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‘A Dog’s Purpose’ is not to drown

Bill Coffin | January 30, 2017

In entertainment, there’s an old adage that you never involve a dog unless you are okay being upstaged by it. It’s the same reason why the easiest way to establish a villain in a story is to have that character harm a dog. “Man’s Best Friend” isn’t just a marketing tagline; it’s a truism for anybody who’s ever owned a pooch. We project a lot of ourselves onto our dogs, but there really is a deep symbiosis between us and them that we share with very few other animals. So it makes sense that “A Dog’s Purpose,” a book about a dog reincarnated several times and its reflections on its different lives with different people, might be successful enough to make into a movie. And it makes sense that when you make a movie about dogs, you’re going to have a lot of dog actors. And when you have a lot of animal actors, you need to make sure they’re all taken care of properly.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t quite appear to have been the case with the movie adaptation of “A Dog’s Purpose,”... To get the full story, subscribe now.