• bob the moo17 January 2010
    Funny short that folds nicely into the main narrative of Up
    As we all know, Dug is the dog that meets Carl and Russell on top of a mountain top while he is on a mission hunting for an elusive tropical bird on the orders of his master Charles Muntz. Well, "hunting" is a bit strong since Dug has been sent on a wild goose chase to keep him out of the way of the main, err, "wild bird chase". This short film are the events that led Dug to be on that mountain top as Alpha tries to keep Dug occupied with a series of seemingly harmless "missions".

    In addition to the short film that accompanies the cinematic release of their feature films, Pixar will mostly use one of the characters from the main film to generate another short film that will go on the DVD release of same. In this case I was very happy to find that this was to be the loyal but rather dopey dog Dug since he was one of my favourite characters from the film with both physical comedy and his funny dialogue (essentially the thoughts of a dog "SQUIRREL!"). This short film is well placed within the context of the main events and sees Alpha essentially ditching Dug with pointless missions such as "this is the bird's favourite hole in the ground, stay in this hole until you see the bird". Needless to say Alpha's plans manage to backfire as Dug manages to somehow get in Alpha's way with a mix of innocent cheerfulness and exuberance.

    The ways that this happens are funny but they are made funnier by Dug as a character, the dialogue being a match for the film in terms of style and him being funny simply by virtue of being in the scene. Even the jokes that are repeated from the film (SQUIRREL!) are funny here. The ending of the short isn't particularly strong but this is forgivable since it is not really the "end" but rather nicely dovetails into a scene in the main film that we had previously come into from the perspective of Carl and Russell.

    Overall Dug's Special Mission is a typically enjoyable DVD short film from Pixar that makes funny use of one the funnier characters from Up to produce a funny DVD extra that sits well alongside the main film.
  • dogman1515 November 2009
    8/10
    A balance of humor and emotion
    Being a Pixar fan, I was looking forward to this short film ever since it was announced. Heck, I was eager for it even BEFORE it was announced, because Pixar always includes a second short film on their DVDs. While I can see by the ratings here on IMDb that some people didn't enjoy it as much as I did (I can see why, if they're comparing it to "Up"), I still think that this short film had a number of elements that made it very enjoyable to watch.

    All the humor that comes with Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Dug is here, as well as Alpha's "broken collar" joke. However, this film did have a few discrepancies with the feature film it was based on that bothered me slightly. They're mostly anachronisms or continuity errors, but I can forgive them considering that this film is supposedly a representation of how Dug remembers these events, just like the "Married Life" sequence in "Up" was supposed to be how Carl Fredricksen remembered his marriage with Ellie.

    This film isn't all physical humor, though. Before I go on, please note that you shouldn't watch this until you've seen the feature film it's based on. Anyway, after Alpha gets fed up with Dug, Dug is (to be brief) very sad and alienated. Pixar does their thing with the emotions, and Dug runs away into some fog-filled rocks. The first time I saw that, I felt sorry for Dug. However, as per his birthday wish (it is his birthday, after all), he finds "a new master": Carl and Russell. What a nice alternate location story!
  • U.N. Owen6 November 2015
    A really well made movie which doesn't talk down to the audience.(and I don't just mean the adults)
    Over the past couple of decades, films - esp. those aimed at younger audiences, have got into the terrible habit of adapting a patronising attitude, where all the animals are cute, and 'problems' are simplistic, with overraught moralism, and a fake veneer of 'child-ness,' have made - what had been - a whole, wonderfully diverse type of film (and TV) making into something similar to treacle; sickeningly sweet and cloying.

    When one thinks back to the so-called 'golden age' of cartoons, with the wonderful Warner Brothers, et. al., the thing which made those cartoons so enjoyable - for people of ALL ages was they were made so they could be enjoyed by all.

    A terribly dangerous thing which has gained a strong grip in media today- sort of a 'think about the children'-type nonsense, where everything seems to be judged to have 'sharp edges' (I'm saying this as a metaphor), and the 'goody-goody, (overly) concerned adults' step in - and through THEIR adult eyes - looks at things meant for children.

    These people will see something in an animated film, and THEY think it 'looks like' a sex organ,' and THEY think a 'small child' will also think this, and therefore, the child's , life, mind - who the hell knows - will be 'ruined.'

    Wrong.

    Children DON'T perceive ANYTHING as adults - or even as older kids do.

    So, a Bugs Bunny cartoon holds it's power, because no matter the viewer's age, there's always something specifically for them.

    I say this, because p, I just saw UP, and for this reason, I've just explained, I avoid films marketed for/to kids, because I can't stand that 'P.C.' mind-set, and it's rotting destructiveness.

    I can't say how utterly surprised - VERY happily so - to have seen this really well-made, film.

    I'm a grown-up, but, like anyone, there's always a kid in me, but, even still, I want my adult mind to find enjoyment as well, and after watching Up, I can happily say that there still beats the hearts and (creative) minds of people who understand at a film - whilst it might be 'kid-accessible,' MUST still be accessible to adults, as well.

    I came by staying Up, after first coming across (on YouTube) a video of 'Dug's best moments,' and I could not stop laughing - out load (a sure sign - to me, anyway) that the filmmakers 'get it.'

    The voice casting - Ed Asner, doing, what's pretty much an extension of his wonderful Lou Grant, is superb, as Carl, the older man, who's promise to his love, sets the film in motion.

    Jordan Nagai, as Russell, was a fully thought-out, living, breathing kid, and not just some plastic, lifeless part. Young. Mr. Nagai brought a real heart to Russell, a kid, I know I could partially with, who isn't perfect, comes from a divorced home, and really is just learning to find HIS way in the world.

    He's young, but, he's not dumb. He's polite - a real plus, but, he's also got - as Mr. Grant once memorable said - 'spunk.'

    He's someone I would really have liked to have known at his age.

    Dug - played to perfection, by Bob Peterson - is brilliant. He's not the smartest, nor the dumbest, but, he is all heart, and definitely. It's all dog-heart.

    His introduction, where he repeats over and over about his 'smart master,,' only to be totally distracted when he gets the scent of.. 'SQUIRREL,' had me, and I know, it must've had a lot of others laughing so hard with recognition.

    The filmmakers' little touches, such as Dug - and Kevin also does this - giving things to Carl and/or Russell covered in doggy (or bird) saliva, with it still hanging out of there mouths, is both funny, for it's truthfulness, and for the genuine-ness of the love and heart of these characters' for one another,

    I can't recommend Up enough - it sounds like so much ..., you-know-what, when someone says 'it's for all-ages,' but, Up truly is one of the few films which DOES get it right.
  • jhunt70917 February 2010
    9/10
    Refreshing approach makes this 'special'.
    Warning: Spoilers
    Featuring the most memorable of the canines from the feature, 'Dug's Special Mission' marks a refreshing approach for Pixar companion short films, where the events of Dug's birthday lead right into a pivotal moment from the main feature that we had only previously seen from Carl and Russell's perspective.

    Exploiting the sympathy and adoration many of us expressed towards Dug during the film, this short is primarily a showcase of humour up until its ending, which leaves us to take away some considerably heavy implications regarding Dug's role in the journey of a determined old man and an eager wilderness explorer. When you sit down to 'Up' again in the future you may feel the tug on your heartstrings pulling a little harder knowing what Dug's birthday wish was, or at least you'll have had a few more minutes of fun with this lovable dog.

    9/10
  • Gordon-118 November 2017
    Funny and entertaining
    This animated short film tells the story of a dog called Dug. He is given a series of special missions on his birthday by dogs with an ulterior motive. He takes the missions seriously, and they lead to unexpected results.

    "Dug's Special Mission" is a funny and sweet animation. The series of missions are funny, and they lead to even more funnier scenes. It is an entertaining short film.
  • SnoopyStyle21 October 2016
    7/10
    good Dug
    Dug is a happy and slightly dim dog. It's his birthday. The other dogs Alpha, Beta, and Gamma are exasperated when Dug gets into the way of their hunt for the giant bird. Alpha assigns Dug meaningless tasks to keep him out of their way only to have it backfire again and again. Dug is ostracized by the pack and then he encounters Russell and Carl Fredricksen.

    It's a fractional prequel right before Dug's appearance in the movie Up. It's good to see Dug in his 'natural' everyday life. It's great to tie it all together with Carl and Russell. It's something to watch after finishing the movie.
  • Stompgal_877 August 2013
    8/10
    A clever short that ties in with 'Up' very well
    Warning: Spoilers
    I found this short whilst browsing the bonus features of the 'Up' DVD that I rented and it was cleverly written.

    When the short began, it had me thinking, "Does this take place during the film or is it something completely separate?" It was hard to determine to begin with but I laughed at the '"Squirrel!" gag and I enjoyed watching Alpha, Beta and Gamma's failed attempts at following the instructions of Dug's mission. I did sympathise with Dug as well due to him having a terrible birthday until he sees a rock that resembles a man and another that resembles a turtle. It wasn't until this point that I realised this short tied in with the main film since Dug was looking at interestingly-shaped rocks at the same time as Carl and Russell. One thing that puzzled me was that Alpha's voice was already squeaky in this short whereas it is a complete surprise to Beta and Gamma in the main film.

    Overall, this is an entertaining short that ties in with the main film very well. 8/10.
  • Caleb Stevens22 February 2011
    Good except for the annoying voice
    Warning: Spoilers
    I liked this short film! It was funny, cute, and well done just like the full length movie. However, the one thing that annoyed me in this one and annoyed me in the other is I CAN'T STAND THE VOICE OF THE BIG DOG! It's kind of funny for the first few times you hear it but it starts to get annoying! It's like internet sensation Fred, he's funny the first few videos you watch but after a while he starts to get annoying. It was nice to see a different story about Dug because he was my 2nd favorite character, after Russell (Jordan Nagai). It was kind of sad for a 5 minute short film. ***SPOILERS START NOW*** My favorite part is when he sit in the hole and he starts falling through the hole and lands on his "pack". I also like no matter how hard Dug tries to be good and not mess things up he always manages to. SQUIRREL, was used in this short once which I find hilarious!***Spoilers End Now*** Overall another job well done by Pixar!
  • TheLittleSongbird25 February 2012
    9/10
    Very well done
    I saw Dug's Special Mission as I love Pixar and Up is my second favourite of Pixar's films. Plus I wanted to see what this short film was going to be like from Dug's perspective. It was very well done, with a lot of what I loved about Up shown here. As with all of Pixar's work, it is beautifully animated, with character designs that have life and backgrounds and colours that have such a bright and breezy look to them. The music has a uplifting and nostalgic feel to it, the story is cute with a lot of heart to it and while the physical humour is genuinely amusing there is always room for some poignancy as well particularly at the end. The characters do engage, I personally like Dug and I liked what was done with him here, and the other dogs, Carl and Russell are great in support. The voice work is as solid as can be. Overall, very well done, I liked it very much. 9/10 Bethany Cox
  • Horst in Translation (filmreviews@web.de)3 October 2013
    4/10
    Mediocre add-on to "Up"
    Warning: Spoilers
    The first 15 minutes from "Up" are among the best what Pixar has ever put on screen. Afterwards, it goes considerably down in quality and this five-minute short film is unfortunately not much better. Basically, it tells us about Dug right before he meets the old man and the boy. Dug keeps getting in the way of the other dogs in their attempts to catch the wonder-bird, so they try to keep him busy with pointless tasks, but keep failing (and occasionally getting hurt) as he always gets in their way. The one thing special about this short film compared to other Pixar short films is that it neither plays before or after the feature film it's linked to, but exactly at the same time, just focuses on a character we did not see at this point of time in the movie. That's why it could easily be included in the film.

    However, I'd only really recommend it to children, for whom Dug is probably the highlight of the movie, or those who really enjoyed Up and the alpha dog's high-pitched voice, which I personally found more distracting than funny in the long run. It's an okay add-on to a decent film, but you're really not missing much.
  • bryguy_sanders17 May 2010
    7/10
    There's one big mistake that bothers me.
    Warning: Spoilers
    In the main film, when we are introduced to Alpha, he has a broken collar that causes his voice to be high-pitched. His companion dogs, Beta and Gamma look surprised upon hearing him speak and start to tease him. Later on, when Alpha contacts Dug on the video collar, Dug also comments on how Alpha's voice sounds funny. Throughout the short, Alpha talks in his squeaky voice and no one seems to think it odd, even though it takes place before the introduction scene in the main film.

    Either Dug, Beta and Gamma should be used to his voice by the time we hear it in the main film, or Alpha should be talking in his alternate "beefy" voice throughout the short.

    Other than that, it's a cute story with a sappy happy ending.