Arctic Dogs is a 2019 Canadian-American computer-animated comedy film co-written and directed by Aaron Woodley and co-directed by Dimos Vrysellas with Jeremy Renner, Heidi Klum, James Franco, John Cleese, Omar Sy, Michael Madsen, Laurie Holden, Anjelica Huston, and Alec Baldwin as actors
When the project was announced, it was anticipated that it could rival successful productions like 2013’s Frozen, 2016’s Sing and Moana, or 2018’s Smallfoot. But as you would soon learn, Arctic Dogs failed to impress and woefully so.
Rated PG because of some rude humor and mild action, the adventure-comedy revolves around an Arctic fox named Swifty. He works in the mailroom of a package delivery service called the Arctic Blast Delivery Service but desires to become a Top Dog to do the deliveries.
While delivering a package, Swifty uncovers a plot to melt the Arctic and takes up the burden of foiling the nefarious plan. Arctic Dogs hoped to make a statement regarding environmental hazards but was panned to comatose for being uninspiring and barely basic.
Facts You Should Know About The Animated Comedy Film
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, it might just be worth your time but here are 10 facts you should know about the animated film.
10. Aaron Woodley Co-wrote Arctic Dogs and Directed The Movie
Aaron Woodley is a Canadian director and screenwriter; he is the nephew of the famous Canadian filmmaker, David Cronenberg, and the son of a notable costume designer, Denise Cronenberg. Aaron has been active in the movie industry since the mid-90s. Apart from Arctic Dogs, he has directed several other projects like Rhinoceros Eyes (2003), The Entitled (2011), Glenn Martin DDS (2010-2011), Curious and Unusual Deaths (2011-2012), Spark: A Space Tail (2016), and much more.
His 1998 short film, The Wager, received the Short Film Award at Austin Film Festival. While he is the sole director of Arctic Dogs, he co-wrote the film with Bob Barlen, Cal Brunker, Matthew Lyon, and Bryan Thompson.
9. Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, Heidi Klum, and John Cleese Voiced The Major Characters
Nobody ever suggested that Arctic Dogs’ poor critical response and box office performance was a result of the poor portrayal of the characters. The storyline and essence of the movie were simply unpurposeful for critics. The computer-animated film starred established actors who have proven their skill and talent in multiple productions. American actor Jeremy Renner who has twice been nominated for an Oscar voiced the main protagonist, Swifty. Swifty’s best friend, an introverted polar bear named PB was voiced by Alec Baldwin who is also an Oscar-nominated American actor.
Heidi Klum, the famous German-American model, voiced Swifty’s love interest, a hard-working red fox named Jade; while John Cleese voiced the main antagonist, a British-accented walrus named Doc Otto Van Walrus. Other voice cast members include Anjelica Huston, James Franco, Omar Sy, Laurie Holden, Michael Madsen, and others.
8. The Movie Is Also Known as Arctic Justice or Polar Squad
Before the makers of the movie decided to go with the title Arctic Dogs, they considered other names for the movie, including Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad. It is said that the title was changed for the US release; this reportedly happened after Open Road Films relinquished rights to the movie to Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures. The film is also known as Arctic Justice and Polar Squad in the United Kingdom.
7. It Is The First Animated Feature Film of Entertainment Studio
Entertainment Studios, Inc. is an American media and entertainment company founded in 1993 by Byron Allen. Also known as Allen Media Group, the company based in Los Angeles, California got into film distribution in the late 2010s. Since then, the company has distributed multiple films, including Hostiles (2017), 47 Meters Down (2017), Chappaquiddick (2018), 47 Meters Down: Uncagged (2019), and of course Arctic Dog which happens to be the first computer-animated film it has distributed.
6. Arctic Dog Was Produced On a Budget of $50 Million
AMBI Media Group, AIC Studios, and Assemblage Entertainment are some of the production companies involved in the production of Arctic Dogs. When AMBI launched its AIC Studios in Toronto, it was said that the company wanted to scale up its animation operations with two new 3D computer-animated movies: Arctic Dogs and Groove Tails which is still in production. Both movies are believed to be part of the five feature films partnership deal AMBI Group made with Barajoun Entertainment. The two companies reportedly agreed to co-finance and co-produce the movies on a budget of $50 million per movie.
5. It Grossed Less Than $10 Million at The Box Office
When Arctic Dogs was released, it was anticipated that it would gross anything from $5 million to $10 million in its opening weekend as it was playing in over 2,800 theaters. To the shock of everyone involved in the project, it only grossed $700,000 on its first day and $2.9 million on its opening weekend. It was a disastrous performance that amounted to $9,841,678 at the worldwide box office.
4. The Film Also Grossed Nearly $1.3 Million From DVD and Blu-ray Sales
If those who heavily invested in the production of the computer-animated film hoped to recoup their investment from DVD and Blu-ray sales, they were hugely mistaken. Arctic Dogs wasn’t interested in yielding any profit; in February 2020, Lionsgate Home Entertainment released it on DVD and Blu-ray for the US market and it grossed $1,282,316.
3. It Was Panned By Critics Across The Major Movie Rating Platforms
Arctic Dogs didn’t catch a break, as much as it performed badly financially, so did it attract negative reviews. The animated-computer comedy film was bashed across the major movie rating platforms. Its IMDb rating is 4.7/10, 12% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 28 on Metacritic. In the words of Michael Frank, a film critic/journalist based in Brooklyn, the film brings little joy and “exists as an animated film you should miss”.
2. It Received a Nomination at The 10th Annual CCE Awards
Arctic Dogs hardly impressed anyone, apart from the Canadian Cinema Editors (CCE) which had it nominated for the 2020 CCE Awards; it was nominated for Best Editing in Animation. Lesley Mackay Hunter who edited the movie lost to Kevin Pavlovic, David Ian Salter, Ellery VanDooyeweert, and Emma DuPell, the editors of The Addams Family.
1. Arctic Dogs Is The Second Animated Theatrical Film to Feature Huskies
According to records, the first time the dog breed was featured in an animated theatrical film was in 1995’s Balto, an adventure-drama film directed by Simon Wells.