Pixar’s newest batch of shorts for Disney+ is the “Dug Days” collection, which consists of 5 shorts, that follows the humorous misadventures of Dug, the lovable dog from Pixar’s “Up.”
Each short features everyday events that occur in and around Dug’s backyard, all through the exciting (and delightfully distorted) eyes of our favourite talking dog. The shorts vary in length from between 5 and 9 minutes, though that does include an intro and the credits, so generally, they are around 3 to 6 minutes long each.
Each short kicks off with a short introduction, showing Carl and Dug buying a new home and settling into it. At first, I just thought the introduction was part of the first short, but they use it in every short, which seems a little unnecessary, but at least you can skip it on the later episodes.
The first short sees Dug meet his newest arch-nemesis, Squirrel, who lives in their new backyard. Carl makes a new bird table and wants Dug to protect it, which, as you would expect, things don’t go according to plan. Leading to plenty of moments of the Squirrel outmanoeuvring Dug. This feels like a classic Disney short story, that you’d easily find Chip ‘n’ Dale do. Squirrel becomes a series regular and is constantly causing problems for Dug throughout the whole season of shorts.
Rating – 4 out of 5
In this short, Carl volunteers to look after some puppies for the day, leading to Dug spending most of the day looking after the pint-sized pooches. We get to see the cute side of puppies, but also that mischievous side, that loves to steal food, toys and, more importantly bite anything they can. This was my favourite of the five shorts, probably because I could easily relate to this story, as I got a new puppy about a month ago and everything Dug had to deal with, my other dog has gone through. I thought they caught the feelings of getting a puppy perfectly from the point of view of another dog.
Rating – 4.5 out of 5
In this episode, Dug and Carl sit down to watch the fireworks. As you’d expect with a dog and fireworks, they aren’t a great combination and ends up in Dug passing out after getting worked up over the fireworks going off. From there, we head off to dreamworld for a twisted trip through Dug’s mind. This was my least favourite out of all the shorts in this series. While I enjoyed the first half, I lost interest once the short went off to a dream sequence.
Rating – 3 out of 5
In this short, we are shown what’s going on in the mind of Dug while he is smelling scents around him, leading on to some chaos involving hot dogs and a BBQ, which, as you might expect from Dug, doesn’t mean the same to him as it does to us. This is another fun short. I especially liked how they showed us how Dug picks up different smalls from objects. “Smell” is a fun episode from this short collection that I enjoyed.
Rating – 3.5 out of 5
This short is the only one that includes Russell, who has a box full of voice collars and retrofits them for all the animals in the garden, so we get to hear what they are all thinking and their problems. This is a great short that captures the feeling from “Up!” the best, since it feels completely natural for Russell to be involved and, more importantly, playing around with the voice collars. I know I’d have done the same when I was that age. This is one of the better shorts in the series, and I’m sure kids are going to love it.
Rating – 4 out of 5.
Overall, if you loved “Up!, you’ll love this collection of shorts. It feels like a natural follow up to the film, just Carl and Dug doing normal things at home. It’s full of charm, and I’d say one of the better follow-ups to a Pixar movie I’ve seen so far. This is an easy recommendation for everyone with a Disney+ subscription to check out, though I’d suggest maybe not binge watching them all in one sitting. Take your time and savour the “Up!” bonus experience.
Rating – 4 out of 5
All five “Dug Days” shorts will be coming to Disney+ around the world on Wednesday 1st September.