Photos © Jeanne Louise Bulliard
Copyright © 2000 Warner Brothers






My Dog Skip
by Willie Morris

"A rich experience all around. . . . Skip turns out to be a dog worth writing about. . . . I'd take him home in a shot."--Bruce McCall, The New York Times Book Review

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    About the Book

    "I came across a photograph of him not long ago, his black face with the long snout sniffing at something in the air, his tail straight and pointing, his eyes flashing in some momentary excitement. Looking at a faded photograph taken more than forty years before, even as a grown man, I would admit I still missed him."

    In 1943 in a sleepy town on the banks of the Yazoo River, a boy fell in love with a puppy with a lively gait and an intellectual way of listening. A classic story of a boy, a dog, and small-town America, My Dog Skip belongs on the same shelf as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Russell Baker's Growing Up. It will enchant readers of all ages for years to come.

    "True artistry and exquisite writing. . . . Morris's years with Skip teach us about canine love and courage, friendship and loyalty." --Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump

    "Written with the gentle wisdom of an E.B. White and the eternal youth of a Huck Finn." --Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Marvelous . . . a tribute to the dog, the place, and the time." --Washington Post

    About the Author

    Willie Morris's last book, My Cat Spit McGee was published by Random House in Fall 1999. He lived in Jackston, Mississippi, until his death in 1999.

    About the Film

    A funny, heartfelt coming-of-age story, "My Dog Skip" is based on award-winning author WILLIE MORRIS’ best-selling memoir of his boyhood. Directed by JAY RUSSELL, the film is a humorous and moving testimony to a unique friendship.

    The year is 1942. As the Allies unite overseas to keep the world safe for democracy, there are voices at home that are barely heard. One of them belongs to Willie Morris (FRANKIE MUNIZ), a shy and gawky eight-year-old whose childhood is even more quiet and isolated than his home town of Yazoo, Mississippi. An only child, ignored at school and uncomfortable with girls, Willie looks up to and confides in next-door neighbor Dink Jenkins (LUKE WILSON), the town’s star athlete, who’s preparing to ship out in the service of Uncle Sam.

    Willie’s father, Jack Morris (KEVIN BACON), a stern but good-hearted veteran who lost his leg in the Spanish Civil War, is chiefly responsible for Willie’s overprotective upbringing. Pushing in the other direction is his mother, Ellen Morris (DIANE LANE), a capable woman who knows that what Willie needs most is some freedom…and a friend. Willie’s ninth birthday gives her an opportunity to offer him both, in the form of a Jack Russell terrier puppy that the delighted Willie names Skip.

    Skip’s outgoing personality helps Willie to build a friendship with Rivers Applewhite (CAITLIN WACHS), the prettiest girl in school. Skip then further serves as matchmaker for Willie and Rivers at the movie theater, and lends a paw after Willie is challenged by Big Boy Wilkinson (BRADLEY CORYELL), Henjie Henick (DAYLAN HONEYCUTT) and Spit McGee (CODY LINLEY) to prove his worth in a football game. With Skip’s canine help, Willie starts becoming "one of the boys."

    Then unexpectedly, Dink returns to Yazoo. But the dark truth soon emerges: Dink, when confronted by the realities of war, went AWOL. In trying to reconcile his hero worship of the Dink he once knew with his disappointment in the disgraced soldier, Willie begins to contend with the complexities of war and human conduct. He reaches a new perspective on these matters through his father’s eyes and his own.

    Dink fails to show up at Willie’s first baseball game, and the disappointed Willie takes it out on Skip, who runs away. The dog’s disappearance and subsequent recovery teach Willie the strength of forgiveness, and give Dink a chance to embrace the power of redemption. Ultimately, it is a dog’s love that teaches Willie Morris lifelong lessons of the human spirit.

    Directed by Jay Russell from screenwriter GAIL GILCHRIEST’s adaptation of the novel by Willie Morris, "My Dog Skip" is produced by Alcon Entertainment. The producers are MARK JOHNSON, JOHN LEE HANCOCK, ANDREW KOSOVE and BRODERICK JOHNSON. The executive producers are MARTY EWING and Jay Russell. The director of photography is JAMES CARTER. The production designer is DAVID BOMBA. The costume designer is EDI GIGUERE. The editors are HARVEY ROSENSTOCK, A.C.E., and GARY WINTER, and the musical score is composed by WILLIAM ROSS. Warner Bros. is distributing "My Dog Skip" worldwide.



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    Copyright © 1999, Random House, Inc
    Photos Copyright © 1999, Universal Studios