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An animated adaptation of Richard Adams' novel, about a pair of dogs (Snitter and Rowf) who escape from a research laboratory and try to survive in the wild with the help of a cunning fox (The Tod). The lab director tries to keep the escape quiet, but as an increasing number of sheep are found killed, word leaks out, together with rumours that the dogs might be plague carriers... Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
Martin Rosen's second animated film is a powerful piece, which is based on Richard Adams novel of the same name. The Plague Dogs is a very rare example of a film in the animation genre which strives for realism in the grittiest of senses. As far away from fluffy Disney films as one could imagine, this is a disturbing account of the hardships of two dogs who escape from an animal testing lab. The perceived haven of the real world soon turns out to be anything like Rowf and Snitter had hoped. However the friendship that is built through out the film between the two dogs and a rogue fox whom they meet, is touching and at times heartbreaking. To delve much further into the story would be to spoil certain aspects of the film, so that shall be left down to the viewer to discover.
Suffice to say, the main strength of Plague Dogs is paradoxically the reason the film has found itself in obscurity. To this date the original, 'uncut', version has not been released on any small screen formats (not to my knowledge at least). This strength is the bravery with which Rosen tackles the story. Resulting from this is a down beat film that isn't suitable for, nor is it likely to interest most, children. This is more than likely the reason it never found the success of Rosen's previous feature, Watership Down.
In short, this film deserves to be released in its full splendor and embraced by a whole new generation of film lovers. Anyone with a heart that isn't made of stone will get the appeal of this wonderful film.
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