Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

My Dog Skip Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    A serviceable time-passer for kids, grandparents, and poochophiles.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A movie like this falls outside ordinary critical language. Is it good or bad? Is there too much melodrama? I don't have any idea. It triggered too many thoughts of my own for me to have much attention left over for footnotes.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Susan Wloszczyna

    A family movie with a heart and a brain. And if you aren't moved to tears, you might need an organ transplant.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    A film that proves even the tiredest genre can be reinvigorated in the right hands.

    Read Full Review

  • See all My Dog Skip reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 9+

Great boy-and-dog tale, but be prepared for tears.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that My Dog Skip is a nostalgic "boy-and-his-dog" movie, inspired by a true story, that contains a number of violent and/or sad scenes that show animal abuse, some physical and mental repercussions of war, and the death of a beloved pet. Even when the ugly incidents take place off-camera, the sounds and implication may be disturbing. Both the boy and the dog are in danger several times, enduring taunting insults and threats from bullies and cruel moonshiners. There's some offensive language ("ass") and insults ("sissy"), and one character has a drinking problem.

  • Families can talk about loss. How do the characters deal with loss in their lives? Is it better to love and then experience the grief that comes with loss, or to never love and never experience loss? Have you experienced any major losses in your life? How did you deal with it?
  • Families can also talk about the historical elements in the movie, including ration books, scrap drives, segregation, moonshine, etc. What's different about life in America now? 
  • What makes bullies behave the way they do? Have you ever been bullied or stood up for someone being bullied? 

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: No overt educational elements, but some important life lessons come out of this story, including the value of friendship and love. Because the film is set in the '50s, kids will learn a bit of history and something about segregation.

  • message true3

    Messages:  Emphasizes the rewarding bonds formed between a child and a pet, as well as the responsibility that comes with being a pet owner. Characters learn from their mistakes, change for the better, and develop lasting relationships even during difficult times. In one poignant scene, a returning soldier reveals that he ran from battle not because he was afraid of dying, but because he could not participate in killing. 

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models:  Willie is a bright, caring, responsible 9-year-old. In one scene, the frustrated boy makes a terrible mistake; he pays for it, and learns a valuable lesson. Willie's parents are loving, supportive, and loyal; his mom stands up strongly for him, and his dad, though strict, proves to have his son's best interest at heart. Set during World War II in Mississippi, the young hero befriends the African-American people in his small town. 

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence:  Early in My Dog Skip, school bullies relentlessly torment Willie, push him down, throw things at him, call him names. Moonshiners push Willie and Skip around, threaten them, and ultimately hurt the dog. The scenes that show violence against animals are real and cruel, and have more impact on young viewers than the exaggerated cartoon action they're accustomed to. A deer, bleeding and dying from a hunter's gunshot, falls to the ground. Skip, the dog, is hit twice, once with a shovel, after which he nearly dies from his injuries. Willie's dad, a war veteran, limps and has a prosthesis, which is briefly seen. 

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false1

    Language:  Some insults: "sissy," "titty baby," "ass,"" "stick it up your big fat butt," "kraut" (for German). A brief discussion about how a puppy's "testicle has not descended." It's 1942; African-Americans are identified as "colored." 

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism:  Old signs for Coca Cola and Texaco appear throughout. Tampa Nugget Cigars are visible. 

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking:  A World War II soldier returns home, shattered by his experience, and drinks excessively for a time.