My Dog Tulip Review

My Dog Tulip

Genre: Slice-Of-Life/Drama/Experimental
Year Released: 2009
Distributor: New Yorker Films

Origin: USA
Running Time: 83 minutes

Rating/Recommended Audience: 17+
Related Films/Series: We Think the World of You
For Fans Of: Finding Rin Tin Tin, More than Puppy Love, Still Life With Animated Dogs

Notes: N/A
Fun Facts:
-My Dog Tulip is an animated biography about the British author J. R. Ackerley although his dog’s name was Queenie. This same person also documented his life with his dog in another book We Think the World of You which explains why it’s under the Related Films section since that was adapted into a movie.

-The late South African actor Brian Murray did the voice of Captain Pugh and Mr. Blandish in this film. Did you know he’s also played a Disney villain in the past? He was also the voice of Long John Silver in Treasure Planet which would make My Dog Tulip the second movie I’ve reviewed that featured someone who played a Disney villain which is weird for me to think about.

-This was directed by Paul Fierlinger who has also directed Drawn From Memory and Still Life with Animated Dogs. Also, he’s lent his talents for Nickelodeon and Sesame Street with some animated interstitials.

-It took 2 1/2 years to animate My Dog Tulip and no paper was used during the animation at all. That’s surprising since some of the animation techniques involved a notebook aesthetic.

It’s been a long time since I’ve reviewed an American animated film. Yes, I do admit that most of the animated properties I’ve covered come from the Land of the Rising Sun, but I’ve been doing my best to watch Western Animated movies NOT made by the major studios. There have been some that I really liked such as the things GKIDS has offered like Wrinkles, Song of the Sea, My Life as a Zucchini, and even Ernest & Celestine. Indie shorts like Heart Chakra got my attention which I also enjoyed. Now, I couldn’t just rely on GKIDS and Vimeo alone to find lesser-known animated features, so I stumbled across something random that had some big names attached. Shoot, the main character is voiced by Christopher Plummer (Captain Georg von Trapp from The Sound of Music, General Chang from Star Trek VI, Charles Muntz from Up to name a few) which was a huge surprise to me with this being an indie animated film.

Will this be another example of proving me wrong that Western animation can be something amazing and for me to expose to those who only watch whatever Disney, Dreamworks, or Warner throws at them? We’ll see.

My Dog Tulip takes place in the mid-20th Century London with the author J. R. Ackerley. He’s been living alone, so he wanted some kind of companionship. This particular companion would come in the form of a German Shepherd named Tulip. She was being abused by her previous owner, so he takes the initiative to adopt her. J. R. narrates their lives throughout the dog’s fifteen-year companionship with him as he sees her grow, have her own puppies, and living together as they deal with so many things that life throws at them.

This was something unexpected when it comes to animation. There aren’t that many slice-of-life forms of animation made for adult audiences here in America. It was interesting with how someone who’s had no close friends find a friend of sorts with a pet. It’s certainly a relatable element as people need to have someone or something around them to function. The animation was certainly creative to say the least. It’s like a living mixed media work using multiple animation styles and textures to tell the story such as rotoscoped photos, rough drawings, notes, and some forms of surrealism. There was a lot of effort making sure the artistic elements and visuals were unique, and I do give credit to the creators to make sense out of everything. Even when things got extremely weird, the story was still straightforward enough to make any casual viewer follow along to what’s going on.

Hey! It’s an experimental animation piece, you would say and would be right. One can easily surmise that I would be all sunshine, gumdrops, and chocolate from here on out with this review. After all, I’ve praised the works of Yoshitoshi ABe, Fantastic Planet, and even the aforementioned Heart Chakra before, so I would surely rave on about how phenomenal this movie would be.

Pardon the lame pun, but you’re dog-gone wrong.

My Dog Tulip has to be one of the most disgusting animated films I have ever seen in my life. Where do I start with my many grievances against this pretentious freaking piece of crap? The content was just abysmal and disturbing with how J. R. would focus WAAAAAAAAAAY too much on Tulip’s bathroom habits and her sex life in explicit detail. All these sycophants who gave this film positive reviews (it ranks at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes which is a big sack of no) would be the type of people who would bash the brakes out of South Park or Family Guy for doing the same kinds of toilet humor. It’s actually worse than those shows because My Dog Tulip is trying to take itself seriously instead of being a straight-up comedy despite me not finding those aforementioned animated sitcoms to be funny, and people bought it. Some of the fantasies of an anthropomorphic Tulip prancing around and doing it with other dogs has to be some of the most furry-baiting things in animation which was a huge red flag. I’m not against anthro animal characters on principle, but that got too far for me and creeped me out. Even the other media I’ve reviewed with talking animal characters such as Ernest & Celestine, Kimba the White Lion, Shamanic Princess, She and Her Cat, and The Rabbi’s Cat never stooped this low in that matter and I hated that last movie. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if people actually in furry fandom would throw up and say “Wow, that’s too much even for me.” if they saw this film. I utterly hated how My Dog Tulip does so many things that would be critically panned if anyone else did it, but because it’s an “artistic film” (I use that term very, very, VERY loosely), it somehow gets a free pass for the animal sex jokes, toilet humor, and overall boring storytelling methods. Unbelievable, and screw anyone’s double standards.

This animated film was too nasty for me. You know it’s a bad thing when I had to cover my eyes doing the bathroom scenes, mating scenes, or some of J. R.’s fantasies of his pet German Shepherd. Sure, there is creativity with the mixed media animation and some good voice acting from everyone involved, but that wasn’t enough to save this dreck. You can put this on the record, since starting Iridium Eye, I can easily say that this is the worst animated film and the most exponentially overrated I have ever…EVER seen. I wish I could get my 81 minutes back, so I can erase this pretentious furry film out of my mind. Don’t even bother with this one, people.

Adjustable Point System:
Add 1-3 points if you like movies about dogs.
Add 1 point if you blindly follow bigger name critics than me and worship Rotten Tomatoes.

-Creative mixed media animation
-Good voice acting
-Nice score


-Disgusting amount of doggy bathroom humor and sex jokes
-Nasty anthro elements in J. R.’s fantasy
-Boring story

Final Score: 1/10 point

Content Warning: You think this movie about a dog would be kid friendly? HAHAHAHA! Yeah, right. My Dog Tulip is for older audiences only. There’s some swearing, but that’s the least of these issues. There are numerous scenes of Tulip and/or other dogs urinating, defecating, menstruating in heat, and having sex. What makes this even more disturbing is that the main character seems to relish in all of those bodily functions and even shows Tulip as an upright anthropomorphic dog with a dress and multiple nipples exposed. One seriously wonders if he’s into bestiality. There’s also human nudity of both male and female varieties shown in this film.

-Curtis Monroe

All photos used under US “Fair Use” laws. My Dog Tulip is property of Paul Fierlinger and New Yorker Films. The DVD cover is from Amazon and is property of New Yorker Films.

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