'Togo' Director Previews an 'Unbelievable Epic Journey' in the Disney+ Movie

Kate Hahn
Preview Disney+

Togo, Disney+'s true story set in the cold Alaskan wilderness, will be sure to warm your heart.

In 1925, tough sled dog trainer Leonhard Seppala (Willem Dafoe, above) and his 12-year-old Siberian husky, Togo, lead a team through deadly winter conditions to help deliver an antitoxin serum across the state to Nome to stop a deadly diphtheria epidemic. Seppala's wife, Constance (Julianne Nicholson), discourages him from taking the aging Togo, and once he's on the trail, Seppala fears his longtime best friend — flashbacks show the couple raising their once-unruly pup — may not survive.

"It's an unbelievable epic journey," says director Ericson Core, who shot the intense sled-racing scenes in Alberta, Canada, where they stopped filming when temperatures dipped to minus-35 degrees. "It's also an intimate story of a man who has buried his emotions for decades, letting them come to the surface and becoming human and real with the help of this animal he was bonded to."

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Dafoe and the husky who played Togo bonded as well. The actor came to set early to feed his costar, named Diesel, who was born for the role. Core reveals, "Diesel happens to be a great-great-great-great-great-grandson of [the real] Togo!"

Togo, Movie Premiere, Friday, December 20, Disney+