Movie Review: Snow Dogs (2002)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2002 family comedy starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and James Coburn.

Synopsis: Dentist Ted Brooks learns he is adopted after his birth mother dies and leaves him a team of sled dogs. Seeking to learn more about his heritage and getting no help from his biological father, he defiantly braves the Alaska wilderness and tries to learn how to drive a dog sled, a skill he later needs to use when his father disappears during the Arctic Challenge sled dog race.


My youngest daughter had a dance competition this weekend and, since she had to be there early in the morning, we ended up renting a motel room for the night before. While we didn't do much more than sleep at the motel (we had to go to bed early), I did manage to watch this movie while we were there.

I've seen this film before, not too long after it came out, and remembered liking it more than I expected to. After seeing it again, that opinion of it is still the same.

The movie, to be fair, is a little bit predictable, especially the relationship with Ted (Gooding Jr.) and his biological father (Coburn). In fact, it was very similar to many other movies I've seen, they start out not liking each other, find some common ground later on and, ultimately, the relationship is repaired.

Making up for this, however, is some fun family comedy. The early scenes with the dogs showing Ted who the boss really was were funny and the film managed to throw in one or two pleasant surprises. In fact, it made me wonder why Gooding Jr. doesn't do more comedies since he's actually really good in them.

I think the one unsung character in this film is Ted's adoptive mother (Nichols). She, herself, managed to be funny at times. But, at the same time, it was clear she really cared for Ted, even to the point she was willing to brave flying (something she feared) when he needed her. What I really liked best was the way I could understand why he was the way he was simply by watching scenes involving her. More movies need to do that.

Final Opinion

As I said before, the movie does tend to be a little predictable when it comes to the overall plot. However, it is still a funny and entertaining family movie and one that is worth taking the time to watch at least once.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 03/19/2017, StevenHelmer
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judy on 03/20/2017

I agree, this was a good movie!

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