These Dogs are Marvelous - Review of SuperPower Dogs in IMAX

Screen Shot 2019-03-21 at 4.20.35 PM.png

Woof Republic got the incredible honor of attending the premier for the new Cosmic Pictures movie made in association with Mars Petcare: SuperPower Dogs. The movie profiles several dogs who use their incredible superpowers to better the lives of the community around them. The film is narrated by Captain America himself, Chris Evans.

At the premiere we got to meet the writer/director, producer, the famous pups including Ricochet the Surf Dog, Halo the dog training to be a part of the Urban Search and Rescue Team, Reef the Italian Coastguard Newfoundland, Henry the Avalanche dog from Whistler, Cara Delevingne, Katherine Schwarzenegger, and Ashley Benson. It was star studded but let’s be honest we were there for the paws not the stilettos. That all would have changed if Chris Evans was there, but I digress :)

The movie brings dogs front and center and shows them on the incredible IMAX Screen ( 8 stories tall). The movie follows the journey of Cat who is training for the Urban Search and Rescue task force. You see her growing up and watching her incredible superpowers develop before your eyes and on the IMAX screen.

Daniel Ferguson the writer/director of this movie is actually a self-professed cat person. He shared with Woof Republic that “This is part of the reason in his approach that makes his perspective unique in how he made this film.” See more of our interview with Daniel below:

The real heroes of this movie are the pups: Halo, Henry, Ricochet, Reef and Tony & Tipper.  Each of these dogs have an absolutely incredible superpower that they harness to support humans many times saving the lives of humans where humans would be unable to help. Let me tell you about each of these pups:

Halo was adopted by Cat (not a joke, thats her name) who is training Halo to go through the riggors to eventually become an Urban Search and Rescue Dog. Urban Search and Rescue Dogs go into disaster zones and use their heightened senses to locate survivors that humans cannot detect.  She is selected as a young puppy and has to be trained to not be distracted by smells, food, or humans so that she can continue to do her job.  This story meets her as a puppy and we learn whether she passes the prestigious test (No spoilers here.) It is incredible to see the dog that she becomes as we meet Halo as a very young puppy.

Photo taken from: https://superpowerdogs.com/halo/

Photo taken from: https://superpowerdogs.com/halo/

Reef is a Newfoundland who lives an incredible life working with his handler Ferruccio on the Italian Riviera where they work in Water Rescue. Ferruccio is Commandante Ferruccio Pilenga, founder of the Scuela Italiana di Cani Salvataggio (Italian School of Water Rescue Dogs), and a huge advocate for the Newfoundland as a working water dog.  Newfoundlands are able to tow 40 times their own weight and have saved dozens of people. Reef also kissed me which created a win win!

Photo taken from: https://superpowerdogs.com/reef/

Photo taken from: https://superpowerdogs.com/reef/

Ricochet is a dog that Woof Republic has gotten to know through her incredible Surfing Talent but Ricochet’s SuperPower abilities dwarf her surfing skill and she’s a surfing champ. Ricochet’s work with Veterans and Special Needs children makes her truly a superhero. Her recent initiative is Waves of Empowerment program which pairs Veterans with PTSD and kids with special needs for a day. It is incredibly therapeutic for both.

Ricochet lives the SoCal lifestyle in San Diego and she shared about the process of how Ricochet came to be picked for this movie:

WR: What was the process of Ricochet getting picked by Superpower Dogs? 

R & J: Daniel, the director called me on the phone four years ago asking me if I'd be interested in having Ricochet be part of an IMAX film. We met a couple weeks later at Starbucks and saw Ricochet responding to a stranger. I think Daniel was sold on the spot. 

WR: How did that feel and what was your reaction? 

R & J: I was excited. Most people know Ricochet because of her surfing. But, this was going to explore more than her surfing. It's more focused on her healing abilities. I'm passionate about educating others on how to interpret their dogs from a different point of view, so I thought this would be an excellent opportunity in which to raise awareness. 

Photo taken from: https://superpowerdogs.com/ricochet/

Photo taken from: https://superpowerdogs.com/ricochet/

Tony & Tipper are bloodhounds that are protecting endangered species as Endangered Species Protection.  They work at the LEWA Conservancy, Kenya, Africa. They are brothers who spend their lives protecting the residents of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, particularly endangered rhinos and threatened elephants. As trackers, they can take the scent of a poacher and track them for miles which saves the lives of rhinos and elephants. The community regards them as having magical due to their incredible superpowers but it is incredible that these talented pooches are very loving and enjoy a good snooze as much as ALL other dogs.

Photo taken from: https://superpowerdogs.com/tony-tipper/

Photo taken from: https://superpowerdogs.com/tony-tipper/

Henry the Avalanche Dog from Whistler is one lucky pooch. Chris Evans actually narrates his character in the film and this was a fun experience for Henry and his owner Ian. Both of them are a part of Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association where they work to ensure that people are saved during an avalanche. Time is of the essence with work like this. Many times they are deployed by helicopter and seeing Henry and Ian’s work was one of the most visually striking parts of the film. The IMAX just made seeing their experience in the Fitzsimmons Mountains absolutely incredible.

Woof Republic chatted with Ian and Henry about the process of getting to work with Chris Evans.

WR: What was it like to meet Chris Evans? Tell us everything...

I & H: Honestly, I had no idea of who Chris Evans was when I heard he was going to voice Henry, so I had no expectations when I met him. As it turned out, he was a consummate professional who was very adept at capturing the essence of Henrys’ character. I can’t imagine anyone doing the job better than Chris did, and the connection that is displayed in the PSA scene with both of them at the conclusion of the film demonstrates just how much of a “dog person” Chris really is at heart. He was a pleasure to work with, and I trust he is proud of the results.

Henry-poster-web-resized.jpg

This movie is beautiful, empowering and tells a story like I’ve never seen from a dog movie. SuperPower Dogs shows these pups doing their incredible work that saves lives and helps people within their community and it leaves you awestruck. Seeing it on an IMAX screen was so visually striking and causes you to become so personally invested in these dogs’ stories. I would recommend to everyone. It was designed to educate people of all ages and is great for kids.

Find a theatre to see SuperPower Dogs in your area here

A caution from me at Woof Republic, wear waterproof mascara when you see this film. Cara and I both regretted the decision to wear mascara as this movie was so emotionally moving and empowering.