The Plague Dogs (2/3)

We advise you to leave the kids (and pets) at home for this one, as this rarely-screened masterpiece of “adult” animation is a disturbingly poignant experience you’ll not soon forget. A fascinating follow-up to 1978’s landmark Watership Down, The Plague Dogs can be bleak, but is totally absorbing in the way that any pulse-pounding, life-or-death human (or anthropomorphized) drama can be. Determined to escape the confines of an evil laboratory, two dogs make a flight for freedom into the rugged hills. When they accidentally break a vial used by plague researchers on their way out, the human world launches the deadliest hunt. Here is a world where animals are not a blank slate for our ideals and morality, but are the direct expression of the animals themselves; Humanity is the bad guy, and the audience is not left off the hook. The film’s starkness is lent a further heaviosity by top-tier British voice talents like John Hurt, Nigel Hawthorne, Judy Geeson and Patrick Stewart. With a beautifully lifelike visual style (Pixar’s Brad Bird was among the film’s animation crew), this rare 35mm presentation will leave you astounded.
Dir. Martin Rosen, 1982, 35mm, 103 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “The Plague Dogs”!