Eight Below

The 2006 Disney film, “Eight Below” was a story about survival and the strong bond a handler has with his dogs – whether it is one dog or an entire team of sled dogs.

The story starts out with Jerry Shepard, who is a sled dog guide in an Antarctica based research center, taking a scientist to a site where me feels he might be able to find meteorite fragments. They are called back and need to leave in an emergency – Jerry is promised that they’ll be able to come back for the dogs but unfortunately they are not able to and the dogs are left to fend for themselves in the Antarctic wilds. The story revolves around the dogs’ story of survival as wel as Jerry’s dedication to them and he spends everything he has trying to get back to his dogs left behind.

All of the dogs are huskies which are used as sled dogs in snow covered areas of the world (Arctic and Antarctic). The husky’s thick and pluch coat ofers them protection from cold, moisture, and wind along with their strength and stamina make them the perfect dog for distance sledding.

The team of dogs were:

  • Max – played by D.J. and Timba.
  • Maya – the lead dog played by Koda Bear and Jasmin
  • Old Jack – the oldest and about to be retired dog played by Apache and Buck
  • Shadow – played by Noble and Troika
  • Buck – played by Flapjack and Dino
  • Truman – played by Sitka and Chase
  • Dewey – played by Floyd and Ryan
  • Shorty – played by Jasper and Lightning

D.J., Koda, Buck, and Floyd were also in the Disney film, Snow Dogs.

Of course, the film would not have been successful without the animal trainers, Michael Alexander (head dog trainer), Tammy Blackburn, Tracey Fardhouse, Thomas L Gunderson, Rowan Harland, Trish Judd, Dea Valentin Kristensen, Grace MacLeod, Jackie Martin (Kaptan), Christie Miele, Scott Rowe, Robert (Scott) Schweitzer, Andrew Simpson, Cherie Smid, Sally Jo Sousa (head animal trainer), and Tim Williams. Andrew Simpson was also the animal coordinator (Canada – uncredited) and Gary Gero was the animal coordinator.

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