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My Dog Skip (2000, Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane)

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Based on William Morris’s 1995 best seller, Russell’s film is based in late 40s Mississippi, where young Willie Morris (Frankie Muniz) lives with his parents Ellen and Jack (Diane Lane and Kevin Bacon). Shy, his only friend is next-door neighbour Dink Jenkins (Luke Wilson) but when Dink goes off to war, he’s left alone and his father, who lost a leg fighting in the Spanish Civil War, is withdrawn. So his mother buys him a dog and his life is transformed – not only is the dog his best friend but through him, Willie can make friends and learn about life.

Muniz, best known to British viewers as the star of Malcolm in the Middle , turns in a confident performance and Bacon, Lane and in particular Wilson, going to war a boy, coming back an embittered, hardened man, are also excellent but inevitably, the real star is Skip, played by Moose, best known as Eddie from Frasier , who steals the film from his human counterparts.

production details
USA | 95 minutes | 2000

Director: Jay Russell
Writers: Willie Morris, Gail Gilchriest from Morris’s novel

cast
Frankie Muniz as Willie Morris
Diane Lane as Ellen Morris
Kevin Bacon as Jack Morris
Luke Wilson as Dink Jenkins
Chaon Cross as Spectator
Harry Connick Jr. as Narrator
Hunter Hayes as Accordian Boy