A couple of weeks ago the wife and I wanted to watch Lilo and Stitch and, naturally, our DVD copy was nowhere to be found, likely having been pilfered by one of our children. Rather than pay $6 for a rental on the On-Demand I got the bright idea to just get a free trial of Disney+, since I knew it was on there. Since then the subscription has been cancelled (Gay duck dads on Ducktales? Really?), but until it runs out there are actually a number of videos I want to watch on the service, mostly because they are older, more “Disney” movies and videos than Disney’s current woke fare. In fact, the old Goofy instructional videos on how to fish or fly or play sports are some of my most favorite Disney cartoons and I have good memories of them, and many of them are on the service. Still, I refuse to give my money to the rotten mouse anymore, and so I still ordered the cancellation.

Having crawled into bed early one particularly chilly night the wife and I decided to watch something to pass the time and we came across a Disney original titled “Togo”. That’s Toe-Go, not To-Go. Firing the title up we were met with a surprisingly unwoke and amazing film that I would encourage you to watch if you can get it outside of Disney+ or if you have decided to get a subscription.

The film tells the story of Leonhard Seppala and his sled dog, Togo, who set out on the infamous 1925 serum run to save the children of Nome Alaska from an outbreak of diphtheria. Though the official “best dog ever” has, in the past, gone to the sled dog Balto, it was originally Togo who lead Seppala FROM Nome toward Nenana, Alaska in an attempt to acquire the life saving serum, a trip of some 600+ miles. You can read more about the entire incident here.

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With beautiful scenery and superb acting both by Willem Dafoe (as Seppala) and Julianne Nicholson (as his wife, Constance), the film is full of REAL adventure. Now, I say real in the sense that, yes, I understand most of the action scenes are green screened and computer generated, but this is a TRUE story about men who had to actually go through these things! And what men these were! Surprisingly enough the film does nothing to denigrate or make buffoons of the brave men of the Alaskan frontier. Seppala is a rough man, the best musher in the entire state, and he is lovingly gruff with his wife, who is a hard woman that loves him back. They are hard because where they live is hard, and weakness in the wilderness means death. Even so, their playful interactions with one another are sweet and Constance never becomes annoyingly overbearing like so many wives do in modern Disney fare.

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And, of course, the dogs. Anyone who has been on my blog for any amount of time knows I am not a big fan of dogs. Its not that I dislike them, but to me dogs are outside animals and keeping them indoors is just, dirty and unclean. However the dogs in this movie are great! Bred for outside work and for pulling the numerous dogs in the film are breathtakingly beautiful and funny. The film goes back and forth between the current story of the serum run and the history of Seppala, his wife and the pup that will eventually be named Togo, and they are light hearted and fun.

This is easily a film that can be watched with your children as there is nothing offensive in it at all, though there are some slightly overwhelming adventure scenes that may frighten some younger kids, but not likely.

Definitely a 8/10 in my book.

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