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The Plague Dogs [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: John Hurt, Christopher Benjamin, James Bolam, Nigel Hawthorne, Warren Mitchell
  • Directors: Martin Rosen
  • Writers: Martin Rosen, Richard Adams
  • Producers: Martin Rosen
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: 9 Sept. 2002
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006JI1H
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,161 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Two dogs, Snitter and Rowf, escape from a research institute and go on the run. Both animals have been purposely infected with a deadly virus, and as such, pose a dangerous threat to the human population. As the authorities give chase, the two dogs do their best to find their original owner and dream of a place where they will no longer be harmed by the cruelty of mankind.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Anyone who has seen Richard Adams/Martin Rosen's adaptation of Watership Down will know what to expect from The Plague Dogs. You've got superb animation - even more polished and fluid in this case - great voice acting, and at the same time, an unrelenting and at times brutal story, which in The Plague Dogs focuses on the cruelty of mankind, as opposed to nature in Watership Down. This is not to say that it's sentimental: like Watership Down, The Plague Dogs presents its story objectively and lets the viewer make up their own mind.

Before I explain the story, I'll make one thing absolutely clear - this film is not for the faint-hearted. Children, animal-lovers and dog-owners alike will probably feel uncomfortable watching this film, for several reasons. And those who have read the book will find the story a couple of shades darker.
However, this is an excellent film and worth watching if you don't flinch from the storyline too much.

The Plague Dogs begins in an animal testing centre in the Lake District. The two protagonists, Rowf, a labrador-cross, and Snitter, a jack russell (voiced by John Hurt), are subjected to experiments out of human curiosity: Rowf is submerged in a tank for as long as he can remain conscious, in order to test canine lung capacity, and Snitter has had brain surgery to determine where the subjective and objective perception of the canine brain begins and ends.
One night, they both escape into the mountains.

This is purely about the animals - we follow Rowf and Snitter on their journey, where they take to attacking sheep to find food, and find friendship in "The Tod", a wily fox, all the while trying to escape from the "whitecoats".
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By A Customer on 13 Feb. 2006
Format: DVD
Plague Dogs is an animated film. But not every animated film is intended for children. This film pushes its PG rating to the max, and has actually had a scene cut due to it being too horrifying, such as a man shown to be eaten by the dogs. The full film is only available on DVD in Australia I believe.
From the same creators of Watership Down, this is a dark, thought-provoking story of two dogs named Rowf (a labrador) and Snitter (a fox terrier) who are being used in invasive and inhumane animal testing research. The two dogs escape the laboratory, but their problems have only begun. They try to survive in the wild with a help of the "tod" (fox), but find themselves being hunted down by man after killing a sheep for food. The dogs are also said to be carrying to be carrying the plague.
The film could be found to be too preachy and biased about the animal testing debate as it only shows horrific and appalling abuse of the animals, but the original book goes into far more detail about the evils of it, as the film was intended to be more of an adventure story.
Overall, this is not a film for the kids. The PG rating appears harmless, but there is some truly shocking content here that's enough to upset even the hardest of adults. It is a very good film, not as great as Watership Down I found, but still good. Just don't pop it into your child's video player before bedtime.
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Format: DVD
This, as many have stated, is a film for the older audience. Many recall it for it's cruel scenes of animal testing, especially as this is set before the Animal Scientific Procedures Act of 1986, but I feel it handles those themes very well. It doesn't feel like the film is trying to preach or tell you off about it, rather it serves as the spring-board for the characters and their adventure where they find that freedom also has its hardships, especially if you're a domesticated animal who just isn't cut out for living wildly on the moors.

In fact, I found that most things, such as Snitter's hallucinations and the building hunt for the dogs and their very likely end, were done in quite a subtle way and not shoved in your face. With perhaps the exception of that rather infamous shooting scene, but even that's a case of if you blink you've missed a good amount of it.

The animation is very good, the dogs are very well drawn, the characters are done very well and it's an ending which will very likely stick with you rather miserably for a little while. Have something on stand-by to cheer you up right afterwards. Personally I'd probably stop just short of calling it a great movie, but it's certainly a good one and I would recommend a watch of it because this is one of those films which proves that animation isn't just for kids, that it can be grown-up and mature as well.
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By A Customer on 23 April 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Plague Dogs is a depressing, powerful tale of Snitter and Rowf, two dogs who escape from a research lab after enduring horrific experiments. As a person who strongly disagrees with any form of animal testing, this film struck a chord with me. It's not a children's film and some scenes are pretty disturbing. It allows the viewer to see the world through the eyes of a laboratory animal and you share the dogs' suffering. Think of the real life Snitters and Rowfs out there and the film is even more powerful.
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Format: DVD
After the popular WATERSHIP DOWN (1978), director co-scripter Martin Rosen waited 4 years until issuing his next project, THE PLAGUE DOGS, an adaption of the considerably darker novel by the same author. This in turn had to wait 2 years before it was finally released. At close to 100 minutes, it is the longest animated feature film to have appeared in the UK so far - and arguably, along with ANIMAL FARM (1954) and Wallace & Gromit, the most significant. It continued the faithful representation of Richard Adams' unsentimental anthropomorphism on screen to sometime disturbing effect, again featuring the distinctive voice talent of John Hurt, together with contributions from the like of James Bolam, Nigel Hawthorne, Bernard Hepton, Christopher Benjamin, etc.

Considerably cut, one imagines against the director's wishes, for the UK and elsewhere, presumably to make it more acceptable for the junior market, PD is apparently only available at home in the truncated version - either on its own or, bizarrely, doubled with an inferior animated version of Flash Gordon.

Those who go to the trouble of seeking out the extended cut (issued for instance in Australia, coupled with the shorter cut for fascinating comparison) will be well rewarded. The extra 17 minutes or so unsuprisingly bring with them a more complex, adult, and satisfying film, restoring nuances here and there, as well as removing the opening song, confirming PD as a major achievement - and one still scandalously treated in its country of origin. The condition of the extended version is not pristine, having been retrieved from the director's sole surviving print, but is perfectly acceptable. Rosen never did anything much of note again, only being credited with one more title on IMDb, STACKING (1987), a nondescript live action feature.
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