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Mist - family and children's DVD / television DVD / drama DVD review
MIST: THE TALE OF A SHEEPDOG PUPPY Rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 stars
Actors: Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed, Rosalind Blessed, Vanessa Clarke, Karyn Claydon
Director: Richard Overall   Studio: Allumination
DVD release: 22 April 2008   Runtime: 75 min. (1 disc)
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
DVD features: Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround - English), Subtitles (Spanish), Deleted scenes with commentary by David Kennard ("The Boss"), Previews

Mist is part documentary and part sweet animal movie for little ones, reminiscent of Milo and Otis. It is a breath of fresh air to see a live-action movie for kids that isn't corny and overdone with computer animation. It is funny, a tiny bit intense and very, very informative. At an hour and fifteen, it isn't even too long for wiggly preschoolers to enjoy. The story of these brand-new puppies learning to be sheepdogs has family appeal.

Sir Derek Jacobi has a mild, soothing narrating voice. He's a British actor in the classic sense, known for stints on Cadfael and Doctor Who, whose career dates back to 1962. He brings an air of elegance and endurance to a "kid movie" that might be otherwise overlooked without his influence.

The stars, however, are absorbing and quirky doggie characters - and quite a lot of them - on the farm. From the harsh Aunt Fern to the loving but firm Granddad, plus all the kooky ones in between, here is a family group that - dog or no - smacks of real family units everywhere.

Storm, Drift and Mist are the three brand-new babies on the sheep ranch on the cliffs of ocean-side Devon. Our story centers on little Mist, though, a noble Border Collie. We're carried from the moments just after their births through their training as new sheep dogs. Young Mist is the pup that will stay on to help her mom and granddad. From the first day she is big enough to toddle around on her sturdy little paws and see outside the barn, she wants to be the best sheepdog she can be.

The direction and filming can make one a little dizzy here and there with the panning and abrupt tightening of scenes. The music is lovely but a wee bit overbearing. There is nothing like round-bellied and wobbly puppies to help the audience gloss over any imperfections, though. And it is set on the Devon coast, so even if one isn't fond of dogs and their sheep, the serene beauty of the setting alone might be enough.

It really is a must-see for dog lovers or for anyone who has a weakness for puppies - and who doesn't? The smooth, gentle English voices just top it off. It is a tale of perseverance and growth that will warm hearts and spark discussions with the kids. Mist is a wholesome, family movie with cute-appeal.
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reviewed by Carolynn Evans
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