SUMMARY: An overenthusiastic dog applies for the role of guide dog, but it’s a dangerous world out there and he struggles to protect his clients from the threats of the big city.
WHY IT’S HERE: After the success of his Oscar-nominated ‘Guard Dog’, Bill Plympton brought back the dog character from that short for the second in what would become a short series of films. ‘Guide Dog’, though superficially similar, is really a quite different film from ‘Guard Dog’. In the first film, the dog responded to perceived threats that were all in his mind. In ‘Guide Dog’, he falls victim to a series of absurd obstacles standing between him and success. The main strength of ‘Guide Dog’ is the dog himself, who plays up to the audience much more this time round with a series of terrific facial expressions that are reminiscent of Chuck Jones’s classic ‘Feed the Kitty’. In his good-natured but ultimately thwarted attempts to help, the dog character is also comparable with Chaplin’s Little Tramp, always ending up walking dejectedly into the sunset at the end of the picture. Lively, fast-paced and unpredictable, ‘Guide Dog’ is a great sequel and helps to build the extremely lovable and sympathetic dog character into a latter-day cult animation star.