... the canine cuteness, breathtaking action and acts of bravery are worth braving the Disney elements -- overpowering, poignant music, an unnecessary romantic subplot -- if you like your movies doggy-style.
The requisite tagline 'inspired by true events' should read 'actually inspired by a much grittier Japanese film from 1983, which was based on events that occurred in 1957, that have here been updated to 1993.'
It's difficult to gauge who gets stranded more in Eight Below: the team of sled dogs left at the bottom of the world or audience members forced to sludge through two hours of very human melodrama to see them reunited with their handler.
This is one of those lazy, lukewarm pictures that's even more disappointing than a purely bad one, and for one glaring reason: How could Marshall, his writers, and even his actors have let these dogs down so badly?
This family adventure about a team of sled dogs abandoned in Antarctica naturally invokes the traditional shout of 'Mush!' urging the canines to go faster, but it's also an apt descriptor of both its shameless sentimentality and ineptly structured story.
Following the success of last year's March of the Penguins, and now Eight Below -- an equally triumphal processional of dogs across the bottom of the world -- Cinema Antarctica is suddenly sizzling hot!
The interaction between the dogs, some of whom have beautiful crystalline white coats, is far more fascinating than what goes on between the two-legged mammals, which is sometimes mushy (pun intended).
Eight Below may be a Disney Lite version of a true story about sled dogs left to survive on their own in the Antarctic wilderness, but it's still a weeper for those for whom the loss of one dog is too much.