Yes, you’ve read the rating right. I hardly ever give a movie a rating above 90/100, because of the limited time they have to work with, and this is the highest rating I’ve ever handed out to a movie. I knew that this was going to be a good movie because of the stories I’ve heard about the original novel, but I never expected that it would be THIS good. The Dog of Flanders has left me in an emotional wreck, and I honestly say that it’s been the best movie I’ve ever seen.
The people from Nippon Animation are true gods when it comes to adaptations. They always remain faithful and they always get the best out of their source material. If the source-material is such a tear-jerker as this one, the results really turn out amazing. This movie is heart-wrenching, from start to finish. It never shows any moments of weakness, and when one grievingly sad scene ends, you can be sure that it’ll be followed by an even sadder scene next.
The story makes perfect use of the amazing characters. No character feels incomplete, they all have their own subtle backgrounds, they all well-developed characters with their own well-defined roles. Even the small side-characters have a personality, and they work so incredibly well with the main characters. The only thing that isn’t absolutely stellar about this movie are the visuals. After all, it has been animated by Nippon Animation, and it dates back from 1997, so the art style does look simple.
But that should be no reason to not check out this movie. Over the past few months, I’ve watched a lot of different movies, and I kept nitpicking on how they always came out flawed somehow, and how each movie, despite its good points, didn’t quite make it to become truly memorable. This is why I often prefer TV-series. But a Dog of Flanders is different. It’s a true masterpiece, and it’s a real shame that so little people seem to have watched it. Both AniDB, Anime News Network and MyAnimeList have just thirty people who voted for it. If you’re looking for a sad story, then The Dog of Flanders should be the first on your list to check out.