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(2006), PG [G*] (1hr 52min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
February 20, 2006
88 out of 100

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Christian Long Distance

(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2006), PG [G*] -- ... earned a final score of 88! [That is equivalent to a "hardcore" G!]

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Walt Disney Pictures, Mandeville Films, Spyglass Entertainment, Vertigo Entertainment
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures
Director(s): Frank Marshall
Screenplay: David DiGilio
1983 Film: Toshirô Ishido, Koreyoshi Kurahara, Tatsuo Nogami, Kan Saji
Cinematography/Camera: Don Burgess
Music: Kirk Francis, Mark Isham
Film Editing: Christopher Rouse
Casting: Deborah Aquila, Heike Brandstatter, Coreen Mayrs, Mary Tricia Wood
Production Design: John Willett
Art Direction: Ross Dempster, Jeremy Stanbridge
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

This film is based on a what actually happened in 1958 to some Japanese explorers that was made into the immensely successful 1983 Japanese film, Nankyoku Monogatari. The dogs were made into heroes, including statues of them.

Antarctic survival guide Gerry Shepherd (Paul Walker, The Fast and the Furious, 2Fast, 2Furious) has eight "kids." They are Max, Mya, Jack, Shorty, Truman, Shadows, Buck and Dewey. Each is devoted to Gerry. All are completely subservient to Gerry to the point of working themselves to death if need be. These "kids" are four-legged. Eight of the finest sled dogs on the planet.

Gerry is devoted to his dogs as much or more than a father is his human kids. Gerry is so devoted he is willing to risk human lives, including his own, to save their lives. A note about our animal cohabitants on the Earth. God gave them to us for our use but not for our abuse. He gave them to us to serve us with the expectation of being good stewards of them. But we are never to be servant to them nor can they ever be placed above us. Too often, it seems that courts and other legal entities place more value on animals than on humans. Please keep these matters in mind if you choose to watch this heart-rendering film. And remember that animals have no souls. Dogs do not go to heaven.

In January 1993, geologist Dr. Davis McClaren (Bruce Greenwood) is sent by the National Science Foundation to Antarctica to search for a meteor. The meteor is a planetary fragment from Mercury. But weather will not allow air travel in the area. The only way to the area of the meteor is by dog sled. Gerry is to take Dr. McClaren to the expected landing site to find the meteor.

Assisting Gerry are the pilot, Katie (Moon Bloodgood) and Cooper (Jason Biggs) who is a cartographer and mechanical engineer. Side bar Note: Jason Biggs a.k.a. Jim Levenstein from American Pie (1 and 2) has truly cleaned up his act. His performance in Eight Below is magnitudes cleaner than in his performance in either of the two American Pie films. Congratulations JB!

Once at the meteor site, evening approaches and Gerry is informed he must return to the station the next day since the mother of all antarctic storms is on its way. Gerry permits Dr. McClaren to search for the meteor for four hours on the morning of the day they must head back. Dr. McClaren becomes injured and in serious need of medical aid. And due to the four-hour delay, the storm hits before Gerry and McClaren get back to the station. Now Gerry is injured ... with frostbite on his fingers and face.

After Gerry gets Dr. McClaren back to the station, all personnel fly back to civilization for medical aid. But the "kids" had to stay behind. There was no room for them on the plane.

Throughout his recovery, Gerry is single-minded about honoring his promise to the "kids" to return and retrieve them. But the storm of the century moved in and locked up all flights. To add insult to injury, when the storm is expected to end the beginning of the antarctic winter begins. No flights whatsoever until antarctic spring. The dogs are left on their own and tethered. Abandoned in the slicing blizzard winds and knowing what awaits the dogs, it is not a pretty sight.

That is about half of the 112-minute film. The rest, the most moving and powerful portion, is left to your discovery should you opt to see this film.

This film is rated PG for peril and brief mild language. The MPAA got it wrong again, but this time in the opposite direction to what has become typical of them.

Eight Below earned a final score of 88! This score places the film at the lower end of the scoring range earned by G-rated films (87 to 100 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. Nearness to the bottom of the scoring range makes it what I like to call a "hardcore G" but a G nonetheless.

It was violence found by the Wanton Violence/Crime (W) investigation area and the foul language found by the Impudence/Hate (I) investigation area that lost this film most of the 12 of 100 starting points. The film was essentially equivalent to some "lite" PG-13 films in violence and some "middle of the road" PG films in foul language. [Eph. 5:4]

Nothing at all was found by the Sexual Immorality (S) investigation area. There was absolutely no sexually immoral activity or images noted in the entire film. There was a romantic kiss but from what I could see there was no tongue exchange nor gaping faces during the kiss. There was no touching of private body parts whatsoever nor any talk even suggesting sexually immoral activity. Not even any camera angles to force the viewer on private parts.

The only Drugs/Alcohol (D) presence were scenes of alcoholic beverages and one scene of drinking an alcoholic beverage. I wish to point this out strongly because of the findings of the American College of Physicians and even the University of Connecticut regarding the presentation of alcoholic beverages in and as entertainment. [Eph. 5:18] Please see the links in the referenced Scripture below.

Offense to God (O) found only one use of God's Name in vain and without the four letter expletive. Does only one use excuse it? No. [Deut. 5:11] Let me add a sermon-sounding comment. Regarding the repeated use among our youth (and adult population) of the so popular three-syllable sentence with His Name trailing it, the first time does not excuse the second nor does the second excuse the third ... nor the thousandth. Nor does the second, third or one thousandth excuse the first.

The Murder/Suicide (M) investigation area found the film to be free of any murder or suicide. There were some animals killed by other animals and some gore of the decaying corpse of an Orca and dogs eating on it, but these were matters of violence and/or violent imagery, not murder and were incorporated into the scoring by the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area.

The listing in the Findings/Scoring section provides all that was noted.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. ["Wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. This issue is do not get intoxicated. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk or to drink in defiance such as underage drinking. A study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) has found an undeniable link between the presentation of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in and as entertainment and abuse of them and arrogance/defiance with them by adolescents. And teaching/causing youth to abuse alcohol/tobacco (or drugs) by emboldening youth with them in and as entertainment invokes Luke 17:2. If alcoholic beverages in entertainment were not a problem for our young, why is there and why has there been such a push to get and keep booze commercials off prime time broadcast TV? Even the University of Connecticut corroborates the ACP finding.]
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it].
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away. I suspect "offend" includes sexually abusing the little ones. "Little ones": mikros - little;, small of age; younger which can include at-home teens].
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary/
    Commentary section.

    Eight Below (2006) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • assault in mischief
  • animal "cannibalism", repeatedly
  • action violence - peril, repeatedly
  • two deaths of main characters, although they are dogs there is a strong emotional element involved
  • rather graphic explosive startle
  • animal gore
  • animal battle with injury

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • six uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • willingness to risk human lives to rescue dogs

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • none noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • booze, twice
  • drinking, once

    Offense to God (O)
  • one use of God's Name in vain without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

  • Christian Educators Association International



    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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