My Dog Tulip

Green lightAdapted from a novel by J.R. Ackerley, My Dog Tulip is an eloquently told woofs and all portrait of Ackerley’s intimate relationship with his best friend, a cheeky Alsation.

Animated with beautiful minimalistic drawings and swirling pastel colours, the film’s quaint and unassuming look both perfectly suits the story and narration and belies its more risqué elements.

With next to no dialogue, directors Paul Fierlinger and Sandra Fierlinger rely on an extensive voice over (read by Christopher Plummer) lifted from Ackerley’s writing. With wry, acerbic flair Acklerley discusses all aspects of dog life – spiritedly embracing the less than sophisticated subjects of poop, fornication, ass whiffing and other doggie matters.

Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey

Choose what you pay, from $99.

Sign up now

It is through Acklerley’s observations about Tulip that the narrator emerges as a strong character. Not unlike the protagonist of Notes on a Scandal, Acklerley’s perspective is both high-minded and scandalous, painting a picture of a loner and borderline misanthrope who observes human behaviour from a distance – and, in this instance, canine behaviour from close-up.

With it’s mixture of brevity and profundity, lofty ideas, low brow humour and a lovely visual style, My Dog Tulip plays like an adult picture book littered with candid and concise illuminations on the dynamic between pooches and people.

The film works both as a deep and affecting personal ode to the bond between man and dog and as a piece of frivolous entertainment. Like Adam Elliott’s sublime claymation Mary and Max, My Dog Tulip can crack poo jokes one moment and make poignant soul-tingling observations the next, while never jeopardising the sense that this is real art. And very good art, too.

I subscribe to Crikey because I believe in a free, open and independent media where news and opinions can be published that I can both agree with and be challenged by.

As a Crikey subscriber I always feel more informed and able to think more critically about issues and current affairs – even when they don’t always reflect my own political viewpoint or lived experience.

Jess
Singapore

Join us and save up to 50%

Subscribe before June 30 and choose what you pay for a year of Crikey. Save up to 50% or, chip in extra and get one of our limited edition Crikey merch packs.

Join Now