Reviewer: James van Maanen
Rating (out of five): * * * *
The Queen and her Corgis, Churchill and his bulldog, J.R. Ackerley and Tulip. If that last one doesn't ring the bell, no matter: a gong may sound in perpetuity once you've seen the new animated film My Dog Tulip, the newest from husband-wife filmmaking team Paul and Sandra Fierlinger. J.R Ackerly, a British literary editor and writer, had his book of the same title (a reminiscence about the relationship between him and his dog) published in 1956 in England and later here in America. Reissued by New York Review Books in its Classic Series, Tulip is currently that series' best-seller.
While all this may sound a bit like the Brit version of Marley and Me, be assured that it is not. For one thing, Tulip is not a film for children. One of the first things to greet us on-screen are the book author Ackerley's words: "Unable to love each other, the English turn to dogs." Sad, ironic, rather nastily funny -- and definitely not for kids. The story that unfolds thereafter tells of a quiet, highly intelligent and lonely man who has never had a committed relationship with another person. Into his life comes the dog Tulip.