21 user 26 critic

A Dog of Flanders (1999)

PG | | Family, Drama | 27 August 1999 (USA)
2:01 | Trailer

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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 »


Kevin Brodie


Ouida (story), Kevin Brodie (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Warden ... Jehan
Jeremy James Kissner ... Nello
Jesse James ... Young Nello
Jon Voight ... Michel
Cheryl Ladd ... Anna
Bruce McGill ... William
Steven Hartley ... Cogez
Andrew Bicknell ... Stephens
Farren Monet ... Aloise
Antje de Boeck ... Millie
Madylin Sweeten ... Young Aloise (as Madyline Sweeten)
Deborah Pollitt Deborah Pollitt ... Mary Daas (as Deborah Pollit)
James Garde ... Steerns
Dirk Lavryssen Dirk Lavryssen ... Peter Paul Rubens (as Dirk Lavrysen)
Michel Vanderlinden Michel Vanderlinden ... Peddler


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:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

27 August 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Força de Um Sonho See more »

Filming Locations:

Bokrijk, Belgium See more »


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$807,873, 29 August 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$2,148,212, 26 September 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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 (1960). 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 »


Anna Cogez: Nicholas, what are you going to do?
Nicholas Cogez: I'm going to find Nello. I've done that boy a terrible wrong, Anna.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Two versions of the film exist: one with a main title sequence, set upon a aerial view of forests and valleys, after the first scene and another with the opening credits inserted into the first scene. See more »


Version of A Boy of Flanders (1924) See more »


If I Could
EMI Blackwood Music, Sony & Warner Chappell (as Warner Chapel)
Lyrics by Ron Miller
Music by Kenny Hirsch & Marti Sharron
Produced & Arranged Stu Goldberg
Performed by Elizabeth Lauren
See more »

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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)
24 March 2001 | by Movie-12See all my reviews

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.

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