Arctic Dogs

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Arctic Dogs
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAaron Woodley
Written by
Based onThe story
by Matthew Lyon
Produced by
Edited byLesley Mackay Hunter
Music byDavid Buckley
Distributed byEntertainment Studios Motion Pictures[2]
Release date
  • November 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
Running time
93 minutes
Budget$50 million[4]
Box office$9.9 million[2][5]

Arctic Dogs (also known as Arctic Justice internationally or Polar Squad in the UK) is a 2019 animated comedy film co-written and directed by Aaron Woodley[6] and co-directed by Dimos Vrysellas. The film stars the voices of Jeremy Renner, Heidi Klum, James Franco, John Cleese, Omar Sy, Michael Madsen, Laurie Holden, Anjelica Huston, and Alec Baldwin. Entertainment Studios released the film on November 1 in Canada and the United States. It was a box-office bomb, grossing less than a fifth of its production budget of $50 million, and was panned by critics.


Swifty (Jeremy Renner), an Arctic fox, works in the mailroom of the Arctic Blast Delivery Service, but he has much bigger dreams. He wishes to become a Top Dog, the Arctic's star husky couriers. To prove he can do it, he commandeers one of the sleds and delivers a mysterious package to a secret location. Once there, he stumbles onto a hidden fortress, overseen by the nefarious Otto Von Walrus (John Cleese). The blubbery evil genius commands an army of oddly polite puffin henchmen.

Swifty discovers Otto Von Walrus' villainous plan to drill beneath the snow-packed surface to unleash masses of ancient gas to melt the Arctic and become the world's supreme ruler. To stop this sinister scheme, Swifty enlists the help of his friends: P.B. (Alec Baldwin), a neurotic polar bear, Lemmy (James Franco), a scatterbrained albatross, Jade (Heidi Klum), a brainy red fox engineer and Swifty's love interest, Leopold (Omar Sy) and Bertha (also voiced by Heidi Klum), two conspiracy theorist otters, and Magda (Anjelica Huston), his curmudgeonly caribou boss.

Voice cast[edit]


Arctic Dogs was originally titled as Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad and was originally acquired by Open Road Films, originally scheduled to be released on an undisclosed 2018 date.[7] The film was acquired by Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures in the United States and Canada due to its Open Road Films' bankruptcy, and solely released on November 1, 2019.[8][9] Lionsgate Home Entertainment released it on DVD and Blu-ray on February 4, 2020. It made $1.3 million in total US video sales.[10]


Box office[edit]

In the United States and Canada, Arctic Dogs was released alongside Harriet, Terminator: Dark Fate, and Motherless Brooklyn, and was projected to gross $5–10 million from 2,835 theaters in its opening weekend.[11] It made $700,000 on its first day, and ended up debuting to just $2.9 million, finishing 10th and marking the worst opening of all-time for a film playing in over 2,800 theaters.[12][13]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 12% based on 17 reviews and an average rating of 3.8/10.[14] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 28 out of 100 based on four critics, indicating generally unfavorable reviews.[15] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale, while those surveyed at PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 64% and a 41% "definite recommend".[12]

In 2020, it received a Canadian Cinema Editors Awards nomination for Best Editing in Animation.[16]

Animated series and spin-off films[edit]

A web series set after the events of the film titled Arctic Friends was released in September 2020 on both Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video, consisting of 40 collections (160 shorts).[17] Another spin-off series titled Puffins was also released, featuring the voice of Johnny Depp as Johnny Puff.[18][19] A spin-off of Puffins, entitled Puffins Impossible, was released in April 2022, with Depp reprising his role as Puff.[20] There are also two Christmas live action/animation spin-off films titled Christmas Thieves (2021) and The Good Witch of Christmas (2022).[21][22]

Spin-off animated films[edit]

  • Johnny Puff: Secret Mission [23]
  • Puffins: The Walrus Who Wanted Too Much [24]
  • Puffins: A Stellar Adventure [25]
  • Arctic Friends: In Search of the Arctic Idol [26]
  • Baby Puffins & Bunny [27]


  1. ^ a b c Scheck, Frank (1 November 2019). "'Arctic Dogs': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Arctic Dogs (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d "Arctic Justice (EN) [Original title]". European Audiovisual Observatory. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  4. ^ "Ambi Group And Barajoun Entertainment Ink Multi-Year, Multi-Picture Joint Venture- Berlin". Deadline Hollywood. 11 February 2016. Archived from the original on 17 August 2019. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Artic Dogs (2019)". The Numbers. IMDb. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Busch, Anita (1 February 2017). "Open Road Films Acquires 'Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad' For 2018 Release". Deadline. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  8. ^ Common Sense Media
  9. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (3 December 2018). "Byron Allen's ESMP Takes On U.S. Distribution Of Animation 'Arctic Dogs' Voiced By Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin". Deadline. Retrieved 31 May 2023.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (29 October 2019). "Box Office: 'Terminator: Dark Fate' to Take Down 'Harriet', 'Motherless Brooklyn'". Variety. Archived from the original on 29 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  12. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (3 November 2019). "'How 'Terminator: Dark Fate' Conked Out With $27M+ & Why 'The Irishman' Is Not A Missed Strategic Opportunity – Box Office". Deadline. Archived from the original on 3 November 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  13. ^ "'Arctic Dogs' Bombs, Worst Opening Of All-Time In 2,800+ Theaters". Cartoon Brew. 3 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  14. ^ "Arctic Dogs (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Arctic Dogs Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  16. ^ "Nominees for the 10th Annual CCE Awards". Canadian Cinema Editors. 27 January 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  17. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (15 September 2020). "'Arctic Friends' Shorts Go Global, US Premiere Sept. 15". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  18. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (22 June 2020). "Johnny Depp to Voice Lead in New Animated Series 'Puffins Impossible' From Iervolino Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)5". Variety. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  19. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (25 November 2020). "First Look at Johnny Depp Character in 'Puffins' Takes Wing". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  20. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (16 March 2022). "'Puffins Impossible' Starring Johnny Depp to Play on Apple TV App, Amazon (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  21. ^ "Christmas Thieves – SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS".
  22. ^ "The Good Witch of Christmas – SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS".
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^

External links[edit]