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A Dog Named Christmas (2009)

A developmentally challenged young man with a penchant for caring for animals in need sets out to convince his family - and their whole rural community - to participate in a local shelter's inaugural "Adopt a Dog for Christmas Program."

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(teleplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Christopher DeLisle ...
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Lucille McCray (as Anna Mae Routledge)
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Vivian Ng ...
Kent Nolan ...
Medic (as Ken Wolkowski)
P.J. Prinsloo ...
Pendleton (as Peter John Prinsloo)
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Storyline

A developmentally challenged young man with a penchant for caring for animals in need sets out to convince his family - and their whole rural community - to participate in a local shelter's inaugural "Adopt a Dog for Christmas Program."

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Family

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Release Date:

29 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: A Dog Named Christmas (#59.1)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This teleplay was based on a novel of the same name by author Greg Kincaid, who himself appeared at the end of the telecast on its original air date, along with his adopted dog, Rudy, to make a personal appeal for dog adoption. See more »

Connections

Edited into Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

My Best Friend
Music and Lyrics by Bruce Greenwood
Sung by Bruce Greenwood
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User Reviews

Very well done
3 December 2009 | by See all my reviews

The movie begins with a voice I believe to be George McCray narrating, following the adventures of a dog who won't stay in one place, but has to keep going until he finds the perfect home he was meant to have.

In the community of Crossing Trails, Kansas, George's farm has been in the family for many generations. His wife Mary Ann teaches at a local school. They have four children; all except 20-year-old Todd have grown up and moved out. Todd is disabled but seems very capable and responsible.

The local animal shelter wants people to adopt dogs just for the Christmas season, to give the shelter employees a break. Todd, who raised sheep for 4H, is very excited about the idea, but George doesn't want him to have a dog. He believes Todd will want to keep the dog after Christmas, which of course the shelter employees hope some people will do. George has had dogs, as we see in flashbacks, but for some reason he is very opposed to the idea of having another one. Perhaps it has something to do with what happened to Charlie, who was his canine companion for a time as he served in Vietnam.

George finally gives in and lets Todd have a dog, but he makes it clear the dog will be Todd's responsibility. Todd goes to the shelter and looks at many dogs before he finally finds THE ONE. Someone has trained this dog well; he responds to the usual commands. He has no name yet, so Todd names him Christmas and takes him home.

Todd's two brothers are married and celebrate Christmas with their wives' families, so the big family Christmas, which includes some friends who are not relatives, takes place several days early. Todd, his parents and his sister Hannah will have a smaller celebration on the big day. For the early event, the various families show up and have a good time before finally sitting down at the table in a real Norman Rockwell scene.

And what happens next is pretty amazing.

We all know how this movie will probably end, but it will be a lot of fun getting there, with all the twists and turns and doubts about whether it really will end the way we think.

Noel Fisher does a wonderful job. Todd has been taught to be responsible, and unlike most TV children, he really is. He's easy to like and everyone in the movie likes him. No one treats him as if he is disabled, and sometimes it seems as if he is not.

Bruce Greenwood is very good as a loving but stern father who wants his son to succeed and won't coddle him. George knows the value of hard work and what it takes to run a farm, and even though we see his injury in Vietnam still bothers him, it doesn't stop him from doing anything.

Many of the leading actors also do a very good job. That includes the dog, of course.

This is a movie the whole family can watch, as are most Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations. There are a couple of scenes that might bother younger children, one in Vietnam and one in the present day, but neither scene is that bad.

It's a wonderful holiday film.


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