‘One for all and all for one’; for parents who want to introduce Alexander Dumas’ The Three Musketeers to their kids, Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds is the ideal feature film for this purpose. The movie, as is evident from the name, is set in an animal world, with dogs playing the lead.

This 84-minute long film can easily be termed as a tribute to the original Dogtanian series, which aired four decades back. d’Artagnan is represented here by Dogtanian, who leaves for Paris, to become a Muskehound, a ‘canine’ version of the Musketeers. Accidentally, Dogtanian challenges all three of the famous muskehounds; Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, but ends up joining them.

Set in the 17th century, amidst the threat of a war between France and England, the film features a tale of redemption, where the ‘pup’ wants to clear his disgraced father’s name, who was framed for bribery by the evil Cardinal Richelieu. How his new comrades help him in his quest is what makes this movie an interesting watch.

Yes, there is conflict as well but that happens when there is a love interest and a double-crossing friend involved. Add to that a fake letter, a real diamond necklace, and lots of action, and the viewers will end up learning more about the history than they would without watching this flick. They also get to know a lot about life along the way, as Dogtanian discovers the value of friendship and justice. The three muskehounds stand with him, against the corrupt Richelieu and his henchmen, and fight to defend the King’s honour.

Kids would surely admire the cute characters and the feeling of adventure, but the action scenes are good enough for the parents to sit through a story they have seen and liked. The animation is not as great as it could have been, but the pace with which the story moves, covers for the lack of quality. The motto of the animated film is simple, good always defeats evil and when one works as a team, not even an army can stand in your way.

Published in Dawn, Young World, December 18th, 2021

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