Thursday, January 24, 2013

Of Spud, Scud and Sparky

I finally got down to watching all of Tim Burton's Frankenweenie last week.  The only reason I'd delayed for so long was because I knew I'd break down into a blubbering cooing teary mess every time the lead character's dog appears on screen.  And I was soooo right.  Pass the Kleenex.  Cue the sniffles.
The story is a clever riff on the original, decades-old, raise-from-the-dead, "It's alive!" monster genre, but with a more tender approach. Essentially, it's about a boy and his best friend, Sparky, and what transpires after the latter meets with a fatal accident but is later brought back to life through a literally electrifying science experiment.  Of course, I have to admit that the movie's extra pull at my heartstrings is based solely on the fact that I have my very own Sparky at home, in the form of my nearly 12-year old, super laid back English bull terrier Emma. 
As movie merch marketing is wont to do, Frankenweenie also sparked - pun fully intended - a clothing line by, of all retailers, the Japanese mega chain Uniqlo.  That got me digging for other brands and movies that have used this stout pooch with the distinct wedge-shaped head as the main draw (and if they're playing secondary characters, they're always memorable scene stealers) in their respective enterprise.  Here are some of my favourites:
Uniqlo promotional poster
Target's limited edition soup can labels (featuring their ad mascot Bullseye) that are reminiscent of the iconic Warhol-inspired print.
Target gift card
Bud Light and Spuds MacKenzie
Bullie peddling coffee
Bullie peddling tea

George C. Scott and the bullie Abraxas Aaran 
playing the general's dog William "Willie" the Conqueror in Patton
Scud from Toy Story

My own Emma
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