Nikki, Wild Dog of the North (1961)

Genres - Children's/Family, Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Animal Picture, Adventure Drama  |   Release Date - Jul 12, 1961 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 74 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - G
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

One of several feature-length collaborations between Disney Studios and Canada's Calgary productions (others include Big Red and The Incredible Journey), Nikki -- Wild Dog of the North concentrates on the adventures of the eponymous canine and his master, trapper Andre Dupas (Jean Coutu). Nikki, a wolf dog, comes across an orphaned bear cub. Oblivious to the fact that the two animals are supposed to be mortal enemies, Nikki befriends the cub and takes it back to Andre. When the master's boat overturns, Nikki and the cub are left to fend for themselves. Tied together, the two beasts have their share of disagreements, but soon discover that they must depend upon one another for survival. (The last time we saw this plot, it was called The Defiant Ones!) Captured by cruel hunter Jacques Lebeau (Émile Genest), Nikki is trained to attack anything that moves, but the dog's friendship for the now-grown bear transcends his new marching orders. Despite many deprivations, the animals have it pretty soft in Nikki compared to the humans, especially when taking into consideration the un-Disneylike climactic fight to the death between Andre and Lebeau.



wolf, Arctic, cub, hunter-gatherer, trainer, training