standard, with the story jumping right into the action with flashbacks to establish character. Is there a name for this commonly used dramatic structure?

Dogs are wonderfully shot. Really good job using multiple dogs to shoot the role of Togo. Huskies are naturally stubborn, so I appreciate the amount of training that had to do into these dog performances. Dafoe is weird-looking, like he’s from a different historical period, and perfect for this role. He really seems to be at ease with the dogs, and he surely went through a lot of training himself. Just when I thought the ending was missing something dramatically, Dafoe chimed in with some very touching voiceover and brought it all home.

Beautiful, majestic landscapes. The winter effects, especially across the sound, are believable and dramatic. And the Princess Mononoke-inspired score by Mark Isham is effective.

Really is sad that Balto gets all the credit historically, and not Togo or even Fox.

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