The Reel Review
A shy, lonely boy growing up in 1942 rural Mississippi blossoms when his mom gets him his first friend, a sweet, energetic Jack Russell Terrier he names Skip. Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane and Kevin Bacon star in this film adaptation of Southern author Willie Morris’ 1995 autobiography – a wonderfully sentimental, heartwarming coming-of-age story about the power of a beloved pet to bring out the best in people.
My Dog Skip is beautiful in how it captures the friendship between a child and a dog. Muniz gives a career-defining performance, assisted by an outstanding Lane as his clever mom who insists on getting him a dog, despite the misgivings of his more strict, standoffish father (Bacon). Luke Wilson is Dink, the boy’s older friend and idol, who goes off to WWII and returns a broken individual.
A rousing score, vivid period scenery of 1940s Americana, an excellent narration from Harry Connick Jr. and one super cute dog adoring his boy makes for a sweet, family-friendly film that will have you harkening back to your own childhood pet. My Dog Skip is one of the most touching dog movies ever made. Prepare to cry your eyes out more than once.
• After graduating as valedictorian of his high school in Yazoo City, Mississippi, and attending college at the University of Texas and Oxford University, Willie Morris became the youngest editor-in-chief at Harper’s Magazine, launching the careers of William Styron and Norman Mailer and later, after moving back to Mississippi to teach at Ole Miss, John Grisham. Known for his lyrical prose style about the American South, Morris died of a heart attack at age 64 in 1999, just after seeing a screening of My Dog Skip praising it as “an absolute classic.” Morris is buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Yahoo City.
• In 2008, My Dog Skip star Frankie Muniz, best known for his breakout role in Malcolm in the Middle, put his acting career on hold to pursue an open-wheel racing career. He is the current points leader in the ARCA Menards Series.
• My Dog Skip was filmed in Yazoo City, Canton and Mendenhall, Mississippi. Moose, the main dog who plays Skip, also played Eddie on the hit TV comedy series Frasier. Moose died of natural causes at the age of 15 in 2006.