“Doggy Poo” (강아지 똥)

Doggy Poo_field

By Jae-Ha Kim
January 29, 2014

2 stars

True story. When this DVD came out in 2004, one of my editors left it on my desk because (a) it’s Korean and (b) she knew how much I despised stepping in dog excrement.

I didn’t watch this until years later, with my (then) toddler, who was pottytraining.

It starts off with a little dog who poops on the road, giving “birth” to our hero. The little pile of poop is looked down upon by everyone, even a parade of chickens looking for something delicious to eat.

Doggy-PooStinky, unwanted and alone in the world, Doggy Poo longs to find purpose in life.

One day, he meets a kind sprout that says she values him and needs him to survive (as fertilizer). If he gives himself to her, they can unite to become a flower as beautiful as the nightly stars that he admires.

Although I know that’s how fertilizer works, that segment rang kind of cultish to me.

The 30-minute stop-motion animated film was directed by Kwon Oh-sung and is based on Kwon Jung-saeng’s 1968 children’s book of the same name.

During that time period, South Korea was still in the process of recovering from the Korean War. It was decades away from becoming the high-tech, wealthy country it is today.

And I can’t help but wonder if the book wasn’t an allegory for how its citizens must sacrifice themselves (brutal work conditions, relentless hours spent studying at school) for the greater good of the country.

Released theatrically in 2003, “Doggy Poo” won two awards (best pilot at the Tokyo International Anime Fair and viewer’s choice at the Big Apple Anime Fest).


© 2014 JAE-HA KIM | All Rights Reserved


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