Carl Fredricksen and Dug from Pixar’s Up have sold Charles Muntz’s “Spirit of Adventure” and used the proceeds to buy a house in the suburbs. It’s there that they have new domestic adventures through five shorts called Dug Days, a new Disney+ exclusive. They’re each full of charm, whimsy, and SQUIRREL!
Dug proves that he is a very good boy in each short, all of which take place during a single day. From taking care of a box of puppies to letting his nose be his guide, Dug is often selfless in his quest to do the right thing. He’s also very funny as he talks about the world from a dog's perspective.
Ed Asner returns as the voice of Carl Fredricksen and Bob Peterson is back as not only Dug’s voice, but as the director of this series of shorts. All of the characters look and feel exactly the way they did in Pete Docter’s Oscar-winning film Up, although the environments are more in line with TV computer animation. That’s not a shock, I’m just not used to seeing it from Pixar. For example, in feature films, Pixar doesn’t often use flat matte backgrounds as close to the camera as they come in Dug Days, sometimes feeling like they’re part of the backyard fence.
Up ended so perfectly that I never wanted a sequel. That’s what I was most concerned with going into Dug Days, knowing that it would go beyond that picture-perfect final scene where Carl and Russel enjoy ice cream outside of Fenton’s while Dug helps them play spot-the-car. But after seeing all five shorts, my fears were quickly settled. With Dug as the central character, the series avoids changing the relationship between any of its characters, with the exception of Dug referring to Carl as his dad, which is as heartwarming as it sounds.
Each episode of Dug Days is joyously simplistic while still being highly entertaining. At about 8-minutes each, all five shorts played together creates a viewing experience around 40-minutes in length, although you will burn through them faster if you skip the adorable intro. “Squirrel,” “Puppies,” “Flowers,” “Smell” and “Science” all start streaming September 1st only on Disney+.
I give Dug Days 4.5 out of 5 squeaky toys.