British children who grew up in the 1970s will no doubt have fond memories of Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World. The film starred a dog called Digby, who accidentally drinks an experimental liquid that causes him to grow–and grow, and grow. The dog is sold to a circus; however, he escapes and travels the countryside in search of his beloved boy owner. All the while, Digby continues to grow larger and larger, and his owner works alongside the scientist who created the formula to find Digby and stop his unusual growth spurt.
Digby was one of the most popular children’s films in the early 1970s, and it inspired a newfound love in British popular culture for English sheepdogs. But how much do you really know about Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World? The following is everything you need to know about this beloved part of British pop culture.
The film was based on a book
Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World was based on a children’s novel of the same name by Ted Key. The book and the film follow relatively the same plot, although certain details—such as names and the exact locations that Digby encounters during his journey back him—were changed for the motion picture.
The film starred acclaimed actor Jim Dale
Jim Dale appeared in the film as Jeff Eldon. At the time, Dale was already acclaimed for his work on television, in film and on the stage. Other films that Eldon appeared in around this time included Pete’s Dragon and The Plank.
An unknown amount of dogs played Digby in the film
It is known that multiple dogs were cast to play the role of Digby in the film, particularly because the film involved certain stunts that were easier for more experienced dog actors. However, the names of the dogs were not recorded or included in the official cast list, and the exact number of dogs who played Digby in the movie is still unknown to this day.
The film required plenty of special effects for Digby’s growth
Digby’s continual growth during the film was achieved through the use of various green screens, which allowed the filmmakers to film the dogs playing Digby against a screen and then later insert filmed footage in the background of those scenes to create the full effect.