In the dog-centric action-adventure “The Call of the Wild,” which opens in theatres on Friday, we couldn’t help but question why the main character’s dog, Buck, isn’t a sleek husky.
Hollywood has recently portrayed Buck, the main character of Jack London’s 1903 novel about the Klondike Gold Rush.
As either a husky (in the 2009 3D picture “Call of the Wild”) or a Malamute/wolf hybrid (in the 2000 TV series).
Every time director Chris Sanders uploads a photo of his new husky, Buck, to Instagram, he sees how pervasive the husky fallacy is, he says.
Buck is a powerful mix, the offspring of a large St. Bernard named Elmo and a Scotch shepherd named Shep, according to London before he is abducted from his safe.
Santa Clara Valley home and sold into the dangerous life of a sled dog. London reveals afterwards that Buck’s bulk (140 pounds) and sharp intelligence helped him thrive in the wild once he escaped.
The Call of The Wild (2020) dog Breed
The dog in The Call of the Wild is a cross between a St. Bernard and a Scotch Collie. The plot follows a character named Buck after he is kidnapped from his Santa Clara, California, house and sent to Yukon.
He becomes close with Harrison Ford’s John Thornton, and their friendship provides the film with several poignant scenes.
The Call of The Wild: Critics Have Their Say
As a whole, reactions to The Call of the Wild have been very ambivalent. A Metascore of 52 based on 14 reviews puts it right in the middle of the pack.
Peter Bradshaw, writing for The Guardian, gave the film three stars and said, “The outcome is a bit corny.
Abit saccharine, and you might feel self-conscious going, ‘Aww…’ at creatures that are not actual canines but laptop fabrications.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s Frank Scheck also has words to say about the canine imagery: “The effects are aesthetically unsettling, to put it mildly.”
Despite Notary and the effects team’s best efforts, Buck’s facial expressions never quite feel convincing.
You keep waiting for him and all the animals to break into song. So it’s not only the uninitiated who think the visual execution falls a little short of expectations.
This Friday, audiences may see Harrison Ford and a very nice dog named Buckley in a CGI-heavy retelling of the classic adventure tale of a man and his trusty dog braving the unknown.
Many animal rights activists have praised the film for keeping the canine performers out of harm’s way.
But early reviews have complained that the film’s excessive use of CGI makes it difficult to follow the story.