Greyfriars Bobby sets out to melt the heart and does it skillfully. Central character is a little Skye terrier, and this engaging little animal is quite irresistible. He’s a sort of Pollyanna Pooch. Story is a true one, set in and around Edinburgh some 100 years ago.
It tells of an old shepherd who died of old age, exposure and starvation, and was buried in the little Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh. From the day of the funeral Bobby resolutely refused to leave his beloved master. In the end he won over all the local burghers and was solemnly declared a Freeman of the City, handed a collar by the Lord Provost and adopted by the entire populace of Edinburgh. Yes, a true, if odd story, and there’s a statue of Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh to prove it.
Patiently and brilliantly trained, Bobby wraps up the stellar honors for himself and the humans, knowing they don’t stand a chance, wisely are content to play chorus. Nevertheless, there are some very effective pieces of thesping, largely by Scottish actors. Laurence Naismith gives a strong, likeable performance as the kindly eating-house owner who takes Bobby under his wing but, by standing up for a principle, brings the facts of the dog’s case into court.