Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Plague Dogs (Dir. Martin Rosen,1982)

I remember Colin White mentioning that he worked on this animated film during his lecture/presentation laast year and it looked a fascinating film, worlds away from your typical talking animal fare. It popped back in my memory and I decided to watch it.

The films tagline is 'Escape to a different world and share the adventure of a lifetime' and while I suppose at its heart it is an adventure film, it's not a kids film, thats for sure. In short the story revolves around two dogs as they escape an animal testing lab, they begin to starve and resort to killing sheep on the Fens in order to eat. Due to a fairly grisly event involving one of the dogs and rifle, they gain the attention of the media and questions arise as to whether or not they are carrying the bubonic plague as a result of the animal testing.

The film has a very 'real' quality in it both in the realistic animation and art direction that turns the english countryside into a desolate and sometimes surreal lanscape. It's bleak bleak bleak, it's not a film that offers much hope or redemption both for animals and mankind. The final scene is terribly depressing, expecially for a dog-lover like myself. A film I can compare it to the most is Dancer in the Dark, in that good ultimately loses and there is no other option for ot. Worth a watch if you enjoy animations that push boundaries.