What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Snow Dogs is a farcical "fish-out-of-water" story that finds its hero, a Miami dentist, on an Alaskan adventure filled with exuberant racing dogs, an array of eccentric characters, and extensive amounts of cartoon jeopardy and pratfalls. Kids who watch this movie should be comfortable with the distinction between real and cartoonish danger, as some suspenseful scenes (i.e., a possibly tragic fall from a mountain road, then suspended in mid-air) may be too intense for young or sensitive viewers. The hero is confronted by an angry bear and has numerous face-offs with Demon, who may or may not be a ferocious dog. In addition there are countless falls, crashes, and scenes in which he is dragged behind a sled. A sweet love story finds makes its way through this comic mayhem. And, early in the story, it's revealed that, unbeknownst to him, the hero is an adopted child; fallout from this fact continues throughout the film. There is occasionally some mildly coarse humor (i.e., a dog pees on a tree), and product placement is profuse.
- Families can talk about the term "fish-out-of-water." Find out what it means. Why do you think "fish-out-of-water" stories and movies are so appealing? Think of some other movies you've liked that use this concept.
- At what age do you think you were able to tell the difference between real violence and cartoon violence? Use the example of Ted and Thunder Jack going over the cliff and talk about why you knew or suspected that they were going to survive.
- All stories need conflict or discord. Since there are no true villains in this movie, what provides the conflict?