This one-of-a-kind animated picture is odd, endearing, and heart-breaking in all the right ways....
New Yorker / 81 Minutes / 2009 / Unrated / Street Date: May 28, 2013
Shocker: this writer is a movie lover. I will watch films of any shape or stripe, without any reservations whatsoever. And many of these titles come to the screen with rampant, often brutal violence (how many souls are lost in, say, the first twenty minutes of Private Ryan?), and while I’ll often soak this storytelling in with a tear in my eye, I’ll soak it in nevertheless. But you show me a movie where an animal is put into any kind of compromise, and I turn into a sniveling, weeping mess.
Like the narrator at the center of My Dog Tulip, I recognize the connection between homo sapiens and other creatures of this Earth that often defies explanation. Christopher Plummer provides a sturdy, noble narration for this animated picture about an aging bachelor and his dog named Queenie, and the simplicity of the domestic affair at hand becomes somehow larger than life. For anyone who knows what it’s like to love a pet, this saga of a life shared between man and dog is replete with emotional resonance.
The film’s faux-old-fashioned animated presence takes a bit of getting used to at first – it’s a vision that the filmmakers stick to nobly, but there’s something about it that feels just a little off – but My Dog Tulip ends up succeeding uniquely as a narrative entity. It loses a bit of steam even during its under-ninety-minute running time, but I can’t imagine a dog-lover experiencing My Dog Tulip without at the very least a handful of heart-expanding blasts of emotion. It may not be a perfect film, but it sure hits the nail on the head every now and then.