Big Red

Last Updated on: January 20th, 2024

Big Red (1962 Movie)

“Big Red” is a 1962 American family drama film produced by Walt Disney Productions. It is based on the 1945 novel “Big Red” written by Jim Kjelgaard. The movie was directed by Norman Tokar and features a cast including Walter Pidgeon, Gilles Payant, and Émile Genest.

The story revolves around a young boy named René Dumont, played by Gilles Payant, who lives in the wilderness of Quebec, Canada. He becomes friends with an Irish Setter dog named Big Red. René’s grandfather, played by Émile Genest, is a professional dog trainer, and together, they train Big Red to become a skilled bird dog.

However, René soon finds himself in a difficult situation when he has to choose between keeping Big Red as his loyal companion or giving him away to a wealthy sportsman who wants to use him for hunting competitions. Throughout the film, René faces various challenges and learns valuable lessons about loyalty, friendship, and the true meaning of love and responsibility.

“Big Red” is a heartwarming tale of friendship between a boy and his dog, set against the beautiful backdrop of the Canadian wilderness. The film showcases the bond that develops between René and Big Red and the determination of a young boy to stand up for what he believes is right.

As with many Disney films, “Big Red” delivers wholesome entertainment with positive messages for the whole family. It celebrates the strong connection between humans and animals and portrays the beauty of nature and the importance of preserving it. The film remains a classic Disney production, appreciated for its heartwarming storytelling and genuine emotions portrayed by the characters.

Fun Facts

  • “Big Red” is a heartwarming story about a young boy named Rene, played by Gilles Payant, who befriends a wild Irish setter dog named Red. The film explores their bond and the challenges they face together, including Red’s reputation as a wild and untrainable dog.
  • The movie was based on the 1945 novel “Big Red” by American author Jim Kjelgaard. Disney’s adaptation brought the story to life on the big screen and captured the beauty of the Canadian wilderness where the film was set.
  • “Big Red” is known for its touching portrayal of the friendship between a boy and his dog. The film’s themes of loyalty, determination, and the power of human-animal bonds resonate with audiences, making it a classic family film.

Additional Details


  • Walter Pidgeon: James Haggin
  • Gilles Payant: Rene Dumont
  • Emile Genest: Emile Fornet
  • Janette Bertrand: Therese Fornet
  • Georges Bouvier: Baggageman
  • Doris Lussier: Farmer Mariot
  • Rolland Bedard: Conductor
  • Teddy Burns Goulet: Engineer


  • Director: Norman Tokar
  • Producer: Walt Disney
  • Music: Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and