Title – Togo (2019)
Director – Ericson Core (Point Break)
Cast – Willem Dafoe, Julianne Nicholson, Richard Dormer
Plot – The true story of famed Alaskan sled dog Togo and his owner Leonhard Seppala (Dafoe) who sent out on a daring serum run across the storm clad lands to help save a small town from a deadly disease.
“Time for us to find out who we are”
Review by Eddie on 16/01/2020
Arriving without much fanfare or expectation to the recently made available Disney + streaming service, you’d not be the only one heading into Togo with zero to minimal hopes for a film that on paper seems like the perfect middle tier type production, but throwing those feelings out the window is a dog-centric true life tale that is some of the best original work The Mouse House has done in the last decade.
Likely to join beloved recent canine filled film’s like Hachi and Red Dog in the hearts of movie-goers across the globe, Togo tells the heartwarming and nigh on unbelievable true story of heroic Alaskan sled dog Togo, who alongside his owner and trainer Leonhard Seppala saved the lives of countless children in a secluded snow incased town in 1925.
Known as the famed ‘serum run’, highlighted in animated film Balto and well known throughout the United States, the deeds of Togo and Seppala allows unassuming director Ericson Core, his lead performer Willem Dafoe (does this man know how to deliver a bad turn?) and his core team of four-legged stars too combine together to deliver one of the most enjoyable and powerful family adventures of recent times.
Not at all feeling like the direct to streaming offering that it is, Togo feels grand and cinematic in all the right ways as we join Seppala and his sled team as they precariously venture out into the storm clad wilds of the unforgiving Alaskan surrounds, while Core’s well-played out and downright enjoyable detours showcasing Togo and Seppala’s early relationship is sure to appease even the most cold-hearted of viewers.
In many ways Togo never messes with the true story Disney formula that has been a staple of the company for many a moon but there’s a special something found in almost every aspect of this confidently made and respectful outing, that’s clear affiliation for its subject and subject matters ensures that it’s an engaging experience from start to emotionally powerful finish.
It’s a journey that will take viewers on a wild ride of varying emotions from laughter, tension and more than likely a few well-deserved tears (honestly damn you and your dastardly ways On The Nature of Daylight) as you can’t help but fall head over heels for one very faithful and special pup and his commitment to his cause that has stood the test of time for almost 100 years, as one of the most exceptional examples of the bond between man and his best friend.
Final Say –
One of the most surprisingly outstanding releases of the last 12 months, Togo is a standout Disney + release and a likely candidate for one of the most beloved new Disney films of the modern era.
4 1/2 barn escapes out of 5