Alex Bershtein

Staff Writer

A common pastime for users of YouTube is that of videos of animals. Plenty are a dime a dozen, going over the same antics of relying pure cuteness. Rarely, does a series of these kind of videos get constructed with actual narratives of visuals storytelling and get filmed with quality camerawork. Topi the Corgi is a series that has brought some needed creative, imaginative, and artistic qualities to its rather stagnant genre.

Topi the Corgi, as the title implies, is about the adventures of a tubby dog. Produced in Finland, the campy videos began as small snippets averaging around fifty seconds in 2016, and have progressed in length to five to seven minute vignettes of quality storytelling. The earliest videos show some half-baked editing, but as the series continued into segments of a handful of minutes the movement from frame to frame are unnoticeable. Yet, no matter the length of these videos there is consistent engagement for its views, with nary a dull moment as the pacing of frames and thematic music carry along a wholesome tale, which may end climatically or anticlimactically.

There is an undertone of comedic lightness throughout the series, albeit the special compellations of Topi the Corgi’s puppyhood rely on merely a rhetoric of cuteness. In regards to usual videos released, the directors go beyond replacing a corgi with a human in a mediocre situation, and take advantage of the characteristics and animals behaviors of corgis. The eating habits, chubbiness, and clumsiness associated with this dog breed are put into effect in various episodes, and never feels overused. The humor, commendably performed in “CUTEST DOCTOR,” is usually based in an ironic or smart sense, with occasional references subtly applied.

Moreover, the variety of facial expressions that a corgi can make are taken in full advantage, and ingeniously adapted to enhance the visual storytelling. Although the expressions of dogs have different intensions of meaning than those similarly made by humans, the audience will be captivating by Topi the Corgi’s performance. This may result in either the suspension of disbelief for views to leave reality, or enjoy the absurdity of the scenarios even more so. Topi’s acting results in inferences of emotion, whether it be an impish smile after mischievous deeds, a terrified look at the thought of bacon disappearing, or an annoyed disposition because of the trouble caused by a pair of reoccurring characters, Chihuahuas. The writers of these episodes clearly have planned out their desired presentation of each element.

In addition, the cinematography is vibrant with multiple shots of perspective across the recent films, particularly those of this year and yesteryear. Two of the most graceful of shots include, Topi’s heroic posture as wind sweeps across a snowy farm field in “SUPER DOG,” and the rising shot Finnish forest in “PICKING MUSHROOMS!” of a midday’s sun over a dense pinewood forest. These grand visuals are supported different angles that are edited to blur the line of realism that this content grates against.

These videos are at within excellence when there is no voice, and when dialogue is textually shown when Topi barks or when it is on a communication device. When there are small instances of noise, such as one of the Halloween specials, the squeamish accent is out of place and unnecessary. The lack of voice allows the viewers to be more focused on acting, overall visuals, and music to take precedence for the majority of Topi’s stories.

Cinematically, Topi the Corgi brings a fantastic bundle of short but sweet humorous tales to the Internet. It is a new breed of delightful content for people voraciously searching for something of new and profound amongst an oversaturated amount of pet videos on YouTube.