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Anime / The Tibetan Dog

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The Tibetan Dog (Chinese: 藏獒多吉; Japanese: チベット犬物語 ~金色のドージェ~) is a 2011 Chinese/Japanese animated film directed by Masayuki Kojima, co-produced by Madhouse, China Film Group Corporation and Ciwen Pictures. It features a young boy named Tenzing leaving for Tibet after his mother passes away to live with his father in the prairies, where he eventually encounters a true friend in form of a golden Tibetan Mastiff.

Provides examples of:

  • Anti-Villain: Jialuo, a robber, hurts over his murdered brother, and obsesses over getting revenge.
  • Asshole Victim: Jialuo, who ends up getting mauled to death by the Demon.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: The Tibetan Mastiff King, having earned the title for defeating all the other Tibetan Mastiffs, and is the leader of their pack.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The bear who appears on Tenzing's first day of herding sheep (though all it does before the Tibetan Mastiff attacks is to curiously sniff at a horrified Tenzing.)
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: A rare example with two dogs; Doogee and Nari. To recap briefly; they meet by nearly getting killed fighting each other (because they accidentally fall off a cliff in the scuffle), and by the end of the movie they have puppies together.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Doogee's introduction is to save Tenzing from a bear. Later the other Tibetan Mastiffs do the same by saving him and the sheep from wolves.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Doogee dies, but Nari's revealed to have his puppies. Tenzing as an old man narrates how Doogee taught him about bravery and The Power of Friendship, and we see his grandchildren play with Doogee's descendants.
  • Butt-Monkey: The Tibetan Spaniel Wala often has to suffer the consequences of being a miniature dog among lion-sized ones.
  • Clear Their Name: Doogee is spotted next to dead bodies by Jialuo, causing him and the villagers to believe he killed them. Tenzing and Nuopu swears to find out what really happened.
  • David Versus Goliath: Doogee and the other Tibetan Mastiffs vs. the Demon
  • Enemy Mine: The other Tibetan Mastiffs can't stand Doogee for imposing on their territory, but when faced with the Demon, they band together to fight it alongside him.
  • Fish out of Water: Tenzing, having moved from the city to the prairie, takes some time to adapt himself.
  • Heroic Dog: The titular character, complete with a Heroic Sacrifice at the end. The rest of the Tibetan Mastiffs counts too, all serving as badass sheep herders, fighting off wolves with little to no effort, and fearlessly attacks the Demon alongside Doogee at the climax battle.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: As mentioned above. Doogee battles and defeates the Demon, but is mortally wounded in the process. When witnessing Tenzing coming to his aid only to be followed by an avalanche, he gathers what's left of his strength to pull Tenzing on his back and escaping with him, making it to a cliff where he jumps to get Tenzing safely to the other side. Having managed so, Doogee himself falls down the cliff and ends up at a mountain shelf, where he dies while Tenzing cries besides him and the other Tibetan Mastiffs howls.
  • Honor Before Reason / Revenge Before Reason: Lampshaded by Tenzing's dad, when Doogee is fighting the Demon all by himself, a monster-like creature that's the size of a building, all in order to avenge his former owner. And he wins.
  • Howl of Sorrow: The Tibetan Mastiffs all howl for Doogee when he dies.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How the Demon is ultimately defeated, trashing about in order to get rid of Doogee biting into it until it ends up falling onto a sharp rock, impaling itself.
  • In a Single Bound: Averted. Doogee jumps a massive gorge in his attempt to save Tenzing from an avalance, but ends up crashing into the mountain side. The impact however, causes Tenzing to be flung to safety, while Doogee himself falls to a mountain shelf below.
  • Intimate Healing: When traveling through a blizzard, Tenzing and Nuopu ends up passing out from the cold, to which Doogee and Nari covers them with their bodies to keep them warm.
  • Kids Are Cruel: A bunch of village kids starts violently throwing rocks at Tenzing for being a "city boy".
  • Meaningful Name: Tenzing and Nuopu name the gold-furred Tibetan Mastiff Doogee Yongzhi, as explained by Nuopu is the name of a magical golden stone on Kunlun Mountain.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The body of the Demon (of what you can make out) looks like a giant mix between a bear and a bison.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The robber Fajie informs his brother that he's had a Heel–Face Turn and refuses to be a robber anymore, as he wants to live a peaceful and honest life with his girlfriend. That following night where he's followed his wish and is spending his time with her, the Demon appears and brutally kills them both.
  • Nostalgic Narrator: The story's being told by Tenzing as an old man.
  • Revenge: The reason's Doogee sometimes disappear and is seen close to a crime scene of dead bodies; the Demon had killed Doogee's previous owner, and Doogee was trying his best to track him down in order to have revenge. Jialuo also becomes obsessed with getting revenge against Doogee, mistakenly believing the dog to have killed his brother.
  • Savage Wolves: While the bear Tenzing first encounter appears rather docile, the wolves appearing later are much less so.
  • Snake Oil Saleswoman: Nuopu's grandmother. She also doubles as a Cool Old Lady.
  • The Stoic: Tenzing's father.
  • The Unreveal: It's never explained just what that giant beast nicknamed the Demon is, nor do you see its appearance properly as it's always covered in shadow.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: The man who saves Tenzing and Nuopu when they get lost in a blizzard explains how his and his group's mission is to kill the Demon, something he promptly asks Tenzing to stay out of, along with Doogee. The next time we see him they've all been killed.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Tenzing's dad appears indifferent to his son and spends most of his time preoccupied with his medical profession. Eventually however, he reveals to feel uncertain at how to proceed with Tenzing, and believes he hates him for not having traveled to help his mother when she fell ill, which was something Tenzing had wanted to ask him about as well. By the end of the movie their relationship appears to improve however.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Doogee refuses to fight a female dog.