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For those of us who are fans of Up, we know that Dug the dog (Bob Peterson) can communicate with people via a collar invented by Charles Muntz; the collar conveys Dug’s thoughts into words. Dug Days are shorts that are about the not-so-simple life that Dug and his owner, Carl Frederickson (Ed Asner) lead in their new house (the intro shows them selling Muntz’ zeppelin and looking for a new place). Opening Shot: Dug the dog is asleep next to a window. He wakes up and then we hear him say “I am awake! I am awake! Everyone must be awake!” The Gist: Most of the five episodes involve just Dug and Carl, though one episode brings back Russell (Jordan Nagai), who experiments with Muntz’ invention by making tiny collars for a blue jay (Sarayu Blue) and the squirrel (Simon Helberg) that always distracts Dug from whatever he’s doing. The squirrel is mostly a constant, and in the first episode, Dug destroys the backyard trying to protect the new bird feeder Carl has put up. In other episodes, he has to protect his favorite squeak toys from a group of puppies that Carl is babysitting, he chases a smell that he’s never smelled before and he experiences fireworks for the first time (it’s not a stretch to say it doesn’t go well). Dug DaysPhoto: Disney+ What Shows Will It Remind You Of? Because of the physical comedy of Dug chasing everything in sight and pretty much destroying it, Dug Days reminds us of a more talkative version of Tom & Jerry. Our Take: Peterson, who writes and directs every Dug Days episode, mercifully keeps the plots of the 9-12 minute shorts simple. Sure, a lot of the laughs come from Dug’s simplistic dog thoughts translated into English, especially when he wishes the squirrel “got dead.” But Peterson isn’t looking for heavy laughs with Dug Days. What worked about Up was the emotional bond between Carl and Dug, helped along by Russell. And that emotional bond is always there, because at the end of every episode, Carl is telling Dug that they’re best buddies and that even when he tears up the yard, everything is OK. Of course, it’s wonderful to hear Asner, who passed away last month, returning as Carl. He’s the same cranky but sentimental old coot that he was in the film, and the show never fails to give their bond at least a little time. We sincerely hope that Asner was able to record many more episodes before he died. Peterson’s performance as Dug, though, is what carries each episode. And there are times when Dug just barks, and that’s fine, too. That just means that the talking thing isn’t leaned on until it becomes less funny. The way Peterson reads Dug’s lines seems to perfectly convey what a dog might sound like if he talked, which is sincere but dim. We could watch Dug talk about things “getting dead” all day. What Age Group Is This For?: Despite the TV-PG rating, we think kids as young as 5 would enjoy Dug Days, if they can deal with mild cartoon violence. Parting Shot: The birdhouse falls down and breaks into pieces as Carl hugs Dug; Dug says, “Your project got dead.” Sleeper Star: As usual, the folks at Pixar make their Disney+ projects as visually interesting as they do their big-screen projects. The squirrel’s fur moves just right and the bird has wispy feathers near her eyes. Most Pilot-y Line: None we could find. Our Call: STREAM IT. Dug Days is a light but funny group of shorts that should entertain kids and parents alike. Its sentiment feels real, mainly due to Asner’s performance as Carl. Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and tech, but he doesn’t kid himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon,,, Fast Company and elsewhere. Stream Dug Days On Disney+