Eight Below: A Survival Story
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Eight Below: A Survival Story

Eight Below: A Movie Review

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              A Walt Disney film which tells a lesson about leaving someone special behind and braving against the elements just to get back to it, “Eight Below” is a must see film that inspires an enduring relationship between man and his most favoured best friend. If you agree to the general notion that a dog is indeed “Man’s Best Friend” then this film is for you. 

              Based on a true story from which another Japanese film “Nankyoku Monogatari” was based and released in 1983, this film follows a similar plot but deviates a bit to fit into a Western version. The actual occurrence from which the Japanese film was based recalled the ill-fated Japanese scientific expedition to the South Pole in 1958 where due to the worsening weather conditions, 15 Sakhalin Huskies( sled dogs) were chained and left at base station with a week food supply on the premise that the weather will turn up good for a return trip to recover the dogs. Unfortunately, the dogs were left out and nearly forgotten that the expedition team returned almost a year afterwards. To their surprise however, 2 surviving dogs greeted them when they arrived at base camp.

               In “Eight Below” the story plot assumed the lead role of Jerry Shepard (Paul Walker), a guide at an Antarctic research base who was figured at rescuing an injured colleague with the help of sled dogs (2 Alaskan Malamutes and 6 Siberian Huskies) but was later obliged to the leave the animals chained at base camp when a storm intensifies. The plane to provide the airlift for personnel and necessary equipment was loaded at capacity too much for the eight dogs to come along so they were left behind on the same notion that a rescue team will be back anytime sooner to recover the dogs. The weather worsens far beyond expectations however and from that time of the year (January) they realize waiting up until spring is all they could do to retrieve the dogs. Jerry however gathered his resolve to return for the dogs five months later battling lack of funds to finance a return trip but later won the support of his injured colleague who was helped out by the dogs to safety and found it timely to return the favour by giving out the remaining grant money for the rescue of the 8 dogs out from the Antarctic.

                 The fate of the dogs was realized when Jerry succeeded at chartering an AS-350 helicopter with the services of his ex-girlfriend Katie (Moon Bloodgood) as pilot. The dogs were recovered but with the two missing (Old Jack and Dewey which both died) so a sequel maybe up in the making with the title “Six Up” or depends upon how you prefer it to be. The film maybe just a bit long than the average movie at 120 minutes but the actual scene about the survival antics which allowed the dogs to survive could just be too intense for your heart to take and it is but human to shed a tear if you feel like it. As a species though, this film is just an understatement of the true story of survival of our soldiers left out in the battlefield to be riddled with enemy fire owing to a major change in the battle plan.




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Comments (8)


Nice review, Will! I'll have to rent the movie and have a good cry.

Nice story and the review is great, thanks for another motivation Will.

Great write up. I really can't watch it though. I am afraid that something is going to happen to the dogs and that would break my heart.

Ya, this movie was very appealing!

Me and my two Huskies want to see this film. Thanks for the wonderful review. Ok! OK! I'll fess up. I want to see more of Moon too.

I just saw the movie and liked it. Thanks for the review.

Amazing review and I will have to see this. Very interesting and touching!