Title – Pick of the Litter (2018)
Director – Don Hardy & Dana Nachman (Batkid Begins)
Cast – Potomac, Primrose, Phil, Patriot and Poppet
Plot – Follows the lives of five potential guide dog puppies as they enter into a rigorous program to become a Seeing Eye dog for visually impaired owners.
“You ready to go to work?”
Review by Eddie on 17/10/2019
As cute, light and fluffy as the very puppies it first introduces us to, Pick of the Litter is a sure fire winner for fans of our four legged friends, even if its surface look examination of the life of 5 guide dogs in training won’t provide any deep revelations or lasting impressions.
Directed by documentary film-making duo Don Hardy and Dana Nachman, Litter quite literally places us into the very beginnings of the lives of guide dogs in training Potomac, Primrose, Phil, Patriot and Poppet, as we follow their various journeys over 2 years as the group are rigorously trained and evaluated to become guides, of which only the very best of the best make it.
At a brisk and constantly moving 70 minute run-time, Litter doesn’t allow us to spend too much time getting to know these adorable and differently natured pooches, who experience life with volunteer foster careers, experienced trainers and eventually their owners who rely on them to traverse the world around them, but there’s no doubt that most viewers will fall head over heels for these smart pups who act as a perfect example of why so many regard dogs as man’s best friend.
Hardy and Nachman do a great job of staying out of the way of the story and allowing it to transpire before our very eyes and the film even becomes thrilling in the way in which we slowly tick off the groups “Career Changers” and begin to cull down the group to only the smartest of the smartest, while the dogs varying personalities ensure that there is going to be some loved fan favourites that evolve into caring and considerate helps.
With the cuteness overload of our furry friends, Litter also thankfully has some intriguing human characters that reinforces the special bond between dogs and humans that gives Litter a strong beating heart, with tears of happiness likely to be part of the parcel when watching this film.
Seeing what a dog can do to some someone’s life, whether it be through being their trusted guide and companion through to becoming simply a best friend to someone dealing with such traumatic issues as PTSD or depression is a life affirming thing and Litter will ensure that you walk away from it with a fresh appreciation of what dogs can bring to our sometimes traumatic world and how these seriously smart animals can fill the void that no other living thing can provide us.
Final Say –
There’s no deep life lessons to be found here but Pick of the Litter is the perfect feel good antidote and a lovingly shot examination of man’s best friend. A must-watch for dog lovers and a joy for the rest of us, this dogumentary will cause you to give two paws up.
3 ½ nipped noses out of 5