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The Student News Site of Gulliver Preparatory

The Raider Voice

The Student News Site of Gulliver Preparatory

The Raider Voice

“Strays” Is Not Your Average Dog Movie

Sara Gelrud
“Strays” stars Will Ferrell and Jamie Foxx and takes an interesting angle on the early 2000s dog movies most have come to know and love. The movie is adventurous, funny, and heartwarming. “Strays” can be viewed in theaters now.

“Space Buddies”, “Hotel for Dogs”, “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”… you might remember these movies, all which are a part of that early 2000s dog movie genre. What would one of those dog movies be like now, over 20 years later, as an R-rated film which includes crude and mature humor? Independent production company Picturestart answers that question with “Strays,” the live-action animated film currently in theaters.

The movie follows the journey of a joyful, loyal border terrier (Reggie, played by Will Ferrell) whose owner is a drug-addicted, abusive, animal-hater who wants to get rid of him. Soon enough, a game of fetch ends with Reggie wandering through the dark, empty city streets until he finds Bug – another stray (played by Jamie Foxx) – who will help him get revenge as they meet other strays, and explore the outside world along the way.

While the overall plot is quite simple, the movie explores the human world through dogs’ eyes in a unique and humorous way that only this film could do. Why do dogs bark at the mailman? Why are they so loyal to us? What goes on in their minds? Even though most dog movies are told through the dog’s point of view, “Strays” does so in a way that’s more candid and unapologetic. In fact, different points of the movie make fun of the stereotypical aspects of dog movies, making the film extremely self-aware, adding to the enjoyment of it.

While the movie has no real profound meaning behind it, one can say that the movie does work to call out irresponsible and neglectful pet owners. How could we empathize with a cruel, uncaring person like Reggie’s owner? Right from the beginning, the audience can tell that Reggie’s owner has no redeeming qualities and could never forgive his treatment of Reggie. Even for the average viewer, the movie makes it clear that the issue is real, and that some people take their pets for granted and, in general, lack empathy. Not to worry though, this serious topic is offset by the dogs’ cheeky humor and amazing character development throughout the story.

Is “Strays” worth your time? If you view it in theaters, definitely. The audience’s reaction is a large component of what makes the film so great. “Strays” invites the audience to laugh and relate to the furry, lovable characters, making for a fun experience when watching it in theaters. Otherwise, the film is just your average dog movie with an added rated-R twist that might not be as fun if you watch it alone from the comfort of your home.

Although “Strays” is rated-R due to its crude language and mature humor and may not be suitable for children, it should be well-loved by dog lovers and casual moviegoers. It’s heartwarming and hopeful, taking the serious issue of stray dogs and adding in humor and adventure.

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About the Contributor
Sara Gelrud
Sara Gelrud, Editor-in-Chief
Sara Gelrud is a senior and the editor-in-chief for "The Raider Voice." This is her second year as a full staff member but has been a contributing writer since her sophomore year. Along with the newspaper, Sara is the editor-in-chief of "Reflections", the literary and arts magazine. Sara leads the Book Club and the Jewish Student Union and is excited to grow as a leader for "The Raider Voice." You can see Sara's full digital journalism portfolio here!

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