The true story of the legendary German Shepherd who was found by American pilot Lee Duncun in France during World War I, and later became the most famous animal star in Hollywood history. Written by
Perfect Movie for Those Under Age 12, Entertaining for the Rest of Us
A good children's film is rare indeed. If it is infantile, although children may enjoy it, usually adults stay away and critics destroy it. If it is too intellectual or the plot, characters, and emotions are truer to life, usually it is praised by critics and attract adults but may be too emotionally and intellectually challenging for children, boring or overwhelming them. In this age of "Transformers" and "Resident Evil," a movie like "Finding Rin Tin Tin" is a breath of fresh air - a film for children with a good World War I tale, fantastic dog actors (four dogs play Rinti), and wholesome family values. Younger children should love this movie and adults can be pleasantly entertained without feelings of being lobotomized.
Although the film's depiction of how the beloved German Shepperd dog was found is true, the plot soon strays from the real story imagining Rinty as a creature of superior intelligence and energy, mischievous, loving, and heroic, the star of the battalion. The real Rin Tin Tin was brought to America as a puppy by the soldier who found him and went on to become arguably the biggest Hollywood star of its day whose movies made millions. However, this re-imagining of Rin Tin Tin is not a bad thing since the plot uses his adventures in the last days of WWI to portrait heroism and altruism against meanness, selfishness, and dishonesty.
Filmed in Bulgaria, with a good cast of British and American actors, the movie is fast-paced and entertaining, with enough cuteness and slapstick to have younger children howling but at the same time with an eye for period detail, colorful villains and supporting characters, and the best German Shepperds actors that side of the Atlantic to make the movie enjoyable for older audiences. "Finding Rin Tin Tin" is done very much in the spirit of the old Disney movies, such as "Swiss Family Robinson" or "Nikky, Wild Dog of the North" - movies that baby boomers grew up with. See it, if possible with a child, and keep in mind it is a children's movie. As such, it is quite wonderful.
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