Eight Below

Posted on February 3, 2006 at 4:00 pm

B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some peril and brief mild language.
Profanity: None
Alcohol/ Drugs: Brief social drinking
Violence/ Scariness: Intense peril, characters injured
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Date Released to Theaters: 2006
Date Released to DVD: 2006
Amazon.com ASIN: B000F4PDF8

The dogs rescue the humans, but will the humans rescue the dogs? Can they?


A scientist (Bruce Greenwood) arrives at a National Science Foundation base in Antarctica, in search of a rare meteor. Vehicles are too heavy to take over the thin ice, so Gerry (Paul Walker) takes him on a sled pulled by eight dogs. They are called back early due to major storms, and one of them is injured on the return. The need for immediate medical attention and the severity of the storm means that all of the people on the base have to be evacuated. There is no space for the dogs on the plane. Katy (Moon Bloodgood), the pilot, assures Gerry that she will fly right back to get them. But because of the storm it will be months before they can return. The dogs have been left behind, tightly chained together, with no food or shelter. How can they survive?


The dogs manage to break free, and the best part of the film is seeing them explore the icy environs and learn how to care for themselves and each other. There is a nice counterpoint with the efforts of the humans, also learning and growing and ultimately working as a team to get back to Antartica and the dogs.


The story is exciting and inspiring, the dogs and scenery are breathtakingly gorgeous, and director Frank Marshall expertly balances thrills, laughs, and tender moments that are genuinely moving. Marshall handles the sad and scary material gently and gracefully.

Parents should know that the movie has very intense peril for a PG movie, including a very scary jump-out-at-you surprise, falls, animal fights, injuries to human and animal characters and (spoiler alert) the sad deaths of two of the dogs and of some birds killed by the dogs for food. There are shots of an animal carcass. Characters drink beer and Scotch (and Fresca).


Families who see this movie should talk about how we decide what risks are worth taking. What changed the way Jerry and Katy felt about each other? They might want to learn more about Antarctica, sled dogs, and the beautiful Aurora Australis or “Southern Lights” enjoyed by the dogs in this film.


Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Balto, an animated film about the heroic dog whose statue is in New York’s Central Park, and March of the Penguins. They will also enjoy this interview with the director.

Related Tags:

 

Action/Adventure Drama Family Issues Movies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2019, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik