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My Dog Skip (film) facts for kids

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My Dog Skip
My dog Skip (movie poster).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jay Russell
Produced by Mark Johnson
John Lee Hancock
Broderick Johnson
Andrew Kosove
Screenplay by Gail Gilchriest
Story by Willie Morris
Starring
Music by William Ross
Cinematography James L. Carter
Editing by Micah Strickland
Studio Alcon Entertainment
MDS Productions LLC
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) January 14, 2000 (2000-01-14) (Limited)
March 3, 2000 (2000-03-03) (Wide release)
Running time 95 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $4.5 million
Money made $35.5 million

My Dog Skip is a 2000 American family drama film, directed by Jay Russell and starring Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, and Kevin Bacon with narration by Harry Connick Jr. Based on the autobiographical book of the same name, the film tells the story of a 9-year-old Willie Morris as he is given a Jack Russell Terrier for his birthday, and how the dog fundamentally changes several aspects of his life. My Dog Skip was released on March 3, 2000, by Warner Bros. and received generally positive reviews from critics. The film earned more than $35.5 million on a $4.5 million budget.

Plot

Willie Morris as an adult looks back on his childhood in the early 1940s and how it was colored by his dearly beloved dog, a Jack Russell Terrier whom he had named Skip. Willie is a lonely 9-year-old child with a gruff, proud father, a Spanish Civil War veteran, and a charismatic, talkative mother, a housewife, but he is an only child and small for his age with few friends. His one companion is a young man who lives next door, Dink Jenkins, who is the local sports hero in Mississippi. However, when Dink is drafted to go to war, Willie's mother decides to buy him a dog, against his father's wishes, in order that he should have some company.

Willie and Skip become firm friends very quickly. However, Willie gets bullied at school by Big Boy Wilkinson, Henjie Henick, and Spit McGee, until Dink sends him a German helmet and belt from the front line. The other boys demand he play ball in order to win back his belongings, while Skip leaps in to help him. That same day, the three boys talk Willie into spending the night in a graveyard, where they claim a witch is buried. If he stays there, he gets to join their gang and also keep the ball Dink signed for them; otherwise, he has to give them his German helmet. Willie stays at the graveyard for a number of hours until he hears two moonshiners Millard and Junior who are loading crates into a crypt. Skip jumps on Millard until Junior comes at him with a spade. Willie slingshots Junior with an acorn and attempts to escape the graveyard with Skip, but they are soon captured by Junior. He threatens to kill Skip unless Willie stays before sunrise. After the two men leave, the three boys return and accept Willie into their group as a reward.

Skip, having always been a friendly dog, is known by everyone in the town, including black people - significant because Mississippi was still segregated at the time. Skip leads Willie through the best parts of his life; his boyhood days. Thanks to Skip, Willie now has three friends, and a girlfriend, Rivers. Skip is there for him when Dink gets home, shell-shocked and a drunkard since dishonorably discharged from the Army, presumably for desertion. However, when Willie's first ball game comes along, Skip and Willie have their first falling out. Dink agrees to come along, but does not bother because since the war he has found competitions do not interest him anymore. Skip, wanting to cheer Willie up, runs onto the field and sits wagging his tail, refusing to leave. Angry and embarrassed by his poor performance at the game, causing his team to lose, Willie publicly hits Skip across the muzzle and he disappears without a trace.

Unbeknownst to Willie, Skip has returned to the crypt, and has been accidentally shut in the grave where moonshine is being stored. As Willie searches in the graveyard, he hears Skip's barks and runs to save him, but Junior knocks the dog unconscious with the spade. Dink arrives and manages to eject the two moonshiners. As Willie and Dink's families gather in solemnity in the vet's waiting room, Skip nearly dies from his injuries in Willie's arms, but the dog awakens, licking Willie's hands and face.

Willie explains about his friendship with Skip, that he had been an only child and Skip an only dog. When Willie leaves to go to Oxford University in 1957, Skip remains with Willie's parents, sleeping in Willie's old room, and then dies of Canine AIDS on Willie's bed at age 11, he is then buried under the elm tree by Mr. and Mrs. Morris with Mr. Morris telling Willie of Skip's death via a transatlantic call.

Cast

  • Enzo as Skip
  • Moose as old Skip
  • Sweetie as puppy Skip
  • Frankie Muniz as Willie Morris
  • Diane Lane as Ellen Morris
  • Luke Wilson as Dink Jenkins
  • Kevin Bacon as Jack Morris
  • Bradley Coryell as Big Boy Wilkinson
  • Daylan Honeycutt as Henjie Henick
  • Cody Linley as Spit McGee
  • Caitlin Wachs as Rivers Applewhite
  • Harry Connick Jr. as Adult Willie (voice)
  • Peter Crombie as Junior Smalls
  • Clint Howard as Millard
  • Mark Beech as Army Buddy
  • Susan Carol Davis as Mrs. Jenkins
  • David Pickens as Mr. Jenkins
  • Lucile Doan Ewing as Aunt Maggie
  • Nathaniel Lee, Jr. as Sammy
  • James Thweat as Older Big Boy
  • John Stiritz as Grandpa Percy

Awards

Angel Awards 2001
Award Category Nominee
Silver Angel Feature Film Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards 2001
Award Category Nominee
Critics Choice Award Best Family Film Won
Christopher Awards 2000
Award Category Nominee Result
Christopher Award Feature Film Jay Russell (director) and Alcon Entertainment (production company) Won
Giffoni Film Festival 2000
Award Category Nominee Result
Bronze Gryphon and Silver Gryphon Free to Fly Section - Best Actor and Free to Fly Section Frankie Muniz and Jay Russell Won
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards 2000
Award Category Nominee Result
Sierra Award Youth in Film Frankie Muniz Nominated
YoungStar Awards 2000
Award Category Nominee Result
YoungStar Award Best Young Actor/Performance in a Motion Picture Drama Frankie Muniz Nominated
Young Artist Awards 2001
Award Category Nominee Result
Young Artist Award Best Ensemble in a Feature Film and Best Family Feature Film - Drama Frankie Muniz, Cody Linley, Bradley Coryell, Daylan Honeycutt and Caitlin Wachs Won
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress Caitlin Wachs Nominated

Soundtrack

  • Tuxedo Junction - Performed by Gene Krupa and His Orchestra
  • Ration Blues - Performed by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five
  • Old Yazoo - Performed by The Boswell Sisters
  • I'm Beginning to See the Light - Performed by Harry James
  • Hot Time in the Town of Berlin - Performed by The Andrews Sisters
  • Lullaby of Broadway - Performed by Richard Himber & His Orchestra
  • Chasing Shadows - Performed by Louis Prima
  • Moonlight Promenade - Performed by William Ross
  • Starlight Serenade - Performed by William Ross
  • The Round Up Prelude - Performed by William Ross
  • Hop-Along - Performed by William Ross
  • 200 Bright - Performed by William Ross
  • Washington in the New - Performed by William Ross
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