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.