Space is good. Dogs are good. Space dogs? Even better!
When John Carter came out in 2012, it was widely regarded as a flop. Made on an eyebrow-raising budget of $307 million—not including marketing costs—the live-action debut of Wall-E director Andrew Stanton went on to earn only $284.1 million worldwide, putting the brakes on a would-be franchise and star Taylor Kitsch’s nascent movie stardom in one fell swoop. But look here: John Carter? It’s not that bad. It’s pretty fun, actually. Not exceptional, but charming in an earnest, old-school adventure serial (fitting, given its origin as a series of stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs) kind of way.
Also: space dog.
This is Woola. Woola is a good boy.
Technically, Woola is a “calot,” not a dog. But he loves sleeping, receiving pets, and spending time with his humans. So, for real, he’s a dog. A dog with multiple rows of teeth and six legs who can run so fast that you can’t even see him, but a dog.
Woola just wants to be loved. And John Carter's emo ass would have died like 15 times without him.
Opting to spend $300 milllion-plus on a movie with no big stars, based on a franchise without a ton of name recognition outside of sci-fi enthusiasts? One where what little name recognition it had at all was hobbled by the choice to change the gosh-danged title? Not a particularly smart move. But 2012 wasn't all bad for Disney, as the studio racked up over $1.5 billion worldwide with a little movie called The Avengers. Other hits that year included The Dark Knight, The Hunger Games, and Skyfall.
Fine movies all. But did James Bond ever cuddle a space dog? Did Thor have to rush back to Asgard from the Battle of New York so he could take his very own Woola out for walkies? Hell, Harvey Dent might have maintained an ounce of his chill if only he'd had his own trusty Martian's best friend by his side. Alas, Woola-less, the whole lot. And they were lesser movies for it.