Pixar’s Dug Days–launching Wednesday on Disney+–makes for sentimental viewing after the passing of Ed Asner over the weekend.
All five shorts feature Dug (Bob Peterson) and his human, Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner), with the lovable pooch taking in the backyard. The shorts focus on a wide variety of subjects be it puppies, flowers (okay, fireworks), a strange smell, etc. “Flowers” in particular is a short that is almost certainly going to resonate with every single dog owner in America. You and I both know that you’ve experienced a dog hiding during a fireworks show. At one point, it feels as if Carl and Dug are going to get into a “Who’s On First?” routine. And of course, there is Dug’s rivalry with his favorite nemesis, the squirrel.
There’s less than an hour’s worth of viewing material here. Dug Days shorts run anywhere from 6-9 minutes in length. While this may be a series of short films, they take place following the events of 2009’s Oscar-winning Up. Even if you’re not big on animation, these shorts are still worth taking in one of the final performances from the late Ed Asner. If I had watched the press screeners before his passing on Sunday, they would have hit me in a different way. I’m also a dog lover so of course, I was always going to watch. But in watching after his passing and knowing how sad the first ten minutes of Up are, I wasn’t sure what to expect. At its core, these shorts are about a man and his best friend.
This is Pixar and even with a series of shorts, Bob Peterson and company bring their A game. The animation here is no different than with the films being made for the big screen. Pixar is not the type to bring anything less than 100% to whatever project they do. But again, it’s just sad knowing that this is one of the final performances we’re getting from Ed Asner. But just like the animators, he also brings is A game to his line recordings. With Asner’s passing, I just cannot see how they can go forward on future episodes because without Carl, Dug Days just wouldn’t be the same.
Pixar’s Dug Days isn’t just for dog lovers but everyone will find something to enjoy and it’s more sentimental with one of Ed Asner’s final performances.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Bob Peterson
CAST: Ed Asner, Bob Peterson