From Miami Beach to Tolketna, Alaska, Snow Dogs is a fun tale of a misplaced dentist and how he finds out where his true home is. We start in Miami Beach in the late 1970s, where young Ted Brooks (Jascha Washington) is learning about the family business from his father, Dr. Brooks, DDS (Christopher Judge). Young Ted learns that the human mouth is a pretty gross place to be digging around in, but twenty-five years later, Ted (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) feels like he could not be any happier doing anything else. He lives in one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the planet, where it is summer all year long, and is very successful. He shares this success with his cousin, Dr. Rupert Brooks (Sisqo) and his mother, Amelia (Nichelle Nichols) is very supportive of her sons.
When Ted is given a subpoena, he is rather surprised that it has to deal with the will of woman, Lucy Watkins, from Tolketna, Alaska. Lucy was Ted’s biological mother, and Amelia nearly breaks down in tears when she tells him the truth about his adoption. Ted decides to go to Tolketna to learn more about Lucy and his other family, and to see what was left to him. He is in for a rude awakening in so many ways. When he comes to Alaska, he has to deal with blizzards, a tiny town filled with oddballs, his inheritance of Lucy’s meager estate, her dog team, and a crusty old mountain man, Thunder Jack (James Coburn) that wants the dogs for himself. Along with all this, the annual Arctic Challenge dogsled race is coming up.
Ted makes some friends, like the cute truckstop owner, Barb (Joanna Bacalso), Peter Yellowbear (Graham Greene) and some others whom are desperate for some dental work. He does his best to make do with the dogs, but they all have their own personalities, and they clash with Ted as much as Thunder Jack does, especially the lead dog, Demon. Lucy also left him a sweet Border Collie, Nana. Without Barb’s help, Ted would have been in a real bind, but everything comes together, with the exception of Ted and Thunder Jack, whom he learns from Barb is his real father.
Learning this explains a few things about Ted’s quirky personality, like why he likes bleu cheese when no one else in his family does, and why he likes Easy Listening pop music. Thunder Jack is bound to have Ted’s dog team for the next Arctic Challenge, because this is his last race, and with Demon running his team, he knows he’ll make a great showing especially against the arrogant champion, Olivier (Jean-Michel Pare). Fate has other plans for Ted and his father, and there is no way these dogs can take them where they need to go. Snow Dogs is a fun, wintery family film, and if you love those beautiful sled dogs, like huskies and malamutes, then you will love this movie.
I give this film a Musing review of