My Dog Skip
PG
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: +1

Willie Morris, former editor of Harpers magazine, grew up in the small southern town of Yazoo, Mississippi in the 1940s. This film, based on an autobiographical story, tells how a dog helped Willie (Frankie Muniz) overcome many of his childhood traumas. When his mother (Diane Lane) presents Willie with a dog on his birthday, his father (Kevin Bacon) wants to send it away. Because he lost a leg in the Spanish-American War, Willies overprotective father doesnt want Willie hurt, physically or emotionally. But Willies mother persuades his father to keep it for a while. So Skip becomes Willies constant companion and well known to everyone in Yazoo. The intelligent terrier helps Willie cope with a gang of bullies as well as meet his first girlfriend. But when Skip and Willie run into moonshiners using the local cemetery for a hiding place, Willie has to face the biggest crisis of his life. Pre-teens and adults alike will enjoy this nostalgic, feel good story.

While older viewers may reminisce warmly about growing up in family friendly neighborhoods, young viewers will also identify with Willies struggle to be accepted. The prelude to gangs was the town/school bully and his followers. When Willie receives some war souvenirs from his neighbor, the bullies want to share the loot. But instead of taking it, they get Willie to join them. His initiation includes spending the night in a cemetery after hearing a tale about a witch that lives there. Skip is there to keep him company and listen to him sing the Sunbeam song learned in church. Although a segregated, Southern town in the 40s with a Colored section in movie houses and restaurants, Willie and Skip befriend a young black boy and discuss their favorite local sports heroes. Willie later visits the colored side of town and agrees that the black athlete is as good or maybe a little better than his choice. The moonshiners are menacing and threaten Willie but dont carry out the threat. Reflecting the war effort, Willie tries to enlist Skip as a war dog but the vet turns him down. But the children train him anyway. He attacks a Hitler dummy, biting the crotch. Skip is hit with a shovel off-screen, which may disturb younger viewers. And several mild crudities are spoken. But MY DOG SKIP is classic entertainment for anyone 10 and older.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

Summary
Crude Language: Many (10) times - Mild 7, moderate 3
Obscene Language: Once - mild (pee)
Profanity: None
Violence: Several times - Mild and moderate
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Alcohol, cigar smoked
Other: Story about witch in cemetery told to scare young boy, town segregated, father protective but good relations with son shown, dog drinks from commode
Running Time: 92 minutes
Intended Audience: Age 10 up

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