Picasso: What's up, so to speak?
Sture: Well, a bit rained-in, so to speak.
(full title Hundhotellet — En Mystisk Historia
, or, translated, "The Dog Hotel — A Mysterious Story") is a Swedish animated film from the year 2000. The story starts off in a simple room, where a dog sleeps. Two other dogs — upright and tuxedo-clad — step into the room, dig through the cupboards and drawers, and eventually make off with a paperweight before leaving, and leaving behind a pocketwatch. The sleeping dog, Sture, wakes up, and walks around the room, somberly narrating what he sees. His friend, a dachshund by name of Picasso
("He called himself an artist, and owned, as he said himself, a noteworthy talent") enters, and convinces him to go on "an interesting trip" to alleviate his ennui. They go in Sture's car, and pick up a female hitchhiker on their way. Their destination takes longer than they thought to reach, so on their way, they stop at 'The Dog Hotel
While there, they meet Dr. Dunkenspiel
, two slightly manic sportsmen, Mr. Green and Mr. Forrester, two identical waiters, the eccentric hotel owner, and Miss Pug
, among others. Not to mention mysterious goings-on seem to be happening revolving certain Egyptian apparel, especially a very familiar-looking paperweight...
The movie was not a financial nor critical nor widely-known success (though it did spawn a Book Of The Film
), but it is a charming, cozy bit of cinema. The deep-voiced narration of Sture is oddly poignant, especially when contrasted with many of the other quite determinedly cheerful characters.
Tropes in Hundhotellet include...
- Arc Words: To people outside of Sweden: "A dog is buried here", usually spoken by Miss Pug. In Sweden, however, it's just an old saying meaning "There's something going on here".
- The Casanova: Picasso. He actually does manage to get a fairly good thing going with the hitchhiker lady...and then he spots a Japanese woman in the hotel lobby, and instantly rushes off to chase after her.
- Chekhov's Gun: Both the paperweight and a postcard from Egypt. The paperweight is enlarged by magic and winds up capturing the antagonists, and the postcard from Egypt is enlarged by magic as well, to fool an American millionaire into believing those are the real pyramids and buying them.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The hotel owner, Mr. Rosebud.
Sture: (rings bell)
Rosebud: (crawling up from under the desk) Ah! Good evening, good evening, and welcome to Hotel Rosebud. The time is now eighteen and fifteen. Would the gentleman like a room? Several, or a suite, with or without windows? We can offer everything! The time is now eighteen and sixteen — peep! Our splendid grandfather clock, you see, always shows the right time in the right time! Without this clock we would have been lost and the world—golf? Does the gentleman play golf? Or does the gentleman fish? Or is chess the gentleman's tune—tune, yes! Would the gentleman like a radio in his room? Supper is served in the dining room at nineteen exactly!
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The name of the hotel owner is only given once, and then it's by Miss Pug — in his narration, Sture always calls him 'the nervous hotel owner'.
- Freak Out: Mr. Rosebud has a short one when the grandfather clock in the lobby disappears. Sture's unintentionally sold it — with Picasso inside — to the American businessman Mr. Big. It Makes Sense in Context.
- Informed Ability: Picasso's artistic skills. He seems to have trouble knowing the differences between 'portrait' and 'abstract'. (Granted, it was him who passed along the information of the ability, so maybe it's just a case of Small Name, Big Ego...)
- Large Ham: Mr. Forrester.
- Who's on First?: A short one. Although this time, done with a pronoun sounding like another pronoun instead of a name sounding like a pronoun — sadly untranslatable. In Swedish, "vad är klockan", or 'what's the time', is pronounced almost exactly like "var är klockan", or 'where's the clock', which leads to this exchange:
Rosebud: Where's the clock?!
Pianist: Half past eight...exactly.
Pianist: Uhh...In my pocket.
Rosebud: No...I'm going crazy, someone's stolen the clock!
Pianist: Nope...I've got it in my pocket.
Rosebud: No, no, the clock in the hall! It's gone!