Underdog ‘Togo’ Finally Gets Credit in Disney+ Film

Posted on: December 20th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

Balto always takes the credit, but the real underdog was always Togo. And now he’s got a movie of his own.

It all started in the small Alaskan town of Nome, where, in 1925, diphtheria killed two children and was on the rise. Closest town with the medicine was Nenana, located 674 miles away. It was determined that a dog sled relay was the best way of retrieval (later inspired the Iditarod).

Twenty mushers pushed 150 sled dogs through the tundra in five-and-a-half days. Balto led the pack for the last fifty miles and has been basking in the limelight for a century. Including a statue in Central Park and an animated Disney movie in 1992 starring Kevin Bacon.

But Togo was the true trooper, having helmed 260 miles of the Alaskan journey. His commemorative bronze statue didn’t appear until 2001 – placed in Seward Park, the first municipal park in the country, named after President Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William H. Seward, who purchased the Alaska territory from Russia in 1867 for $7 million. (It was relocated last month to a different spot in the park.)

The movie treatment of Togo streams today on the Disney+ platform. It stars Willem Dafoe as Togo’s driver Leonhard Seppala — and a Seppala Siberian named Diesel who is reportedly a descendant of the real Seppala’s dogs.

Recent Stories

Under Presure from Chinatown, Mayor Pledges $80M to Restore 70 Mulberry Street

The fire-scorched school building at 70 Mulberry Street will see life anew, thanks to massive city funding. Mayor de Blasio announced yesterday in his morning press briefing that the new budget contains a line item for $80 million dedicated to restoration of the historic building. Hizzoner spent a solid four minutes discussing how Chinatown was […]

Fearing COVID-19 Resurgence, De Blasio Halts Indoor Dining Indefinitely

Not so fast. Phase 3 of the reopening plan is slated to launch on Monday. However, it arrives without the resumption of indoor dining at bars and restaurants, as initially conceived. Mayor de Blasio announced the news at his morning presser yesterday, citing the nationwide surges of COVID-19 cases and the elevated dangers of indoor […]

When Rivington House Wouldn’t Clean its Garbage Mess, a Neighbor Stepped In

A Good Samaritan took responsibility where a multimillion-dollar hospital system would not. As previously reported, the outside of Rivington House – future home of Mount Sinai’s future Behavioral Health facility – essentially devolved into decrepitude with the accumulation of trash at the doorstep. Untouched for days on end. But one Lower East Sider took matters […]

Chillhouse Shutters Original Essex Street Spa

The list of coronavirus-related business closures is getting longer by the week. Today brings word that an Essex Street newcomer has bitten the dust. Chillhouse, a millennials-style spa at 149 Essex Street, is the latest to fall. Ownership announced the permanent shutter in an e-mail to customers Tuesday afternoon. “As we all know too well […]

Hamilton Fish Park Pool to Reopen by August 1

In an about-face, the city announced yesterday that at least fifteen public pools will reopen across the Five Boroughs. Included in the lucky list is the Hamilton Fish Park pool, known to locals as the “Pitt Pool.” But the cooldown will have to wait another month. The reopenings are scheduled for August 1, and are […]