This year the dog days of summer start a little later than usual — on September 1! That’s when Pixar Animation Studios is releasing “Dug Days,” a new series of five shorts following the misadventures of the lovable dog from the Oscar®-winning feature film “Up.”
Picking up where the film leaves off, the shorts show how Dug, whose high-tech collar converts his thoughts into human speech, copes with his new life in suburbia. Along with his owner, Up’s cranky Carl Fredricksen, Dug has a number of first-time experiences right in his backyard, ranging from hilarious encounters with a sly squirrel and a batch of rambunctious puppies to a scary night of ear-splitting fireworks and much more.
The shorts were written and directed by Bob Peterson, who worked as a screenwriter and co-director on “Up,” and who once again supplies the voice of Dug.
“We pitched to Pixar a series of shorts which showed the facets in a dog’s life,” Peterson says, explaining how the new show originated. “Territoriality, nurturing, protection, fears, and especially a dog’s super senses like smell… This then gave focus to a dog’s feelings, which can be intense.”
Peterson notes that Dug is essentially like a 4-year-old, in that his emotions are huge. “If you look at all the shorts,” he adds, “each has its own personality, but it mimics Dug’s overblown emotions that are going on at the moment.”
“Carl really is a role he was born to play,” producer Kim Collins said in an interview the week before Asner’s passing. “We are very lucky to have cast Ed, as he truly is our Carl Fredricksen.”
Peterson, a self-proclaimed “dog person” who bases Dug’s voice on how he talks to his own dogs, says that coming up with these themes was relatively easy.
“It’s no accident that dogs make their way into our entertainment because they’re just so connected to us,” he states. “They’re family members… I’ve had so many great moments: dogs sitting next to me, just leaning on me, watching TV, and… you know, dogs are the best. So, we’re thrilled that we can put a dog on screen.”
“When it really comes down to it,” Collins adds, “these are stories about how Carl and Dug take care of each other.”
You can catch how that symbiotic relationship develops when “Dug Days” premieres on Disney+ on Wednesday, September 1.
Check out the official trailer for “Dug Days” from Pixar below: