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The Black Dog's Progress (2008)

The Black Dog, unwanted by his owner, is thrown out into an unwelcoming neighborhood. On his journey he's corrupted by acts of violence and grows determined to live happily ever after back ... See full summary »

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The Black Dog, unwanted by his owner, is thrown out into an unwelcoming neighborhood. On his journey he's corrupted by acts of violence and grows determined to live happily ever after back home. Unfortunately Mother has different plans and his story ends in tragedy. Written by Stephen Irwin

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Animation | Short

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14 November 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Príbeh cerného psa  »

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An Animate Projects commission for Channel 4 in association with Arts Council England. See more »

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Whipped doggie
9 January 2013 | by (ukwitchcountry) – See all my reviews

I thought this very short animated short, a sad story of neglect and cruelty told through a living photo album from hell, was a very distinctive type of animation I'd only ever seen once before in an episode of the brilliant Samurai Jack,(Jack and the Haunted House) and in its own disturbing kind of way it was effective. But I'm afraid I couldn't exactly say I enjoyed it, the animation looked so poor it was like splodges of spilled ink, or something scribbled out by a demented child. To me the extreme design was something quite hideous, and in fact it was almost nauseating to look upon. There's too much motion going on in all of the squares, one picture constantly rolling into the next, that I really found myself squinting hard at most of them just to tell what was happening, which was hard enough to grasp to begin with. There was one image in particular that was kept in sight for just far too long that I just frankly found vulgar and disgusting. If you've seen this, you'1l know of what I speak. If for whatever reason you find yourself thinking of this decidedly sour little oddity, it'll likely be the first think to pop into your mind, despite yourself. I won't say what it was, I normally don't mind too much about writing down whatever I feel like, but I'm not going there-I've just about got some scruples! Nope, did not like that. In fact I'd say that it pretty much single-handedly put me off this short. Too coarse and ugly, too far. I wouldn't show this to little kids, despite the fact that they'd never be interested, and would probably be bored stiff. ::: Either the title was very ironic or it was a very bad joke, because the black dog in question doesn't make any kind of progress at all, in fact it's quite the opposite. The poor creature is helplessly spiralled from one increasingly horrendous situation to the next. Yeah and about that, it doesn't even look all that much like a dog, not enough that you'd feel for it like one, at least that's how I saw it. It didn't seem like it was about animal abuse per-se, it felt more like a metaphor for abuse in general. Not my type of subject for an animated short at all. It's too plain and grim, and the worst kind of a downer, I never want to see it again. ::: I found this quivering, monochrome oil slick of a tale the most moving and visually impressive right at the end, when all the little images run and flow into each other and the entire grander picture, of which all the smaller dimensions make up, is utterly engulfed by the blackness. Each little moment of pain feeding on itself as the poisonous visual lament-song oozes over the screen, till the greater self, the greater concepts of the heart and home, any real sense of love and trust, is completely eaten away and destroyed by cold fires of corruption, burning away to render a self down into nothing through a flood of bleakest despair, and a terrible pollution of the soul... At the very end of it there was only dark.


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