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You’ve Seen Surfing Dogs Before, But Not on A Giant Imax Screen In 3d!

March 23, 2019 Lifestyle News No Comments Email Email

Surf Dog Ricochet stars in the new IMAX film, Superpower Dogs. It’s the first time a surf dog has been on a giant IMAX screen. And, the first time audiences get to experience what it’s like to surf with a dog… without getting wet!

The IMAX website describes it as “Movies are watched. But seeing a movie in an IMAX® theatre is so much more. IMAX draws you into something as close to reality as you have ever experienced.That’s what we call The IMAX Experience®.”

Speaking of firsts, Ricochet was the first-ever dog to provide canine-assisted surf therapy in 2010 when she jumped on the surfboard of a boy who is quadriplegic. Since then, she has surfed with hundreds of children with special needs, people with disabilities and veterans with PTSD.

Ricochet is not only a surf dog legend, she’s also one of the original San Diego Surf Dogs that started the whole dog surfing circuit. As such, Director, Daniel Ferguson contacted Ricochet’s guardian, Judy Fridono four years ago. They met at a Starbucks, and Ferguson was immediately drawn to Ricochet and knew she’d be perfect for the movie. “Not only does she surf, but she brings an emotional element to the film”, Ferguson said.

Filming was done in April of 2018 in San Diego’s Balboa Park and Cardiff State Beach. The opening footage of Ricochet’s sequence shows her coming through a wave and majestically surfing to shore. The photo below is the actual movie screen in 3D, so it looks blurry without 3D glasses.

Ricochet’s sequence in the film focuses on her Waves of Empowerment program that connects veterans with PTSD and kids with special needs through the challenges they face… taking them from the battleground to the playground.

Each veteran becomes a mentor and is paired one-on-one with a child for a day of canine-assisted surf therapy and emotional healing. The film showcases how Ricochet balances boards… and lives! The focus is on her ability to enrich the well-being of veterans with PTSD and children with special needs through the healing power of the ocean, and the healing power of a dog.

Ricochet’s emotional healing is told through the experiences of her co-stars, Staff Sergeant Persons B. Griffith IV Ret (Griff), a Marine combat veteran with PTSD, and Jodi Powell, the mother of seven year old Logan who has sensory processing disorder.

As Griff and Logan interact, it becomes clear how much more alike they are than different. This young boy and this marine… held hostage by their inner turmoil. They both battle an invisible challenge. Movie goers can see the subtle and not so subtle behaviors Ricochet uses to communicate Griff’s physical or emotional distress. This interaction helps Griff identify deep seated emotional trauma that he describes as Ricochet’s “soul vision”.

Moviegoers were touched, and had tears in their eyes while watching Ricochet’s sequence on the giant screen. Film reviewer, Courtney Howard from Variety Magazine says “The film’s tear-jerking portion is reserved for Ricochet, a sunshine-loving, surfing Golden Retriever who works as a therapy dog with special-needs children and soldiers with PTSD. Her work, assisting them in overcoming their anxieties and disabilities, demonstrates the ripple effect of helping others”.

The film, narrated by Chris Evans (Captain America), takes audiences on an immersive IMAX® adventure around the globe to experience the life-saving superpowers and extraordinary bravery of some of the world’s most amazing dogs. Ricochet, a registered and certified goal-directed therapy dog is one of five dogs in the film. The other four include Henry, an avalanche rescue dog, Reef, a water rescue dog, Halo, a search and rescue dog and Tipper/Tony who sniff out poachers in South Africa. All these dogs rescue individuals in physical trauma. Ricochet, on the other paw, rescues people from emotional trauma.

Every 65 minutes a veteran with PTSD takes their life by suicide! “It is because of these staggering statistics that Ricochet is participating in the film”, said Judy Fridono, Ricochet’s guardian. Fridono has started a campaign to shed more light on military war heroes who are suffering in silence, and how dogs can help in their recovery.

There is also a companion Superpower Dogs picture book, and Ricochet’s pawtobiography book. Both can be found on, or a list of retailers who carry the Superpower Dogs book.

The IMAX film opened to the general public on March 15th at IMAX, giant screen and digital cinemas in museums, science centers and other cultural institutions worldwide. Theater listings can also be found on

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