Monday, March 19, 2012

Ask Toto #24

It’s time to shake things up here at Ask Toto. I’m gonna do a movie review! Of The Artist!

I love movies. You know how you humans are always loving the movies because it’s only the movies where a guy and and a girl can meet cute because she spills something on him, or he hits her with a car, or they both realize they’re working for the same company and fall in love? Well, dogs love the movies, because we love to see dogs walking with their masters and sometimes it’s without a leash! Freedom! FREEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOMMMMMM!

Terry didn’t need a leash when she played me in Wizard of Oz. Can you imagine it? Lions, scarecrows, tin men, flying monkeys, and a green witch and Terry got through all of it LEASHLESS!

And Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier doesn’t need a leash for any of The Artist. FREEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOMMMMMM!

The Artist is about silent screen actor George Valentin, and the madness that consumes him when he realizes he can’t get a job any more during the advent of movies with sound. It’s up to his dog to be his faithful companion even though his master is a self involved boob who doesn’t realize his dog is the best thing to ever happen to him, and it’s up to the faithful dog to protect him when Valentin’s madness forces him to burn his house down, causing one character to comment (with the helpful title card) “He owes his life to that dog!”’

I was kinda bored during the second half of the movie, ‘cause I thought we spent waaaaaaaaay too much time on Valentin’s mopey-ness and How Many Ways Can I Stumble Through My Career Crisis.

But Uggie did a really good job, especially since he’s portraying a dog who doesn’t even have a name (thanks for that, Michel Hazanavicius!)

While Uggie did great with his expressions –

Smiling Open Mouthed,

Concerned Look,

and Bark Face…

… my favorite part was of course when Uggie ran down the street to get the policeman to follow him back to Valentin’s house because Valentin had set his house on fire. Uggie ran faster than Valentin and Peppy’s tap dancing at the end of the movie. Now there was drama! There was dramatic stakes! There was the one character in the movie who knew what was important – his master was insane and trying to kill himself!

Uggie is now retiring from show business, and this is definitely a career high (which has also included Mr. Fix It and Like Water For Elephants) for him. And while he didn't win an Oscar, he got to MEET Oscar, which to me, is tons better.

Way to go, Uggie!

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Ask Toto # 23

From WillTurc on Twitter Do you resent Dorothy getting all the credit when you are the obvious hero of the story?

Hi Will!

First of all, may I commend you on your perceptiveness and sheer brilliance. it's not everyone who can look at the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and see past the surface to the beating heart of the story underneath (that's me!)

But I have to say, in my own humble way, that I don't mind people thinking Dorothy's the star. After all, she's my owner, my master, my lady. Plus she can talk (I can only type). And in fiction throughout the centuries, it's usually the ones who can talk that drives the story. I'm all about showing, not telling (when I'm not typing.)

Here's a prime example. Most people watch this clip from the movie and see Dorothy and the Scarecrow dancing. But watch it and keep your eyes on Terry, the cairn terrier doing an excellent job of playing me (I'm under the subtitles. heh):

Sure, you can look at that clip and see the beginnings of the friendship developing between Scarecrow or Dorothy. OR you could keep your eye on me the whole time and see that the scene's really about the DANGEROUS scarecrow, with limbs a flyin', and how if you're smart, you keep your distance. Says me.

So nope, I don't resent Dorothy. I LURVE her to pieces, I do, I do, I do.

thanks for the question!

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