The Call of The Wild Movie Poster

Trivia for The Call of The Wild

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  • This is 20th Century Studios' first live-action/animated hybrid that isn't an Alvin and the Chipmunks or Garfield film since Monkeybone (2001).
  • This is Chris Sanders' second directorial effort on a film composed by John Powell, after How to Train Your Dragon (2010).
  • Live-action directorial debut of Chris Sanders.
  • The role of John Thornton, here played by Harrison Ford, was previously portrayed by Rutger Hauer in the 1997 TV adaptation of the story. Both actors famously appeared opposite each other as enemies in Blade Runner (1982).
  • Buck is half St. Bernard (giving him size) and half Scotch shepherd (a medium-sized herding dog thought to be the ancestor of the Rough and Smooth Collie). He is described in the original novel as looking like a large wolf, rather than his mixed-breed look in the film. Additionally, none of the sled team look the way they do in the book. In the book, they are all Huskies - in the film, only Spitz is a Husky, and he is the wrong colour (black and white, as opposed to all-white as in the book).
  • The fully CGI model of Buck is a digital scan of Buckley, a real dog that director Chris Sanders' wife, Jessica Steele-Sanders, adopted as a family pet from an Emporia, Kansas animal shelter during production. Buckley is thought to be a cross between a St. Bernard and a Scotch shepherd (a medium-sized herding dog, similar to a rough collie or to the border collie and Australian shepherd descended from it), the same mixed breed as Buck in Jack London's book (though in the book he is described as looking wolf-like, Buck was based on a mixed-breed dog named "Jack," owned by Jack London's friends Marshall Latham Bond and Louis Witford Bond). At the time, Buck's CG design in the movie was based more on a Bernese mountain dog at the request of one of the producers - but when the producers saw Buckley and learned that he was the same sort of mixed breed as the dog in the book (and the real-life dog upon which Buck was based), it was decided that Buck in the film would be a digital scan of Buckley. This is the first time in "The Call of the Wild"'s film adaptations that Buck has been portrayed as a mixed-breed dog rather than a purebred (he has also been portrayed as a full-blooded St. Bernard, a German shepherd, and a Leonberger).
  • Walt Disney Pictures purchased Fox's film and television entertainment assets in 2019. This is the first film with the new rebranded logo of 20th Century Studios, without the Fox name. The Fox name will be dropped from any feature coming out of previously Fox-owned companies. Coincidentally, the 1935 version of the film was the last film released under the 20th Century Pictures name before the merger and formation of 20th Century Fox.
  • The number A113 (famous as a room at CalArts where young character animation students honed their craft before going on to careers at Disney or Pixar) is briefly visible on a bulletin board. Director Chris Sanders is a graduate of CalArts. An A113 Easter egg can be found hidden in Disney and Pixar films, as well as other films.
  • A digital version of Brody, director Chris Sanders' and Jessica Steele-Sanders' first dog, has a brief cameo encountering Buck in the Skagway dog pen prior to Buck's purchase by Perrault. Brody was the real-life "adopted brother" of Buckley, the dog who served as the model for the CG Buck.
  • Harrison Ford's best known roles also have a connection to a dog. Indiana Jones was named after George Lucas's Alaskan Malamute, and Indy is shown to have kept the same breed as his own pet when he was a boy. That same dog inspired Han Solo's co-pilot, Chewbacca.
  • This is the first 20th Century Studios' live-action/animated hybrid film with its current 2020 name.
  • In honor of author Jack London's love of nature, the making of this film was eco-friendly. There were no single-use plastic bottles, only biodegradable plates and cutlery were used. In addition, leftover food was donated, the crew employed solar-powered generators, and relied on recycled paper.
  • The film's producers chose to go with a CGI canine in order to give him a fuller range of emotion and expression as well as to avoid putting any real dogs at risk of being injured or frightened in this tale of overcoming hardships in a harsh environment. Director Chris Sanders was approached for this project partially because of his extensive career in animation at both Disney and DreamWorks.
  • Each sled dog on Buck's team (besides Spitz) was given the personality of one of the dwarfs from the Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937): Dolly is Bashful, Pike is Grumpy, Joe is Happy, Billy is Sleepy, Dave is Dopey, Dub is Sneezy, and Sol-Leks is Doc.
  • After John Thornton rescues Buck, a few sketches of a dog are visible pinned on the back wall of Thornton's residence outside of Dawson (presumed to have been drawn while Buck was recovering). If you look closely, these sketches resemble a Bernese mountain dog more than Buck's St. Bernard/Scotch shepherd mixed breed from the book, because Buck's design at that point in production was (at a producer's request) based on a Bernese mountain dog and had yet to be changed to the final model seen in the film.
  • One of the shops in Dawson is named "The Lucky Goat," and the sign depicts a goat chewing on a stick of dynamite in a nod to Disneyland's version of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride (which features an animatronic goat chewing on dynamite). Director Chris Sanders is a twenty-year veteran of Walt Disney Studios.
  • When Buck reaches Skagway for the first time, you can briefly see Charles Chaplin's tramp character (portrayed by actor Colin Woodell, who also plays Mercedes' husband Charles in the film) walking by and gesturing hello to the camera. This is an Easter egg referencing the movie The Gold Rush (1925), supposed to be set in the same area at the same time.
  • Some of the names of the wolves and wolf/dog hybrids are: Carol (the female white wolf), Bruno (Buck and Carol's male puppy), Lou (Buck and Carol's female puppy, who Carol picks up by the scruff while crossing the bear's river), and Duncan (the wolf that Buck rescued after he fell in the water and received a "dunkin'"). Bruno and Lou are named for Bruno Hamzagic and Lou Rigoudy, two of the film's animators.
  • The film is based on the novel The Call of the Wild by American author Jack London, first published in 1903.
  • Dan Stevens' red and black plaid costume was created from a bolt of fabric actually dating back to the Yukon Golden Rush, over 100 years ago.
  • The Mountie, played by Wes Brown, was asked to catch the mail pouch thrown to him with one hand without looking at it. He did so successfully in a single take. During the editing process, the production president of the studio deemed this "too cartoonish," so the Mountie's arm was replaced with a digital arm and the mail pouch now lands in a snow bank, instead.
  • Several of Buck's vocalizations were provided by Buckley, the real-life canine model for the CG version of Buck and family pet of director Chris Sanders and his wife Jessica Steele-Sanders - most notably while Buck and Thornton are in the canoe and Thornton says, "Go on, Buck, give us a song," and also when Thornton tells Buck that he'll be leaving the valley in the morning to return to civilization.
  • Canadian actress Cara Gee (Françoise) is Ojibwe, and she portrays a Tlingit woman for this adaptation. Gee spoke with a Tlingit (pronounced "klinkit") cultural adviser whose grandmother was, like the character of Françoise, a dog sledder.
  • 20th Century Studios' first live-action/animated hybrid film with the 2020 MPA logo.
  • The blanket that Buck and John use (green, red, yellow, black) is from the Hudson's Bay Company. This store is the oldest store in North America and is still in business today. The blanket was around 100 years ago and even today.
  • Harrison Ford and Bradley Whitford previously appeared in Presumed Innocent (1990).
  • In the book, Buck is purchased by two men, Perrault and Francois. In this version, Francois becomes Francoise, a woman.
  • In the cast list, one of the judge's daughters has her character's name misspelled. Their surname is 'Miller' but it lists Salem Meade playing the character of Molly Millwe (instead of MIller, an apparent 'typo')

Spoilers

  • Unlike the source novel, John Thornton has a back story. They wanted Thornton's experience to be similar to Buck's for this film adaptation to show both man and dog finding their strength after overcoming tragedy.
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