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Snow Dogs
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Genre:Comedy
Year:2002
Rating:PG
Length:1 Hour 39 Minutes
Cast:Brian Levant, Cuba Gooding Jr., James Coburn, Sisqo

Inspired by Gary Paulson's award-winning book, Waterdance, Brian Levant's PG-rated Snow Dogs is a delightful surprise -- especially to anyone who expects little beyond a 90-minute exercise in animatronics. Part Northern Exposure, part Beethoven, and thoroughly heartwarming, Snow Dogs serves up Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire) as Ted Brooks, a Miami dentist who gets a new leash on life when he learns that he was adopted and has inherited a champion sled-dog team from Tolketna, Alaska. The "dumb city slicker" gradually finds himself at home in this community of eccentrics and decides to enter his dog team in the Arctic Challenge, a grueling 400-mile race. Refreshingly, Snow Dogs is not concerned with who wins the big race. At heart, it is about Brooks's quest to learn the truth about his parentage, which leads him to local legend Thunder Jack. Portrayed by Oscar winner James Coburn at his flintiest, Jack earned his name, a resident memorably whispers to Brooks, because "he's been hit by thunder...twice." Gooding and Coburn make a great team, and kids will love the dogs, especially the aptly named Demon, in whom Levant has found another charismatic canine star. Snow Dogs figures to become a often-played staple among canine-inclined families. Donald Liebenson

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