Eight Below is a movie inspired by true events concerning a team of sled dogs who, due to a set of unfortunate circumstances, are left behind in Antarctica to fend for themselves. The team at the National Science Foundation (NSF) is visited by Dr McLaren (Bruce Greenwood), a scientist who has come to retrieve a meteor, presumed to have come from Mercury. His destination is only accessible by sled, so Jerry (Paul Walker) has to guide him there with his team of loyal husky dogs. The route is a frozen landscape passing over treacherously thin ice. Inevitably, the sled falls through a crack with the doctor in it but Jerry manages to pull him free with ropes. Nearing their destination, Jerry receives a radio call from the base warning them of an approaching severe storm and advising them to return immediately. McLaren is intent on finding the meteor and persuades Jerry to ignore the warning and continue the search which is ultimately successful.
The return journey is fraught with danger as the storm closes in on them. McLaren falls over a cliff while trying to receive a radio signal and falls heavily on the ice below. The ice cracks and he falls into freezing water but is saved by one of the courageous huskies who carries a rope to him. In the process, McLaren breaks a leg. This further hampers the return journey to base camp. Jerry also sustains frostbite, and the whole team at NSF has to be evacuated before the weather gets worse.
Jerry ties up his dogs, promising that he’ll come back for them but the weather makes it impossible for him to fly back. The dogs are therefore left to their own devices for a period of six months. During this time, Jerry agonises at the thought of having to leave them and desperately tries to get back to Antarctica. Meanwhile, all the dogs, except one, manage to free themselves. Their story of survival is quite remarkable.
Animals in distress
None of concern
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Nudity and sexual activity
Ideas to discuss with your children
The husky and malamute dogs in Eight Below are wonderful and the loyalty and faithfulness of the dogs is quite touching. With stunning scenery and gripping drama, the movie will be quite enjoyable for older children and adults. One of the main messages of the movie is that life sometimes presents hard choices and that making the right decision can be very difficult - something that you could discuss with your children.