In The Call of the Wild, Chris Sanders makes his directorial debut via live action, yet the film’s most prominent character, a dog, was created in computer animation.
This new film version of Jack London’s 1903 novel features Buck, the tamed St. Bernard/Scotch Collie hybrid. See how a live dog was still incorporated into 20th Century’s The Call of the Wild despite its use of lifelike animation.
What Kind of Dog is Buck in Call of The Wild 2020
Buck is a cherished family pet in The Call of the Wild who is stolen and sold, eventually finding himself in the foreign territory of the Alaskan Yukon. The dog is taken from his home and raised to become a member of a mail-delivery sled dog team.
Buck has trouble fitting in with Spitz, the pack’s alpha, and the rest of the dogs. After being mistreated by both nature and his caretakers, Buck finally encounters John Thornton (Harrison Ford), a nature lover and expert on animal care. Buck doesn’t find his purpose in life until he starts travelling with John.
For the Purpose of Filming Call of the Wild, a Rescued Dog Named Buckley was Used.
To save time and money, veteran stunt coordinator Terry Notary stepped in to play Buck in a few key scenes, including those with Harrison Ford, during filming The Call of the Wild.
In addition, a real dog was employed during technical rehearsals for the cameras and lighting. Buckley, the dog, was saved by the director’s wife, Jessica Steele-Sanders, but only after filming had begun.
Shelter workers in Kansas found Buckley wandering the streets and brought him in. Steele-Sanders saw that Buckley looked like a cross between a St. Bernard and a collie, just like Buck was described in London’s book.
She then took a road trip to Kansas, adopted a dog named Buckley, and brought him to the set, where he played a starring role in place of the actual star dog.
Since live-action and animation hybrids tend to appeal to younger audiences, it seemed sense to incorporate CGI for this family-friendly film. Many have voiced their disapproval of the method, citing the animation’s cartoonish quality as the main reason.
The subsequent release of Disney’s live-action picture Togo, which included real canines, has led some to claim that the use of CGI devalued The Call of the Wild. Animal rights group PETA, which has been pushing to reduce the number of times real animals are used in movies and TV, is likely to be a big supporter of the film regardless of the plot.