Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

‘Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog’ Is An Emotional Experience

Quill.JPGA foreign film – with subtitles, no less – may seem a stretch for kids. But KIDS FIRST! youth film critics who reviewed the film have rated it highly and recommended it to their peers. Who could resist its appeal when, as 11-year-old Hunter Willow Jones says, “… the dogs are so adorable”? She emphasizes it in captial letters as she shares, “I LOVE this film …” and describes how it opened her eyes to ideas about how other people live and feel. Brianna Beaton, age 12, came away with a deeper appreciation of what it takes to learn to be a seeing-eye dog. She describes a few of the behaviors Quill must master, and observes that “… is an awful lot to ask of him.” And it inspired Camille Bajema, age 10, who says she was especially touched by the couple who raise Quill as a puppy and that the film “really got me interested in training dogs for people with disabilities.”

Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog
Reviewed by Hunter Willow Jones
(See her full review on video.)

I just watched Quill and I LOVE this movie! It is heartwarming and the dogs are so adorable.

I was not actually looking forward to watching Quill; I mean, the title didn’t seem very interesting. Also, it is a Japanese film with English subtitles, which didn’t excite me. But as the movie progressed, I liked it more and more.

Quill is the story of one special guide dog — a yellow Labrador named Quill because of a unique brown spot on his side. Shown as a docudrama, the movie follows Quill’s life as he goes from a small puppy with its mother to being picked to be a guide dog because of his calm nature and sent to live with a foster family that loves and cares for him until he is a year old and then to being off to school where he learns to be the eyes for a blind person. Though Quill does not seem to learn as quickly as the other dogs, Satoru Tawada (Kippei Shiina), Quill’s trainer, is patient and sees the potential in him. Quill is teamed up with Mr. Watanabe (Kaoru Kobayashi), who is not a dog lover and does not like being blind. Though the pair have a rocky start, Mr. Watanabe grows to trust and respect Quill. The ending is inspiring despite it being sad.
Quill is average with good sound and cinematography. The dogs in Quill are simply amazing. They are so well trained. I think they are the best actors in the film. The subtitles were a little distracting, I didn’t like that I couldn’t understand what was being said and had to read it, but as I got into the movie that became easier. I liked seeing what life is like in Japan and that there are differences from my town, like the way the houses look, but there are more things that are same, like how we love our pets.HunterWillow.jpg

When my parents and I were done watching Quill, we talked a lot about the movie, from what it is like to be blind to how dogs are trained to be guide dogs to the story and characters. Quill made us smile, laugh and cry, but it also made us think.

Quill was released in Japan in 2005, was released in America in May 2012, and is released on DVD on July 10, 2012.

Quill is a wonderful movie for any age, but it is better for kids who know how to read. Kids and adults both will enjoy it. I give Quill five stars!

Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog
Reviewed by Brianna Beaton
(See her full review on video.)

Wow, this is a very touching and emotional film cast with one of my favorite animals.
First off, I really love this film for a couple of reasons. One being Quill’s extreme cuteness and how he catches everyone’s attention every time he walks into the scene. Everyone feeds off of his reactions and the rest of the cast act pretty well themselves. They portray exactly what they are feeling inside. It is hard to tell they are just playing their role. Second, I feel the teamwork shown in this film just blows me away as they are sharing a bond of trust and love. One of my favorite parts is the beginning when Quill is huddling up against his siblings. They are so cute.
Quill, a Labrador, is a guide dog in training. He is experiencing how hard it is to stop at a street curb or corner and is having other obstacles as well. For Quill to come and stop when asked to do so, not to take a bathroom break even when he has to and most of all be loyal to his master no matter what is an awful lot to ask of a him. When Quill grows up to an adult dog, he is given over to his new master, Mitsuru Watanabe (Kaoru Kobayashi) a lonely, middle-aged man who isn’t fond of being guided around by a dog. They both go on the adventure of trust and teamwork as Mitsuru’s daughter, Mitsuko Nii (Shinobu Terajima) narrates.
Yoichi Sai directs this outstanding film. It is in Japanese and has subtitles in English, so you really have to pay close attention to the screen. Don’t even pay attention to the Japanese, unless you speak and know Japanese.BriannaBeaton.jpg

I recommend this film for ages 6 to 12 because it is so adorable, funny and sweet. Older ages can definitely watch this film as they will enjoy it and understand what is happening. Puppy and dog lovers, this is your film.

I without a shadow of a doubt give this film 5 out of 5 stars because it has comedy, emotion, drama, crises and, of course, cute puppies.

Quill is a great film and I hope you love it as much as you can. Prepare to cry and laugh out loud. It is released on DVD on July 10, so please try and see this amazing Japanese foreign film. No matter where you are at in the world, a dog is truly a man’s best friend.

Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog
Reviewed by Camille Bajema
(See her full review on video.)

Quill is a 2004 Japanese docudrama. I like this movie because it really got me interested in training dogs for people with disabilities. This film is an adaptation of the novel The Life of Quill, the Seeing-Eye Dog by Ryohei Akimoto and Kengo Ishiguro, based on a true story.

Quill is an adorable Labrador Retriever puppy, who goes to live with a kind couple who raise guide dogs, Mitsuko and Isamu Nii, played by Shinobu Terajima and Teruyuki Kagawa. Quill lives with them for a year and is then taken to a training school where he is trained by a strict man, Satoru Tawada.

Quill is a bit slower than some of the other dogs during training, but he improves quickly and is sent to work with a very stubborn blind man, Mitsuru Watanabe, played by Kaoru Kobayashi. Their friendship grows and Quill never leaves Mr. Watanabe’s side, until he falls gravely ill.

My favorite characters in this film are Mitsuko and Isamu Nii, the couple who raise Quill as a puppy. I like them because they are so nice, loving and caring to Quill, and, while watching that part of the film, I felt very touched.

This film was directed by Yôichi Sai and written by Soichi Maruyama and Yoshihiro Nakamura. Yoshihiro Nakamura also wrote Pokemon: Power of One. The soundtrack was composed and recorded by the Kuricorder Quartet.CamilleBajema_sml.jpg

I recommend this film to kids ten and up because there are subtitles and you have to be able to read very well. There is also some bad language, and there are some very emotional scenes that would be more suitable for older children.

I give this film four out of five stars because it is slow-moving at times.

Photos: Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog DVD box art (top), Hunter Willow Jones (second), Brianna Beaton (third), Camille Bajema (bottom)

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