You have to understand…..when it comes to these awful, awful, documentaries I so deeply adore, they have to have something in common. For example, I look for 2 stars or less. The average “Joe” will automatically rate it with one star if it’s not about Hitler , WWII, or fast food. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy those too, however I am looking for the path less traveled. And oh boy,…….I found one.
Unleashed: A Dog Dancing Story ……1star. What? Did you expect more? Of course not.
This doc was filmed over a year with a follow up two years later. Why? Who financed this Canadian Fiasco. The title gives you an idea of what it’s about so, you know my anger already in the fact that someone paid to have this made.
I was first introduced to Dog Dancing through a “King of the Hill” episode, when Bobby and Hank compete out of spite in a Dog Dancing competition. So I wasn’t in complete shock that such a……god help me…..”sport” exists.
It follows the Dog Dancing organization called “Paws 2 Dance” as their members / competitors lay down their competitive disdain for one another to come together to put on a large musical / play written by their director Ron to include dog dancing. All of the members are women in their mid 60’s who also have an incredible knack for sewing. That’s where the costumes rear their ugly head.
Sequins……these ladies bedazzle the heck out of their costumes. One of my favorite was spunky, no-nonsense Gail and her Border Collie “Pepsi”. They had several crazy routines where Pepsi would walk between Gail’s legs as she would walk forward. Crazy.
This big show they wanted to host, required a great deal of production that required $25,000 in expenses. So garage sales and bake sales dotted their calendar with occasional clinics and lessons to raise capital. I realized the ladies commitment to the endeavor when one of their fundraisers was a “Cash for Gold” party, where the members brought their “unwanted” gold to a friends house and a buyer would check it, weigh it then offer cash for it. He would get it for .50 Cents on the dollar, and they would dance with their dogs on a theater stage to royalty free music. Magical.
Ol’ Ray (club leader and play director) this guy…….oh boy……his son flies indoor kites. Competitively. (is there nothing these people won’t compete in?) So he finds a way to incorporate that into this $25,000 Dog Musical. So here is a list of elements this play has:
– dancing dogs
– indoor kites
– mythical stage sets
– broadway quality costumes
– royalty free magical music
– one choreographed drug dog attack
To a sold out theater. What the………
They filled it up! They got out to other dog events and sold tickets and promoted the event and sold out the theater. Couldn’t believe it.
There was one part of the film that saddened me, and allowed you to divert your attention from the absurdity of the event and discover a little humanity. One of the dancing dogs was diagnosed with an in-operable tumor and under went chemotherapy. They weren’t sure he would live long enough to be in the show. In the two year follow up it was shared that he had passed after the show, a beautiful collie. That is something I will say, the bond between these ladies and their dogs is remarkable. There is mutual love.
Most of the ladies returned to Canine Musical freestyle (that’s the official “Sport” name). They chose to do one last show a year later. Some retired all together.
Ron? you ask….well he figured he stumbled on the most lucrative business opportunity of a lifetime……a dog dancing and kite flying entertainment business……OH HOW I PRAY, that Ron will take this brilliant idea before the folks at Shark Tank.
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