DVD review: ‘My Dog Skip’ a sweet, old-school tale of a boy and his pet
If the animated memoir, “My Dog Tulip,” is a film with a sharp bite, then the live-action memory piece, “My Dog Skip” (out on Blu-ray Tuesday), is a big, wet, sloppy lick in the face.
Gently nostalgic and often downright sentimental, this golden tale presents an old-fashioned boy-and-his-dog saga that follows squarely in the tradition of such canine classics as “Old Yeller” and “Lassie Come Home.” And anyone who’s ever had a loyal pet will be fair game for its firm, persistent tug at the heart.
Drawn from the simple, eloquent memoir of the late Southern writer Willie Morris, “My Dog Skip” is a work rich with humid Dixie atmosphere and the kind of wry nostalgia in which the grown-up narrator looks back on an adventurous youth and describes his lazy hometown of Yazoo, Miss., as a place of “10,000 souls and nothin’ doin’.”
Morris’ younger self is portrayed by Frankie Muniz, the engaging young actor who lent such befuddled intelligence to TV’s “Malcolm in the Middle.” As the 9-year-old Willie, a bookish boy with few friends in 1942 Yazoo, Muniz conveys just the right mixture of vulnerability and spunk and a budding writer’s acute self-awareness to make Willie a classic boys’ story protagonist.
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