“The movie is rich in its depiction of relationships and detailed in its beautiful animation, real hand-drawn imagery that looks like watercolors. Anyone who’s had a loyal pet in their life can relate to this charming tale. It’ll elicit both smiles of joy and tears of loss, and you’ll be glad you met Ackerley and his dog Tulip.”
BY LYNN VENHAUS, NEWS-DEMOCRAT
“A beautifully illustrated love letter to dogs and the people who own them. Paul and Sandra Fierlinger…employ different sorts of animation (watercolors, pencil sketches and crude drawings, all hand drawn) to wondrous effect. Unlike most movies in the genre, My Dog Tulip avoids any sort of sentimentality or emotional manipulation, even when dealing with Tulip’s inevitable death. Instead, it is a dryly witty, keenly observant celebration of life — one that’s better lived and enjoyed, no matter one’s circumstances otherwise, with a dog or two around the house.”
-Rene Rodriguez, The Miami Herald
“Whimsical and charming. Tulip beat Marley to the punch by five decades. Long before the yellow Lab snacked on drywall and diapers and was celebrated in “Marley & Me,” J.R. Ackerley wrote a valentine to his female German shepherd.”
-Barbara Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Best Animated Feature: The wild card ever since the Academy created this category has been the possibility that a film could be nominated here and as Best Picture as well. “Toy Story 3” is in front, “Tangled” and “How to Train Your Dragon” have chances. If this weren’t a cozy little category designed to provide an Oscar for corporate 3D conglomerates, “My Dog Tulip” was obviously the year’s best animated film.
WATCH EBERT PRESENTS: AT THE MOVIES
Premiere episode featuring MY DOG TULIP
Friday, January 7, 2011 02:49 AM
By Nick Chordas
NEW YORKER FILMS
J.R. Ackerley with Tulip
My Dog Tulip
Directed by Paul and Sandra Fierlinger. Written by
J.R. Ackerley………..Christopher Plummer
Nancy/grocer’s wife ………..Lynn Redgrave
Ms. Canvenini ..Isabella Rossellini
MPAA rating: not rated
Running time: 1:23
Now showing at the Gateway
The relationship between dog and owner has been depicted many times at the movies, with results ranging from classic ( Umberto D.) to cloying ( Marley & Me).
My Dog Tulip, an animated tale based on the memoir by British author J.R. Ackerley, is among the most rewarding. Funny, touching and refreshingly candid regarding the often- ew-inducing details of caring for a canine, the 83-minute movie is as enjoyable as it is insightful about conditions both animal and human.
Oscar-nominated animator Paul Fierlinger’s hand-drawn film was made entirely on a computer
“Marvelous. Extremely moving, exceedingly droll, flawlessly voice-acted and the nicest possible way to start the new moviegoing year. Full of quiet joy, honest sorrow, wisdom and a wealth of clinical detail both excremental and reproductive, all rendered in a charming style.”
—Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
The best animated films of 2010
By Roger Ebert on January 2, 2011
“My Dog Tulip”
Here is the story of a man who finds love only once in his life, for 15 perfect years. It is the love of a dog. It may be the only love he is capable of experiencing. As other men write books about a woman in their life, J. R. Ackerley wrote a book about a German Shepherd bitch he rescued from a cruel home. My Dog Tulip now becomes an animated film combining elating visuals with a virtuoso voice performance by Christopher Plummer.
The film is animated, but not intended for children. It is told from and by an adult sensibility that understands loneliness, gratitude, and the intense curiosity we feel for other lives, man and beast. The story is narrated by Plummer, in the voice of a man in is 60s who works for the BBC and lives in London. He is a soloist, cantankerous, crabby, lonely. Ackerley is educated by Tulip in the needs and ways of domesticated dogs. He attends to the feeding of Tulip, the training, the grooming, the walking, the territorial marking behavior, the sexual needs, the illnesses, the personality, the life and death. No parents of a child have never been more observant or taken better care.
To this story, directed and animated by Paul and Sandra Fierlinger, “My Dog Tulip” brings Sandra’s watercolors. Fierlinger is the sort of watercolorist one would collect. Her colors, her line, her ability to saturate or wash, are well suited to the story. She makes London when its black cabs and red buses come alive, and then turns pastoral on Putney Common. She’s an original, but if you know of an artist named David Gentleman you’ll get the idea.
4. MY DOG TULIP The year’s finest animated movie is a beautifully expressive fantasia based on a memoir about a much-loved Alsatian by crusty Brit J.R. Ackerley (voiced by Christopher Plummer). Imagine if “Marley & Me” had actually been rueful, restrained and sublime. —Kyle Smith, NY Post