Walt Disney Pictures presents EIGHT BELOW, the thrilling tale of incredible friendship between eight amazing sled dogs and their guide Jerry (Paul Walker). Stranded in Antarctica during the most unforgiving winter on the p... more »lanet, Jerry's beloved sled dogs must learn to survive together until Jerry ? who will stop at nothing -- rescues them. Driven by unwavering bonds of friendship, enormous belief in one another, and tremendous courage, Jerry and the dogs make an incredible journey to reunite in this triumphant and inspiring action-adventure the whole family will treasure.« less
Michael C. (mbc) from BRENHAM, TX Reviewed on 10/26/2016...
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL Reviewed on 12/30/2014...
I loved this movie and the dedication that is needed to have a family like that.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sonja M. Reviewed on 11/7/2010...
This is a good movie to watch with kids. Suspenseful, though, so make sure the kids can handle some scary surprises. Harsh nature scenes.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jean W. from JORDANVILLE, NY Reviewed on 8/19/2010...
a really great movie. we loved it...it is a keeper
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
A great movie -- and here's why I think so......
Richard L. Pangburn | Bardstown, KY USA | 02/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Inspired by the Japanese movie (released in the United States as ANTARTICA), which was based upon the true story of a 1958 Japanese expedition, the real antecedent of this movie is Egerton R. Young's marvelous memoir of his dogsled team, first published in 1902. This was the first book to detail the different personalities among dogs and the first to describe their work ethic and sense of responsibility.
Jack London acknowledged his debt to Egerton Young's memoirs (among other sources) which he took to craft the dogsled team in THE CALL OF THE WILD, something missing in the various incarnations of the novel on film. EIGHT BELOW captures the real intelligence of siberian huskies (well, two of them are malamutes) better than any movie I've ever seen. Sure, this is just a movie and tricks were used to make it appear that these dogs do what they seem to do. But huskies do smile, laugh, worry, think, and bond--and if you don't agree, then you just don't know them.
Yes, there are some sentimental and maudlin moments in this film, but there is also a sense of naturalism and a declaration of personal responsibility. An adventure film that is rare and welcome and worth seeing again.
The musical score is beautiful and nicely edited to fit the mood of each scene, ambient but not overwhelming. Both humans and dogs are underplayed, and it struck me as a movie for adults who can use their imagination to fill in the gaps in understated dialogue and character development. The beauty of the scenery is often breathtaking.
It was a nice touch that one of the dogs, the oldest, is named Jack, and one is named Buck. Buck was also the name of the protagonist in THE CALL OF THE WILD and Jack was the name of Egerton Young's real dog upon which Buck was based. Of course it may be just a coincidence.
The other dogs include the twins, Truman and Dewey (a Democrat and a Republican), Shorty, Max, Shadow, and sweet Maya, the lead dog. Dog people will have no trouble distinguishing between them.
Those who love this film might be also interested in Egerton Young's MY DOGS OF THE NORTHLAND, Jack London's THE CALL OF THE WILD, edited and annotated by Daniel Dyer, and Gary Paulsen's WINTERDANCE: THE FINE MADNESS OF RUNNING THE IDITAROD."
Great Family Adventure Movie! More like 4 1/2 stars
scherf.com | Las Vegas, NV USA | 02/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent family movie about an Antartica adventure. Although Jason Biggs of American Pie is in it, this time he's the usual goofball but without any stupid humor and not one bad word anywhere in the film. It's safe family entertainment. The story is about a scientific post in Antartica that uses eight Huskies to get around with selds in the snow-barren wilderness of the South Pole. Trouble starts for the dogs when Winter arrives early and the dogs have to survive by themselves which is documented in the film as is also the human aspect of leaving the dogs behind to fight for themselves. The scenery and photography is breathtaking and it is a well-made Disney movie. It is based on a true story and that makes it even more interesting. Don't compare this film to Snow Dogs as this film is not a comedy and the location, storyline and premise are completely different. Aside from the dogs as heros, Paul Walker plays the human hero and he plays the role of an expedition guide very believably. Some concepts of the human psyche which may have been intended to be communicated in this flick, clearly miss the mark as these are not communicated, but it doesn't matter ... it's a clean family movie which the juniors as well as dog lovers will really appreciate and enjoy. Also, a lot about the behavior and kindness/faithfulness of the four-legged friends is shown. My wife liked this film very much and she said the DVD once released is a definite buy. Although this movie is two hours long and there are some slow passages, the two hours don't seem like two hours at all. This film is about a very real adventure and it's well worth watching it."
Credit Where Credit is Due: The Real Stars of a Fine Movie
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"EIGHT BELOW is a satisfying film on every level: the story is excellent (based on fact), the script is good, the direction by Frank Marshall is tight and fast paced for a two hour film, the scenery is spectacular and the cast is committed and well chosen. But the real stars of this film are the eight wondrous dogs who for much of the film carry the entire story of being on their own in the Antarctica winter for five plus months - and for the most part surviving through bonding and obvious devotion to each other. They are splendid - beautiful to watch in action and touching to observe in their interaction. But the dogs alone could not have made this happen without the other true stars of the picture - the dog trainers. They deserve mention, so here they are: Michael Alexander and Sally Jo Sousa are the main trainers and are well supported by Tammy Blackburn, Tracy Gardhouse, Thomas L. Gunderson, Rowan Harland, Trish Judd, Dea Valentin Kristensen, Grace McLeod, Scott Rowe, Andrew Simpson, Cherie Smith and Tim Williams. There! The kudos go to them and their names are buried in the credits.
The story is one of dedication and devotion of a group of sledders in the Antarctica who take researchers, such as Doctor McLaren (Bruce Greenwood) who is looking for a meteorite from Mercury, on their missions. The main dog lover and trainer is Jerry (Paul Walker in one of his best performances) and he is assisted by Katie (Moon Bloodgood) and Coop (Jason Biggs). When Jerry is out with the eight dogs taking Doctor McLaren to fine his meteorite, a major storm arises and the dogs and the two men barely make it back to the station, McLaren suffering a broken leg and saved by the bravery of the dogs and Jerry. The crew must evacuate and Jerry insists the dogs be taken out with them, but he is promised that the pilot Katie will return for them, a deed which goes unkept because of the severe weather. The dogs are left to fend for themselves and Jerry is heartbroken, making every feasible attempt to rescue them. By films ends we have witnessed the miracle of survival of the dogs and a demonstration of the profound bonding between man and animal.
This film may seem slight from the photo on the DVD, but it is one of those family oriented films that breaks barriers and delivers on a grand scale some very important emotional content. The cast is excellent (the dogs of course being the main characters). The production values are superb except for a strangely mawkish score by Mark Isham. Well worth your time and attention. Grady Harp, September 06"
Does anyone love Huskies as much as I do??
Prof. McFz | Minnesota | 05/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have grown up with Huskies and have one currently. The thing I like the most about this movie is the way it depicts the emotion, enthusiasm and intelligence of this breed of dog. I was so proud to see them on screen doing what they love to do. The movie made me want to raise and train sled dogs, particularly Huskies. I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves dogs and adventures, but bring a tissue for the sad AND happy moments!"
Beloved and Betrayed
Shilohbloo | 06/29/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The four stars is for the incredible dogs, and the strong bond Jerry Shepherd (Paul Walker) holds with them (as well as for both commentaries on the DVD, which holds some very cool info about the dogs, and interesting facts, such as to why One's breath does not show in below zero weather, like so many tend to believe it should). They actually deserve the highest of all star ratings, but I can not even think to give this movie five stars for all the rest of it. The rest of it deserves less than zero! This movie pulled, ripped, and shredded all my heart strings and left me absolutely drained. At the end -- kindly overlooking the obvious fact that no way would any guide "forget" to wear his gloves under any circumstances in such freezing weather, therefore forcing him to leave his dogs for fear of losing his fingers to frostbite -- I couldn't help but focus on the fact that first they chose to take the equipment out before the dogs, thus beginning the whole tragedy in motion, and second that all Dr. Davis McClaren (Bruce Greenwood) had to do was make up his mind to help when initially asked, and Old Jack and Dewey would have been saved. And did the girlfriend even once try to buck the system to get the dogs in the beginning, even if futile?... No. Everyone except for Jerry were about letting them go and moving on. Gee, if it were their loved ones, their children, would it have been so easy? I think most definitely not. And it was made clear that the love held by Jerry for these magnificent animals was as strong as this. And it was only through the heartbreaking persistence of Jerry -- and the luck of a child's eye-opening drawing of the hero dogs that saved his daddy's life (that of Dr. McClaren's) -- that Dr. McClaren and the rest finally, most hesitatingly, hopped on board -- a whopping six months later. Unbelievable. It felt as if they were finally giving in to a child's whim, so to shut him up already. When Jerry apologized to Dr. McClaren, saying that he shouldn't have put his problems on him, this simply astonished me. Not only did the dogs save Dr. McClaren's life once, but twice, and all through his own stubbornness of pushing forward despite Jerry's warnings of danger; and it was because of this very idiocy that the dogs were hastily abandoned in the first place, in order to get the injured doc back, so to save his sorry legs, as well as to save Jerry's fingers from the frostbite that he got from saving the unworthy doc. I do believe that not only made it his problem, but put him in the position of a life-long indebtedness to the dogs and Jerry. To him, though, the dogs weren't worth the leftover money to reciprocate, and he did not feel he owed Jerry anything. Amazing. And let me reiterate, this was LEFTOVER money!!! He wouldn't have gotten his stupid rock or grand award, not to mention have had a life to get these things, if it hadn't been for them. In fact, I do believe their saving him twice would more than make that money theirs for some kind of reward, don't you think? But instead of a reward they got tragic betrayal instead. Makes my blood boil. Sure, he finally gave in way later, but even then it felt like he was inching his way to it, through guilt alone, begrudgingly doing Jerry and the dogs a FAVOR instead of finally understanding that HE OWED THEM ALL and was doing what he should have done from the start, saving them all -- as he should have Dewey and Old Jack -- as they had saved him time and again. God help the surviving dogs had it not been leftover money, but instead his being asked to put his own cash in. No doubt he would never have gone the extra mile then. Even now, it annoys me to no end that Jerry didn't pull the "they saved your life twice" and "You owe us all" cards when he was first asking Dr. McClaren for his help. If ever a time to bring it up, this was it! Put his problems on him? Ridiculous! He didn't even get started!!! The only true heart through it all was from the dogs and Jerry. No one else cared enough or tried enough, which made Jerry's declaration to his girlfriend, near the end, that he owed her for always understanding how important getting back to the dogs was, very confusing to me. There was a great lacking of support, all around, emotional or otherwise, to Jerry and the dogs, and this chickie was definitely no different. She always had some sort of sly smile on her face, even in the beginning when giving condolences over having to leave the dogs... this happy glow... Really disconcerting. Just felt like, "So sorry, so sad, but must move on now!" If the intention of her character was to be understanding throughout the movie, her part was sorely lacking. At best, she came off as patronizing and just barely patient through his worrying so much over something that she made very clear should be let go of, even though the dogs were at that very moment starving, lost, lonely, and dying. It wasn't a year later... or even six months yet... but this was her attitude at the beginning until they finally decided to go back. Did she not get that you don't get past something WHILE IT IS STILL HAPPENING???!!! Only after you understand that it is over, truly done with, do you even start to think about the journey of learning to live with it. But out of sight out of mind, right?!!! So, that scene, and the fact that no one ever actually apologized or made some motion that they were responsible with their lack of previous action, made me sick at heart. The fact is that even if this movie wasn't based on a true story it would irk me and make my heart ache... but the sad truth is that not only was there one dog (Old Jack) that died through starvation, alone and immobile in the snow... but in real life, there were actually SEVEN -- and SIX more unaccounted for!!! In real life there were 15 dogs and only two known to have survived. So, I don't even get the comfort of, "Well, at least this was just a movie". Needless to say, this is the movie that finally outdid the one other movie that ripped my heart to shreds as a little girl -- Old Yeller -- but at least that one was truly "just a movie". So, yes, this movie is a spectacular viewing, the dogs are beyond awesome, Paul Walker is fantastic, a true hero (An avid dog lover in real life, as well!), with a considerable joyous relief in the end for the dogs that did survive... but I just can't get past the absolutely avoidable TRAGIC deaths of those other loyal, loving, trusting dogs... betrayed... and the fact that the ones that did survive were no doubt scarred for life. So many are heralding this movie as a human bonding, growing thing. While I do say that it is a lesson of the true love and loyalty that dog holds for man, and that man should hold for dog... for the rest of it, it's a painful reminder of all the dogs left behind (ex:The heroic Vietnam War dogs; the K-9 Katrina victims; the no longer interested family leaving their pup in the woods), an acknowledgment of the ungratefulness and insufferable selfishness of so many out there, and the heartbreaking destruction that too often comes from it. **View this movie so to let the haunting images fill you, and then never allow such a horrific thing to happen again. NO ANIMAL LEFT BEHIND! These dogs story needs to be told, so that their deaths are never, ever in vain and such tragedy is never allowed to ever happen again."