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Does your dog Die?

Save the heartache and take a look awesomely to-the-point site before pressing play.

by Chris Norris

March 30, 2022

A woman holding a dog with a big smile.

Spoiler: Sparky and Agatha (Kathryn Hahn) in WandaVision

Photo: Marvel Studios

Your dog wants one to read our newsletter. (Then provide them with a delicacy.)

Movies often reveal what stage of life were in how our priorities could have shifted, what we are able to no more tolerate onscreen. My doctor sister a karate blackbelt unafraid to intubate someone or deliver their baby found, after having her first kid, that she cannot watch Finding Nemo, a G-rated Pixar adventure filled with wholesome life lessons, which begins with the wholesale slaughter of a mom and almost all of her children. She realized that sort of fare was off her menu. An identical change might visit those that adopt their first dog.

At the very least thats one explanation for the recent raft of online language resources cataloging the appearances, treatment, and untoward ends of animals in entertainment media. Within the last year or two, such sites have included Tumblrs Dogs in Movies Database(DIMDb), gamer Twitters IS IT POSSIBLE TO Pet your dog?, and a small number of others, all pretty much following in the footsteps of the awesomely to-the-point site Does your dog Die?

Software developer John Whipple founded the website in 2010, though he credits his sister with providing the original spark. After reading the screenwriting manual Save the Cat, shed realized precisely how often Hollywood deploys the hacky trope of animal endangerment to control an audience. Whipple acknowledges some overlap with sites like TV Tropes and different pages on IMDb, but his initial vision for the website had not been snarky or trivial.

Our mission would be to help people navigate media they wouldnt otherwise even try to enjoy, he says. A lifelong dog lover, Whipple lost his dog some years back and found doglessness so intolerable he adopted a puppy within 24 hours. The websites initial vision was definitely pet-centric, but we soon found that quite a few users have deep emotional connections to the items we track. As users suggested new categories, these potential triggers expanded drastically, now which range from things like you can find bugs and the ending is sad to cases of miscarriage and rape.

Whipple admits to being surprised by some suggested categories, like Does the Dragon Die? Not due to the category itself, he says. But because if so, an individual who requested it said they had a pet dragon as a kid that has been brutallymurdered. It had been at this stage that I realized a couple of things: 1) most of the things we track arent a problem for many people, and 2) every human with this earth has a minumum of one thing that is clearly a big deal [to them] if theyre surprised because of it in a movie.

Recently, Whipple in addition has helped the website unconsentingmedia.org begin, largely by importing their own sites structure. They execute a congrats curating a few of the really sensitive triggers that dont lend themselves to pure crowdsourcing, he says. Needless to say, many will undoubtedly be wanting to chide users more upset by way of a wounded kitten when compared to a squad of Marines killed within an ambush, but Whipple says such criticism ignores that its not the violence itself, by itself, however the vector of cruelty thats displayed. Folks are bothered by mistreatment of the innocent, he says. Its exactly the same reason we’ve child-related triggers on our site.

Some categories incite debate among users sometimes over whether an animal actually dies in a film or their potential death is only implied. Whipple hasn’t pored over clips as though theyre Zapruder footage, but wouldnt be surprised if visitors have. Folks are really passionate on the market, he says, pointing to apparent lightning rods that add the Nordic pagan horror film Midsommar to, bizarrely, the Avengers movies.

If all viewpoints are represented, has anyone suggested a category like Does the Shark Die? to cover Jaws or Deep Blue Sea? There probably are some cases of that, says Whipple. But users arrived at the site in order to avoid becoming an emotional wreck, sothey probably dont get swept up on whether acategory makes 100% sense. Especially because the offending events often dont seem sensible themselves.

In Amazon Primes otherwise tautly directed series Reacher, the action thriller plot requires a total detour so its title hero, an enormous, bone-crunching ex-MP with lethal hands, can avenge a neglected dog. I actually laughed aloud when I watched the massive actor Alan Ritchson, who wed just seen dispatch Latin American special forces dudes hired as private thugs, walk onto a suburban lawn and squint around to get the scumbag who left this dog chained up out here such as this. Around this writing, this scene got six No votes on DtDDs title category, six Yes votes for are animals abused?, and something clarifying comment: Your dog is left without water by an ahole. Suffice to state theres no category for what eventually ends up happening to said ahole.

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Chris Norris

Chris Norris is really a writer, reporter, author, and longtime companion to West Highland terrier Gus, recently departed but intensely loved. Chris Norris is has written forTHE BRAND NEW Yorker, NY Magazine,THE BRAND NEW York Times Magazine,Rolling Stone,GQ, Details,and NPRs WITH THAT SAID. He lives in NEW YORK along with his wife and 8-year-old son.

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