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It's about the dogs.
PWNYCNY15 March 2006
The acting in this movie is weak. Now that I got that out of the way, let me tell you why this film is worth watching: the outdoor photography and the dogs. This movie contains some of the most impressive outdoor cinematography that one can hope or expect to see in a Hollywood movie. This movie shows the awesome and forbidding beauty of icebergs, ice flows and glacier-covered mountains. Compared to these magnificent edifices of nature, man is rendered almost utterly insignificant, a mere dot in a wilderness of ice that is almost endless. Indeed, the scenery is spectacular. That's one interesting part of the movie. But the main part of the movie are the dogs - eight of them. This movie offers a wonderful story about eight brave and stalwart creatures that are determined to survive in the polar wilderness. Having been abandoned by their owner, the dogs must fend for themselves, and they do so, by staying together, working as a team, looking out for each other and caring for each other. They set an example for us humans to follow. That's why this is a movie that's not about us, but about those wonderful dogs.
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Adventures and animals on spectacular outdoor locations
ma-cortes12 May 2006
The movie deals with an adventurer (Paul Walker) along with a scientist (Bruce Greenwood) looking for meteor stones . Under the unfortunate circumstances they must leave their pack of wolf-dogs behind on a frozen landscape in the Antarctic . The film concerns on the Huskies' subsequent fight for survival . This is an epic saga of survival against the wilderness of the Antarctic . The first part of the movie is developed between Paul Walker and his companion Bruce Greenwood and the second part the dogs must face the harsh ice and struggle to stay alive in the great white south .

It's a simplistic and agreeable fare with heroes but no villains . This is a politically correct and wholesome family story compliments of Walt Disney or Touchstone studios . Kids will love it and there are plenty of Huskies to achieve required factor . Besides , the comic relief at charge of Jason Biggs . Beautiful scenery filmed on mesmerizing location by cameraman Don Burgess (Spiderman , Terminator 3) , he's Robert Zemeckis's usual cinematographer . Spectacular and sensational musical score by Mark Isham . The motion picture was well realized by Frank Marshall (Congo , Arachnophobia) who also directed another survival drama titled ¨Alive¨. The movie is a remake to ¨Antarctic¨ (Koreyoshi Karahara) a Japan film with Ken Takakura and Vangelis soundtrack . Rating : Better than average . Fun for the entire family .
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AMAZING STORY....one of the best of the year
moonlightprincess-127 February 2006
Just getting back from seeing 8 below, i am completely blown away by several elements. Firstly, right away you get glimpes of STUNNING scenery that continue throughout the whole film. Beautiful artic landscapes frame the main story line and on the big screen, it really takes your breath away. The movie also is really able to give anyone an idea of what its like to be in the artic, and really gave a clear picture of what being an explorer was like. This added to the appeal of the movie, because its not something most of us get to experience. Although the acting has been in some cases been criticized, I believe the actors fulfilled their purpose within the movie. They were able to play their roles, without distracting from the dogs, which of course, is the most important part. Paul Walker clearly comes across as a strong animal lover, and displays this well. He becomes relatable to any animal lovers, who will utimatly love this movie. As for the others, the fulfilled their jobs, which is what matters. The character of "Cooper" gave great comic relief, and "Katie" acted out the predicable love story line well. But of course, the most important aspect of this movie was the dogs. I can hardly even begin to describe what a wonderful job they did. The tricks preformed (as a dog lover and trainer) were some with great difficulty. Ultimately, the way the dogs interact with each other and are so compassionate, you really connect with them. The only way to really experience this is to GO. the movie is AMAZING and a wonderful family film. Although a part or two may be slightly scary, its still an amazing picture for ALL to enjoy, it completely blew all of us a way.
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Surprisingly good
Chuck-15618 February 2006
I went begrudgingly to see this film with my daughter. It was not on my list of films to see but she insisted. Knowing that it was a Disney product only made me dread it more. The schlock they try to pass off as good films these days is ridiculous. The only up-side I could see was the director, Frank Marshall. He has produced some of my favorite films. Let's see what he can do behind the camera.

Pleasantly surprised I think is a good term for my reaction. Although the film was about 20 minutes too long, it did sustain the action and drama all the way through. I knew the basics of the story: a team at a base in Antartica must evacuate and cannot take the sled dogs with them. Winter sets in and the dogs are forced to survive on their own in the brutal cold for months.

The dogs are very entertaining and their scenes with the science team are warm and amusing, even thrilling. Where I expected the film to fail was after the humans and dogs separate. Amazingly though, this is where the Mr. Marshall seemed to kick it into gear. Watching the opposing scenes unfold of the guilt-ridden Paul Walker frantically trying to find anyone to help him get back down to the Antartic, interlaced with the Huskies who are struggling through the rough winter, scrounging for food and defending each other from predators, was very emotional.

While the film is a grade A survival pic, I hadn't expected it to be such a tear-jerker. Be forewarned. Although the human performances (Paul Walker, Bruce Greenwood and the necessary romantic lead, Moon Bloodgood) were mediocre at best, the canine actors really do steal your heart.

No Oscar material here, but as far as family films go these days, this one is above par. Grade: B
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The Dogs Stole the Movie!
surferchicky9225 February 2006
I am a huge dog freak, so I was looking forward to this movie already to begin with. But I didn't expect it to be so touching. it's not just about sled dogs in Antartica, it's about survival, and the bond a person has with their dogs.

While the actors did well in the movie, the best performances in the movie came from the dogs, hands down. I know that makes me sound pretty crazy, but when you see this movie, you know it's true. This is an awesome movie for all ages. I went to go see it with my 20 and 30 year old friends, and this is now one of their favorite movies of all time (besides Dirty Dancing). I say this is a great movie for the whole family!
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Enjoyable For All
hip_school_preppie2 March 2006
My wife and I went to go this flick in the theater and I would say we were the only folks there without children. We went because we are the proud owners of two huskies ourselves. I urge anyone that is interested in dogs, animals, huskies, Antarctica, whatever, to see this movie. I must say for a Disney movie, it's not as childish as one may think, and there are definitely a few tear-jerking parts for different reasons. I have already noticed the desire growing amongst folks to have huskies in the past year or so, and I bet this movie will only positively influence that. Huskies can be a handful, but they are one of the coolest/smartest breeds you'll ever encounter. I just hope folks will go to Husky Rescue groups, before shelling out hundreds of dollars for breeders. Minor adjustments I would have made are focusing a little more on the dogs survival and less on Paul Walker's mission to get funding. Also, the dogs definitely did not not "talk" as much as our two huskies do : )
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Fun filled heartwarming story for all ages
diabloc420 February 2006
Beautifully orchestrated spin off of the movie Antartica which was done in 1983. I thought the photography was great and the terrain that was shown for the locations is much like the Antarctic.

What made the movie extra special for me was the fact that I wintered over in the Antarctic in 1958 and was there when the Japanese came back to the Showa Base and found the 2 dogs that had survived the past 12 months. Very incredible and heartwarming story. There is a monument to the dog team in the form of statues at the base of the Tokyo Tower to honor them. I was fortunate to see it in 1992.

The dogs in Eight Below were so well trained and you form an immediate bond with them. The movie can be seen and enjoyed by all ages. A must have for my film library.
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You don't expect the dogs to start talking!
tohu30 October 2007
This is an extraordinary - and very enjoyable - film, based on a true story about a group of huskies and the people who work with them. But if that sounds like a familiar formula, don't be fooled. This is quite unlike any other film you will see this year.

The dogs, of course, steal the show. You probably need to be a dog-lover (as I am) to enjoy it properly - but I would stick my neck out and say that non dog-lovers should also see it. What is extraordinary is that, as you watch the huskies inter-act with each other, you actually understand what is going through their minds - and yet very rarely does the director slip over into the trap of 'humanising' their emotions. It would have been very easy to make this like an overly 'cute' kind of Disney movie, but that trap is avoided. The film is perhaps a little too sentimental at times, but not once do you expect the dogs to start talking!

As for the humans, Paul Walker is developing into a very good movie actor, and Jason Biggs is always good fun on screen. The film is as much about human loss, fears and emotions as it is about canine intelligence. It also tells you a thing or two about what life is like in a remote Antarctic outpost.

I'd certainly recommend this movie to anyone searching out a couple of hours worth of entertainment. Oh, and there is one moment in the film which is genuinely terrifying: it'll make you jump out of your skin. I'll say no more about that except you'll know it when you see it (You have been warned!)
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Eight boxes of Kleenex
Mr Parker5 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Eight Below was the in-flight movie on my way to Aruba. I don't know about you but starting off a week long vacation on a beautiful, sunny island by sobbing myself into near hysterics is not the way I like to begin any vacation. You may think I'm exaggerating in regards to the movie or that I'm a bit of a sap but personally, I could care less. This film traumatized me for a good day and a half and all I could think about afterward was the movie and all the things that made me enjoy it so. This is one of those films that will destroy most kids who see it and will linger in their memories as the one film that left them huddled in a corner with wide eyes. It's not as sadistic as say, "The Velveteen Rabbit", "Bambi" or "Watership Down" but it comes close.

This movie is basically the "Munich" of animals in peril movies.

(In all honesty, I just wrote that last bit because it made me laugh but believe me, it's not too far off the mark as Munich traumatized me as well...)

I'm not sure exactly why but I was near tears throughout the entire goddamn movie, even at the beginning when the dogs were just being introduced. I absolutely love dogs and if you like them in any way, shape or form, you're going to love these little guys. Anytime they were on screen, I could feel the dam behind my eyes bulging a little bit, especially after they were left to fend for themselves. By the end of the film, I was sobbing into my hands. I don't feel too bad admitting it because the couple next to me were both crying as well.

I was actually very surprised by Paul Walker, who I have bashed pretty regularly since I first saw him in The Fast and the Furious. I think he has made up for his past sins with this film. He was a very likable and believable lead as Jerry, the owner and friend of the dogs who he was forced to leave behind.

Going back to the dogs, whoever trained these guys in real life is damn talented. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a better performance by animals in any other movie, and the things the dogs do in terms of expression and the fact that they carry the movie with no other humans around is impressive. The movie really grabs you because of them and even when they're not on screen, you can literally feel them. I'd be kidding you if I told you that all the dogs survive. When one goes, that's when you'll be reaching for the tissues or the t-shirt of the person next to you.

That's not to say that the film itself is perfect. It feels sort of formulaic in that Disney movie kind of way. I wasn't crazy about some of the plot setups in the film which felt kind of contrived and there just to satiate the kiddies. Some of the acting was a little weak and Jason Biggs character was almost intolerable as the comic relief. Anymore complaints about the film would just be an excuse to nitpick, though as the good far outweighs the bad.

After watching the film, I had some time to think about it and I think I realized what it was that touched me so deeply. See, the movie is a tribute to these animals and recognizes the loyalty and spirit that they possess. I've always felt that dogs were better than us in that way and this film was made by people who see this as well and appreciate the fact. Underneath the kid-friendly surface is a very touching and moving story about this very thing.

So, yeah I cried like a baby. Make fun of me if you want but I'm not ashamed to admit it. Chances are, you will too. Strongly recommended.

RATING: **** out of *****.

NOTE: Just some things I have to mention:

  • There's one scare in this movie and it's a big one. Sensitive kiddies might get seriously freaked out by it.

  • Also, if you can't handle the sight or even the thought of a dog in trouble, you may want to seriously consider whether you want to watch this film or not. It's rough viewing and I'm really serious about it.

  • This movie was inspired by true events, and by a Japanese film called "Nankyoku Monogatari" (Antartica), which I hear is even better but not currently available on DVD.
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Beloved and Betrayed
Shilohbloo30 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The eight stars is for the incredible dogs, and the strong bond Jerry Shepherd (Paul Walker) holds with them (as well as for both commentaries on the DVD, which holds some very cool info about the dogs, and interesting facts, such as to why One's breath does not show in below zero weather, like so many tend to believe it should). They actually deserve the highest of all star ratings, but I can not even think to give this movie ten stars for all the rest of it. The rest of it deserves less than zero! This movie pulled, ripped, and shredded all my heart strings and left me absolutely drained. The only true heart through this movie was from the dogs and Jerry. No one else cared enough or tried enough, which was made abundantly clear from the very start, when they first chose to take the equipment out before the dogs, thus beginning the whole tragedy in motion. This mentality throughout the film made Jerry's declaration to his girlfriend, near the end, that he owed her for always understanding how important getting back to the dogs was, very confusing to me. It seemed that she always had this sly smile on her face, even in the beginning when giving condolences over having to leave the dogs, she always seemed to be having a happy glow on her... really disconcerting. Just felt like, "So sorry, so sad, but must move on now!" If the intention of her character was to be understanding throughout the movie, her part was sorely lacking. At best, she came off as patronizing and just barely patient through his worrying so much over something that she made very clear should be let go of, even though the dogs were at that very moment starving, lost, lonely, and dying. It wasn't a year later... or even six months yet... but this was her attitude at the beginning until they finally decided to go back. Did she not get that you don't get past something WHILE IT IS STILL HAPPENING???!!! Only after you understand that it is over, truly done with, do you even start to think about the journey of learning to live with it. But out of sight out of mind, right?!!! So, that scene, and the fact that no one ever actually apologized, or made some motion that they were responsible with their lack of previous action, made me somewhat sick at heart. Even if they couldn't go back through winter due to the impossible nature of weather or what have you, they could have -- should have! -- been a much better support system (or even any kind of support system at all!!!) to Jerry. Even when the doc finally gave in way later, it felt like he was inching his way to it, as if through guilt alone, begrudgingly doing Jerry and the dogs a FAVOR instead of finally understanding that HE OWED THEM ALL and was doing what he should have done from the start, saving them all -- as he should have Dewey and Old Jack -- as they had saved him time and again. The fact is that even if this movie wasn't based on a true story it would irk me and make my heart ache... but the sad truth is that not only was there one dog (Old Jack) that died through starvation, alone and immobile in the snow... but in real life, there were actually SEVEN -- and SIX more unaccounted for!!! In real life there were 15 dogs and only two known to have survived. So, I don't even get the comfort of, "Well, at least this was just a movie". Needless to say, this is the movie that finally outdid the one other movie that ripped my heart to shreds as a little girl -- Old Yeller -- but at least that one was truly "just a movie". So, yes, this movie is a spectacular viewing, the dogs are beyond awesome, Paul Walker is fantastic, a true hero (An avid dog lover in real life, as well!), with a considerable joyous relief in the end for the dogs that did survive... but I just can't get past the absolutely avoidable TRAGIC deaths of those other loyal, loving, trusting dogs... betrayed... and the fact that the ones that did survive were no doubt scarred for life. So many are heralding this movie as a human bonding, growing thing. While I do say that it is a lesson of the true love and loyalty that dog holds for man, and that man should hold for dog... for the rest of it, it's a painful reminder of all the dogs left behind (ex: The heroic Vietnam war dogs; the K-9 Katrina victims; the no longer interested family leaving their pup in the woods), an acknowledgment of the ungratefulness and insufferable selfishness of so many out there, and the heartbreaking destruction that too often comes from it. **View this movie so to let the haunting images fill you, and then never allow such a horrific thing to happen again. NO ANIMAL LEFT BEHIND! These dogs story needs to be told, so that their deaths are never, ever in vain and such tragedy is never allowed to ever happen again. **For those that are looking to buy the original movie that this one is based on, you can often find used copies of the video at Amazon.com. If it's not there when you look, keep checking -- under both of its titles "Antarctica" and "Nankyoku monogatari" (meaning "The South Pole Story")... It goes in and out. It's also been seen in ebay.
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Wonderful, Enjoyable Family Movie
armaniroma11 February 2006
Where do I start? Throughout the movie I couldn't help think about the great dog training. The Huskies were all wonderful and the stars of the movie. I realize that Eight Below is inspired by a true story, but the movie is well written and the story hands together from beginning to end. By the way, my wife and I have two Huskies. We were both teary eyed through much of the movie as were other movie goers. But you don't have to have Huskies or dogs as pets to enjoy this movie. No gratuitous sex or violence, no profanity, but a heart tugging story of survival against all odds. The scenery was beautiful to experience on the big screen, the acting is good and this is a great movie for the entire family. I can't wait to see the movie again. It's a wonderful, clean, wholesome family movie.
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An Amazing Story Of Survival and Friendship
Lady_Targaryen2 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Jerry Shepard works as a guide at an Antarctica research base under contact with the National Science Foundation, as well a dog trainer. He loves his dogs more then anything else and is a dedicated trainer. One day, after an expedition with Dr. Davis McClaren to attempt to find a rare meteorite from Mercury, things go wrong, and Jerry and his colleagues has to leave the polar base, not only because Dr. McClaren will die if he doesn't have special medical assistance, but also because the proximity of a heavy snow storm, since the Antarctica's winter is coming. He goes against his wish, but only if someone agrees to rescue his dogs after it. When he is back in U.S.A., the mission to rescue his dogs is canceled. Now, the poor dogs will need to survive by their own in the cold Artic winter, the worst and most evil winter of the world.

''Eight Below'' is one of the cutest Disney's movies I watched in these last years. Not only the fluffy dogs, but also the love of the dog trainer for them, is very touching. Of course, there are things they used in the film, that I hardly imagine dogs doing ( like their strategy to take the birds or to eat the whale...honestly,I have sincere doubts about the dogs planning such a complex attack for themselves..but since I am not a dog trainer or scientist, I will not talk about these points). The fact that this movie was based on a Japanese expedition in 1958 is another surprise, since we think about the real dogs in the Antarctica's cold. But I imagine that their real trainer and team were not so worried with them as the movie shows.

Ps: That Leopard Seal is scary!
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A Tale of Friendship, Loyalty and Survival
claudio_carvalho25 June 2006
In Antarctic, after an expedition with Dr. Davis McClaren (Bruce Greenwood), the sled dogs trainer Jerry Shepherd (Paul Walker) has to leave the polar base with his colleagues due to the proximity of a heavy snow storm. He ties his dogs to be rescued after, but the mission is called-off and the dogs are left alone at their own fortune. For six months, Jerry tries to find a sponsor for a rescue mission while his dogs fight for survival.

I was really touched with this typical Walt Disney movie. I was in a flight and my eyes were completely wet along many scenes, but I was not ashamed, since I saw other passenger in the same situation also trying to disguise. This tale of friendship, loyalty and survival is amazingly beautiful, and I am still impressed with the cinematography and scenes with the dogs fighting for surviving in an absolutely aggressive environment. The very realistic struggle between the dogs and one wild animal is simply amazing. This is an entertainment highly recommended to the whole family and with an adorable message in the end. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Resgate Abaixo de Zero" ("Rescue Below Zero")
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Fun heartwarming film about a dog sled team abandoned in Antarctica.
smok122719 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I just returned from seeing Eight Below with my nine year old son. If you love animals this movie was very enjoyable.The story is about a guide in Antarctica who has to bring a scientist on an expedition by means of a dog sled team.Things get a bit hairy and the weather does not cooperate and eventually the dogs are left behind. The guide reluctantly leaves the dogs with a promise to return. The return becomes nearly impossible because of extreme weather conditions.

You can't help but fall in love with these beautiful dogs. Throughout the movie they fight for their survival while exhibiting team work and compassion for each other.It is almost impossible to hold back the tears while watching the way these wonderful dogs care for one another. The rest of the plot is almost unimportant, other than the fact that the owner of the sled dogs obviously has tremendous love for his loyal and hard working dogs. The film sort of splits into two separate story lines, the dogs alone in Antarctica fighting to survive,and the main human character trying to get back to save the dogs.I would strongly recommend this movie. If your kids are under six I might use caution,as one scene is pretty scary. It's a fun little story that might help a child develop some compassion for animals.
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An unbreakable bond between man and his best friend
sol121827 February 2006
***SPOILERS*** Just before the winter season hits the frozen continent a sled team mushes out to the 8913 foot Mt. Melborne on the shores of the frozen Ross Sea. With the guide Jerry Shepard, Paul Walker,rescuing his passenger archaeologist Dr. David McClaren, Bruce Greenwood,from a dangerous fall through the melting ice they make it to Mt. Melbourne in three days.

Dr. McClaren Finding what he's been looking for a meteor rock, that came from the planet Mercury, that's been embedded into the mountains icy sloops for thousands of years. The two men and their dogs make their way back to the camp base some 100 miles ways away but run into the worst late autumn storm in memory causing Dr. McClaren to again almost lose his life in a fall through the icy Ross Sea only to be saved by a courageous sled dog Maya. The sled dog crawled up to him with a rope to fasten himself with, as well as the rest of the dog team and Jerry.

Back and safe at the home base the storm gains more and more momentum as it's decided by the US Navy to abandon the site and go back to Camp McMurdo on the Antarctic coast and then head for home in ice-free waters until next spring when the weather is more favorable for man and dog in Antarctica. It's also decided by the top US Navy brass that's kept from Jerry, who's been hospitalized with frost bite, and the men and women at the base site that the sled dogs be left behind because there's no room on the plane to evacuate them and thus have the dogs face curtain death.

Based on a true story about an Japanese Arctic expediting back in the winter of 1957-58 "Eight Below" is more then your average dog or animal film. The movie is about the bound that man's best friend has with man that caused both the abandoned sled dogs to survive a brutal Antarctic winter and have Jerry and Dr. McClaren as well as Katie & Charlie Cooper, Moon Bloodgood & Jason Briggs, go to the ends of the earth order to save them.

Left on their own the dogs break away from their steel leases, that tied them down to the frozen ground, and became a wolf pack hunting down game and caring for each other, or those too weak to keep up, throughout the cold and deadly winter that lay ahead. Facing minus 80 degreed weather and blinding snowstorms the dogs led by the deviled-eyed, but sweet and loving, Max had to also overcome the eerie Arctic night with the stunning, but terrifying to the dogs,Arora Australus or Southern Lights. The Arora caused one of the sled dogs Dewy, who was spoked by the lights, to fell to his death trying to run away from them.

Back home in the USA Jerry is heart-broken about the dogs that he was forced to leave behind and tries to get Dr. McClaren to organize an expedition back to where the dogs were left. To see if any of them are still alive and even recover those who perished and bring them back home for burial. Finally getting an icebreaker to take Jerry and his crew Dr. McClaren Katie and Charlie back to their frozen and deserted scientific base camp the ship could only go so far, within 100 miles of the station. Before it was in danger of being locked and frozen in by the massive ice flows from the recored breaking Antarctic winter and had to take off for the camp on a helicopter piloted by Katie.

Just when everyone gave up on the dogs being alive the impossible happened when five of the surviving sled dogs led by Max appear out of the white wilderness like ghosts out of the past! to the almost unbelievable sock and surprises of Jerry and Dr. McClaren, who's life they saved, as well as Katie & Jerry. With all the dogs safely on the snow-cat, or snowmobile, Max the leader of the pack for some reason refused to go along and for good reason. He couldn't leave behind Maya who was lying on the brink of death beyond the snow bank. Max lead a confused and unsuspecting Jerry to her to bring the freezing and almost dead sled dog back home with him. Max saw two of his fellow sled dogs, Dewy and old Jack, succumb to the Arctic winter and was not going to let Maya behind to die. Like he and his fellow sled dogs were, by the US Navy, and showed that he had the courage and humanity that's, for the most part, only written about in books and shown in films.

beautifully photographed in Canada Greenland and Norway "Eight Below" is a movie for all ages to watch and enjoy as well as cry over. The movie shows what drove a man like Jerry Shepard to the edge of death and back to save those that he cared about and felt helpless in having to leave them behind, his eight sled dogs that were like family to him. The thought that was embedded in his mind throughout the entire move: "You gotta take chances for those things that you most care about". Thats what kept Jerry from trying to put out of his mind the dogs that he so loved and gave him the courage to do the impossible in finding them but it was the sled dogs led by Max who made the impossible happen.
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Be prepared to cry
drew_atreides5 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Saw this movie at a sneak preview showing on Feb 4. The human side of the story is a bit cheesy, but with Paul Walker in the cast you almost expect it.

The real stars of this movie are the dogs, and wow is their story a gripping one. You'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll root for these 8 heroes.

I really have to give Disney credit for not flinching in showing the harsh realities of survival at the bottom of the world.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much i wound up enjoying this film. The entire theatre that i saw it with was sobbing like crazy by it's conclusion.

Definitely worth a look.
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A throw back to the Disney adventure films of old
dspeas20 February 2006
This film is one that I found I could sit back and enjoy the scenery, the stark beauty of the Antartic, and the personalities of the dogs and humans.

I do wolf education with my husky-wolf mix and it was exciting to see the dogs use their strong senses to survive in the harsh land. Their loyalty to the family mirrored that of a wild wolf pack and showed where the intelligence of domestic dogs was honed and refined in the long ago battles of survival.

Huskies and Malemutes look at home in that element because they were bred to work and survive in like conditions. These two near primitives could really do what these actors did and survive. It was refreshing to me to see humans show the same dedication and love for the dogs that dogs give to their human family members every day. It would be hard for actors to really be able to show all that those of us who treasure our dogs would feel if we had to leave them behind but he did a credible job.

I am glad to have been able to see this movie and I enjoyed it every bit as much as I did IRON WILL and his huskies.
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Wonderful moving movie for dog lovers of all ages
jbs300519 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Believe it or not I took my 22 month old granddaughter to see this movie while my older children were viewing another movie, I was so happy when she spent the entire 120 minutes engrossed in this film! I found myself in awe of the filmmakers who captured such beautiful pictures. The dogs were wonderful and the movie inspired me to research the true story. Which I found out actually happened in 1958 and they were Japanese explorers. The dogs who survived are actually heroes in Japan with statues to commend them! Even though I hate the cold...a trip there to see the beauty would be on my list if I were rich! Take a Kleenex or two because this move is sure to it draw a few tears. Excellent film for dog lovers, adventurers, dreamers or just those who love the beauty in nature!
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disappointing on all levels compared to "Nankyoku Monogatari"
drystyx7 August 2008
This remake of a Japanese classic, Nankyoku Monogatari" is very similar to comparing "The Magnificent Seven" to "The Seven Samurai", and that is being generous, since the Mag 7 at least had some assets.

The story of an Antarctic sled team abandoned by their humans, is barely told. We actually see more of the boring humans than of the dogs. No one cares about these people. If you want to see an adventure involving the dogs, don't bother. You don't see much. They have one little adventure with a big leopard seal.

The Japanese movie took a few liberties, but stuck to the facts. This movie is watered down even by Disney standards. You never really feel that the dogs are in any danger. They even look like they're sun bathing in California.

I would like to say something good about this film, but if you see "Nankyoku Monogatari" first, you will be very disappointed in this cheap remake. It isn't a bad movie. It is dull, plodding, and the acting is not nearly as good as the Japanese classic.
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Man's best friend
jotix1004 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
"Eight Below" is a fantastic adventure film that is an inspiration for all people that love dogs, as it proves there are no limits what one man would do in order to save his dear team he is forced to leave behind. Frank Marshall, the director of this enjoyable film, produced a movie that will resonate with audiences, young and old.

The story centers around Jerry Shepherd, a man in charge of a dog team in a remote outpost in Antarctica. It's clear how much Jerry cares for the dogs that serve as a team that help transport men on the compound into areas where no only the animals can get to. When Dr. Davis McClaren arrives at the American base in search of pieces of meteorites he believes can be found in the area, Jerry is asked to guide the scientist to his destination. Jerry Shepherd has no other option but to go along, knowing full well the mission is almost impossible because of the time of the year.

When they reach their destination, not before almost having Dr. McClaren fall into a an abyss caused by the parting of a portion of the glacier, they receive a radio warning they must return. On the way back, again, the scientist falls on thin ice but one of the dogs saves his life. Dr. McClaren, who broke a leg in the accident, fares better than Jerry, who has frostbites in his fingers. The weather has gotten so bad the camp must be abandoned. The small plane, piloted by Katie, can only take the humans, so thinking they will be able to come for the dogs, they leave.

This is when Jerry Shepherd's nightmare begins. In trying to go back to the base, he encounters all kinds of problems. We watch as the dogs manage to escape. The eight snow dogs are left to fend for themselves using their instincts. Jerry, is finally surprised by Katie, who shows up in New Zealand with a helicopter to fly to their camp, accompanied by the cartographer, Charlie Cooper and Dr. McClaren, who doesn't forget how one of the dogs save his life. The surprising finale reunited Jerry and the six dogs that survived the harsh winter conditions in Antarctica.

Paul Walker does a great job as Jerry Shepherd. It's clear he had a great rapport with the dogs. Bruce Greenwood plays the scientist who almost lost his life but was saved from a sure death by a dog. Jason Biggs and Moon Bloodgood are seen as Charlie and Katie.

The snow covered world is captured with all its beauty by Don Burgess, the cinematographer. There is a lovely scene when the dogs are seen with the changing lights of the Aurora Borealis playing in the snow. Frank Marshall has to be congratulated for bringing this incredible story to the screen.
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The dogs are the true stars
SnoopyStyle5 June 2014
It's the National Science Foundation Research Base in Antarctica. Jerry Shepard (Paul Walker) is an expedition guide with a team of dogs. Dr. Davis McClaren (Bruce Greenwood) from UCLA has just arrived. Charlie Cooper (Jason Biggs) is the Jack of all trades. Katie (Moon Bloodgood) is the pilot. When a storm comes bearing down on the base, they have to quickly evacuate. Katie can't return for the dogs and they are left behind.

The movie has two different sides. The human side of the story is fine but nothing special. Paul Walker has his good guy persona. Jason Biggs is joking around. The human struggle to rescue the dogs seem secondary. It's the dogs that are so endearing. After 50 minutes, the dogs take center stage. They project more human emotions than most of the human characters. They have the most powerful emotional story. They are the true stars of this movie.
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Huskies on the go
Prismark1013 December 2013
In a mission to find rare meteorite from the planet mercury in Antarctica. Jerry Shepard (Paul Walker) who is a guide at the research base has to leave his Huskies behind as treacherous winter weather approaches.

Back at home, Shepard is guilt ridden about leaving his dogs and is determined in rescuing the dogs.

However the main part of the film is the dogs story. The dogs break free of their chains except for Old Jack who is too old and dies at the base camp.

The rest of the dogs hunt seals, birds and penguins to survive. One of the dogs gets fatally injured while looking at the southern lights one night, another is attacked and injured by a seal when they find whale meat. It may be too late for her unless she is rescued in time.

The Huskies are the real stars of the movie, the way they act on screen and inject personality is well done. The icy landscape is breathtaking the humans in many ways take back seat.

The film is inspired by a true Japanese story. The late Paul Walker shows great love for the dogs and its nice to know that he will not just be remembered for the Fast and Furious films. Jason Biggs provides comic relief.
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Science and The Artic Dog
thinker169128 April 2007
Anyone searching for an animal picture with heart and soul, well, you've just found one. This story is based on the Japanese expedition in 1958. The weather conditions then became so severe it forced the scientific team to resort to choices which were nothing short of barbaric. In that scenario, men who had come to depend on their chief mode of transportation and protection, reduced the sacred status of their transport dogs into flotsam. The second sin any expeditionary group can do and would certainly not even dream of doing to humans is to abandon them to the elements. This tragic story does precisely that. The expedition, (which include Paul Walker as Jerry Shepard, Jason Biggs as Charlie Cooper and Moon Bloodgood as Katie) is of a scientist Dr. David McClaren, (Bruce Greenwood) who journeys to the Artic to search out, find and recover a rare meteorite. The task is accomplished, but then the Arctic winter develops into a blizzard and becomes a life and death situation which forces the team to abandon their trusted and beloved dogs to survive on their own. What transpires is nothing short of miraculous. The dogs must not only endure the brutal and unforgiving weather, but to encounter and survive all the hostile elements which nature and her fury will hurl at them. As a result, this becomes a touching film for anyone wishing to enjoy the powerful and emotional ties between man and animal. ****
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atinder26 December 2011
I first saw this movie two year, I no idea was remake of Nankyoku Monogatari" until few weeks ago. which I have yet to see.

Remake or not this as got to one of the most saddest movies I ever sat thought.

They had to leave the dog in Antarctic for half a year, as there is one biggest storm to hit there in 25 years.

Jerry is the only that upset that they left them there, as months go pass. We get to see dogs looking after by them self.

This movie amazing as you know what the dogs are saying and they are feeling (There not talking dog in this movie), The dogs in this movie outstanding this movie.

I felt so so so , sorry about the dogs, I am dog lover, this movie was really hard to watch.

The ending was touching and very emotionalism. I still can believe this Disney movie

9 out of 10
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Good technical achievement, artificial storytelling
kylopod18 February 2007
"Eight Below" gave me a clue why I tend to dislike animal movies even though I love animals in real life. Like most movies of its kind, it makes the animals seem a bit too much like people. That misses the point of what drives us animal lovers.

The beginning of the film, sort of a prologue, concerns a professor (Bruce Greenwood) searching for a meteorite in Antarctica. He is guided by a scientist (Paul Walker) with a team of sled dogs, as a storm approaches. It is almost obligatory in a movie like this for there to be a sequence where a character falls into the ice. Here we get two such sequences in a row, the second a lot more interesting than the first. It is the second that provides the movie's best line: "Don't tread water! Grab onto the ice! You'll freeze to death slower than drowning!" The manner in which the rescue takes place makes the film momentarily seem like "MacGyver on Ice."

When the research team gets evacuated, they're forced to leave the dogs behind because the plane has only enough room for the people. That begins the main section of the film, where the dogs fend for themselves for months, while the human characters try to get back to Antarctica but experience some setbacks. This story is based loosely on real events, portrayed in an earlier Japanese movie. Nobody knows how the real dogs survived on their own in the icy wilderness, and so both films are largely speculative. "Eight Below" offers little insight, however, instead taking the easy route and showing the dogs acting like human beings.

There's a scene, for example, where the dogs are stalking a flock of birds that always fly just out of their reach. The dogs then huddle together like members of a football team and devise a complex strategy which I doubt even the smartest dog in the real world would be capable of planning. I'm not saying that dogs are too stupid to pull such a thing off. As Stephen Jay Gould once put it in his foreword to a "Far Side" gallery, "Animals have intelligence different from ours; they are not just primitive models of our achievements." That's the kind of insight that's missing from "Eight Below." It doesn't attempt to explore how the dogs might have survived by behaving like dogs, even though such an approach would have been more enlightening.

Worse still, the adventures of the dogs are constantly intercut by the boring exchanges of the human characters on their way back to the base. Walker is the moral center who really loves the dogs, Greenwood (a dead ringer for Sam Neill) is the foolhardy explorer, Jason Biggs tries unsuccessfully to provide comic relief as the team's goofball, and Moon Bloodgood is there for a romantic subplot with Walker. There isn't much passion in any of these relationships; they exist to fill space whenever the movie wants us to take a breather from the dog scenes.

The technical direction of the dogs is impressive, making me wish there was a special award for this sort of thing. Not only are the eight dogs easy to tell apart (even a pair of identical twins are distinguished by a scar), each one has a different personality. Through their body movements and the tones of their barks and whimpers, we always understand what the dog characters are supposed to be thinking. But it's basically a story of people in dog suits.

I suppose that we all anthropomorphize animals to some degree. It's part of how we're able to relate to them on any level. But for me at least, there should be an element of mystery, a sense of encountering a mind very different from our own. That's the area where "Eight Below" sorely fails. But then, that may explain why I like cats more than dogs.
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