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A Dog of Flanders (1999)

PG | | Family, Drama | 27 August 1999 (USA)
Poor but happy, young Nello and his grandfather live alone, delivering milk as a livelihood, in the outskirts of Antwerp, a city in Flanders (the Flemish or Dutch-speaking part of ... See full summary »



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Young Aloise (as Madyline Sweeten)
Deborah Pollitt ...
Mary Daas (as Deborah Pollit)
Dirk Lavryssen ...
Peter Paul Rubens (as Dirk Lavrysen)
Michel Vanderlinden ...


Poor but happy, young Nello and his grandfather live alone, delivering milk as a livelihood, in the outskirts of Antwerp, a city in Flanders (the Flemish or Dutch-speaking part of modern-day Belgium). They discover a beaten dog (a Bouvier, a large sturdy dog native to Flanders) and adopt it and nurse it back to health, naming it Patrasche, the middle name of Nello's mother Mary, who died when Nello was very young. Nello's mother was a talented artist, and like his mother, he delights in drawing, and his friend Aloise is his model and greatest fan and supporter. Written by Martin Lewison <mlewison@utk.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's not where you come from. It's where you're going.


Family | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for one scene of mild violence, mild language and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 August 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Força de Um Sonho  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$807,873 (USA) (29 August 1999)


$2,148,212 (USA) (26 September 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Cheryl Ladd's ex-husband, David Ladd, played the part of Nello in a previous film adaptation of A Dog of Flanders (1959). See more »


Just before we see the traveling circus camp, Eloise's hair has braids in it. They disappear after she gets up and makes her way to the camp. See more »


Nicholas Cogez: [calling out] Aloise! Aloise! Aloise! Answer me! Aloise!
[Aloise wakes up at the circus grounds, Nicholas spots her and runs up to her]
Nicholas Cogez: Oh thank God!
[he hugs her]
Aloise: [as she hugs her father] I'm sorry, Papa. I fell asleep.
Nello: Master Cogez it was all my fault. I wanted to paint her picture...
Nicholas Cogez: Do you have even idea how worried we've been, Nello? That's all that matters. If you have any idea.
[Nello hands him the picture]
Aloise: Papa, you know it was my fault!
Nicholas Cogez: I'll deal with you later. There's one thing I want you...
See more »


Referenced in Patrasche: A Dog of Flanders, Made in Japan (2007) See more »


Cheer up Charlie
Taradam Music, Inc. Copyright 1971
Written by Anthony Newley (as Anthony Newly) and Leslie Bricusse
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User Reviews

Good spirit and the right attitude, but the rest of the elements of a great movie just are not here. ** (out of four)

A DOG OF FLANDERS / (1999) ** (out of four)

By Blake French:

"A Dog of Flanders" is a sweet, gentle, lovely motion picture about a young boy's desires and relationships with his everyday neighbors. It is the kind of movie that has its heart in the right place, but the quality of filmmaking is just not present. I feel a subtle guilt for giving the film a negative review because "A Dog of Flanders," directed by Kevin Brodie, is of such innocence and kindness. But the movie has an appearance quality of an callow amateur-contrived dialogue, typical costume designs, shameless sets-not surprisingly its filmmakers are fairly new at this business.

Bruce McGill ("The Legend of Bagger Vance") and the veteran actor Jon Voight are a few of the recognizable names in the cast. Many of the remaining performers are either not remotely popular or dried out has-beens, even though they do a considerably good job at portraying the tender characters.

"A Dog of Flanders" has been done before, on TV and in the movies. This is not to say there's no reason to refresh Ouida's sentimental fable since most of us probably have not seen any of the previous versions. Here, we get the same kind of sappy scenes and heavyhearted noble messages, dealing with issues like poverty, trust, death, passion, self confidence, following your dreams, hopelessness, regret, mistakes, and or course, love. The film is not really about a dog, though but about a boy who lost his mother at an early age and raised by his poor elderly grandfather.

The boy, named Nello (Jeremy James Kissner), finds a dog left for dead in the snow and adopts him (her?) and falls in love with both the dog and a rich girl named Aloise (Madylin Sweeten). Because of his social status, her philistine father wants his daughter to have no part with Nello. Nello also becomes friends with an proficient artist, Michel de la Grande (Jon Voight), who takes an interest in the boy's drawings and encourages him to enter a big art contest.

Jon Voight is good in his role, feeling confident and classy, a major step up from his performance in the painfully rotten horror flick "Anaconda." Jeremy James Kissner provides the film with an empathetic performance that is sweet and sweet-tempered. Jack Warden portrays a character with frailty and charm. However, there are just too many familiar clichés in the plot to recommend the picture. Many kids will find it boring and tedious, as will many adults. "A Dog of Flanders" has enough spirit and the right attitude, but the rest of the essential elements of a successful movie just are not here.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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