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Ricochet, a Golden Retriever from southern California, is a veteran therapy dog celebrating over a decade as the first ever dog to surf with children with special needs and veterans with Post Traumatic Stress. © 2018 Cosmic Picture Limited

Movie Review: Superpower Dogs

The new IMAX movie playing at Denver Museum of Nature & Science follows six life-saving dogs and their owners.

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A dog’s superpowers can be seen in everyday life. Whether it’s a cheerful greeting at the door or a snuggle when you’re down, they have the power to enrich our lives. Then there are some dogs who work each day to literally save lives. The newest IMAX film at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Superpower Dogs, celebrates the life-saving superpowers of some of the world’s most extraordinary dogs.

Superpower Dogs
Halo with her owner Cat. © 2018 Cosmic Picture Limited

The 45-minute film follows six remarkable dogs and their owners. The story of Halo, a young Dutch Shepherd training to be a disaster search and rescue dog, weaves throughout the film. The audience is taken on Halo’s journey from runt of the litter, through training in disaster rescue with her owner Cat, and finally, to her ultimate test, FEMA’s Foundation Skills Assessment and Certification Exam. This final test qualifies Halo to serve in real life disasters where she will search for disaster survivors in spite of extreme temperatures, noise distraction, and compromising environments.

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Intertwined through Halo’s story are the lives of other talented dogs:

• Henry, an avalanche rescue Border Collie in Whistler, Canada.

• Reef, an Italian Newfoundland that saves lives through water rescue.

• Ricochet, an emotional support dog that has become an internet sensation as a surfing champion.

• Tony and Tipper, Bloodhounds that work in endangered species protection in Kenya.

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Halo’s story shows the full spectrum of what a dog and their human companion go through to unlock a dog’s superpowers. She represents the greatness of what a dog can achieve with the aid of training and a determined owner.

The entire film tugs at your heartstrings, but it’s the story of a little boy with special needs who is able to achieve his dreams of surfing with help from Ricochet, that had everyone in the audience tearing up. Ricochet is not only adept at surfing, she’s equally as impressive when helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. The 10-year-old Golden Retriever intuitively and empathically alerts her veteran friends to emotional triggers, for example, a crowded playground filled with loud voices that may trigger a veteran’s PTSD.

Running just over 45 minutes, Superpower Dogs is an easy watch, aided by Chris Evans’ smooth narration. With immersive visual effects and 3D technology, Superpower Dogs shows the true magnitude of a dog’s power, and makes the point that with the help of their human companions, dogs can be superheroes.

Need to Know: Superpower Dogs runs four times daily, through January 1, 2020. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Phipps IMAX theater. Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 ages three to 18 and seniors, and free for kids two and under.

Rated: G

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