Kid's Korner - Red Dog: True Blue - Did it recapture the magic of the original or is it merely a dog?

Popcorn, M&Ms and a large drink. Roll the film... Our family loved the original film. The story of Red Dog has a special place forever in our hearts, but will this prequel add or detract from the original magic? 

Kid's Korner rating: 2 stars
         For those who are not familiar with the legendary outback adventures of Red Dog, it is worth finding Red Dog on DVD or your favourite streaming service and experience the magic of this Australian icon. He had a knack for hitching rides across the red land of Western Australia, winning eating contests and drawing in the hearts of the citizens of Dampier. All of his unique talents go unexplained, until the release of Red Dog: True Blue which goes back to the development of this extraordinary canine's personality and giftedness. 
        Director Kriv Stenders brings his favourite kelpie back to the big screen to consider his history. After a massive cyclone hits the west coast of Australia, Red is saved by young Mick (Levi Miller) on the edge of his uncle's station. The boy and his dog grow in their life in the Australian outback and discover what it really means to be best mates. This coming of age film explores the challenges of being separated from family, trying to find a home in an unfamiliar part of the world, the struggles of young love and how a boy truly needs his dog. 
       Red Dog became one of Australia's biggest cinematic hits (Currently, number 10 of all time in Australia). Stenders was able to capture the magic of the mythical dog and the long lasting impact he had on the small mining community of Dampier. With the success of the original and the emotions it produced, it only made sense to revisit the adventures of the kelpie from Western Australia. The decision to go back to his past makes sense for the sake of story development, but has the same ill effects of the Star Wars prequels. 
        In trying to explain each element of the dogs skills, the specialness of the this unique dog is lost in the details. Ultimately the story suffers under the weight of explanation, while trying to share in the journey of Mick and his coming of age struggles. 
        What made the original journey special was the inclusion of a great supporting cast and their short biographical sketches. Even though Levi Miller (Pan) and Bryan Brown (A Light Between Oceans) do admirable work with the script they have been given, the surrounding players lack the specialness of the first film. Also, the use of beautiful landscapes in this outing as distraction cannot mask the challenge of trying to do too much with this chapter of Red Dog's life. Instead of coming out as top dog this episode of this dog's life is merely a dog of a film. It does offer a glimpse into the outback life of Australia, but fails to capture the magic of the original. 

Reel Dialogue: What are the bigger questions to consider from this film? 
1. What does the Bible say about caring for animals? (Genesis 1:26-28, Proverbs 27:23, Isaiah 40:11)
2. How does the Bible address mental illness? (Psalm 34: 17-20, Isaiah 41:10, Philippians 4:6-7, 2 Timothy 1:7)

Best Kid's Korner Films of 2016 
Ranked with the assistance of our junior reviewer

The qualifications do say that they are kid friendly, but check the ratings. 
Some films on the list may not be suitable for young children. 
  1. Zootopia
  2. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
  3. The Jungle Book
  4. Finding Dory
  5. Pete's Dragon
  6. Kubo and the Two Strings
  7. Trolls
  8. The BFG
  9. Storks
  10. The Secret Life of Pets
  11. The Legend of Tarzan
  12. Eddie the Eagle
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Kid's Korner are shorter reviews written by Russell Matthews' with his kid's perspective and based on a five star rating system @ Russelling Reviews #russellingrevs #reddog #trueblue