Who Let The Dogs Out? – Hot Docs 2019 Quickie Review

We all have our unique obsessions. Either if it’s a fan-group, piece of pop culture, or something incredibly obscure that can’t be simply defined, we all admire a certain piece of media that help us thrive each and everyday. For Ben Sisto, it’s the song Who Let The Dogs Out, alongside its various complicated ordeals with ownership. In the documentary of the same name, we follow Sisto on his extraordinary adventure to seek the person who quote on quote “let the dogs out. ” What follows, is a contemplative journey about the creative process, copyright, and musical culture clash. Because of it’s expansive loose documentation, Who Let The Dogs Out? can be best defined as a fluff piece of documentary film-making. This is of course not a bad thing. In a generation where most documentaries are intended to create social change, rather than pure unadulterated entertainment, it’s incredibly refreshing to see a documentary that doesn’t take itself so seriously, and wings each interview and set piece like a cool ocean breeze. It’s essentially cotton candy entertainment at it’s most readily accessible!  

Within it’s tight 61 minute run-time, Who Let The Dogs Out? manages to complete the bare minimum for a satisfying experience, while also achieving much more. The usage of title cards, fast paced editing, and a terrific host (thanks to the always wonderful Ben Sisto), makes the film an experience worthwhile, alongside it’s lineup of positive messages regarding the legitimacy of artistic ownership. While it’s still unclear to answer the question “Who Let The Dogs Out?”, the one thing we do know, is that the documentary of the same name, is just as fun, just as wacky, and just as creative as the early 2000’s song.

Who Let The Dogs Out? screened at this year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival, as part of the Nightvision program. The film is currently seeking international distribution.

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