Call of the Wild Locations: Where was Call of the Wild filmed?

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The Call of the Wild was primarily filmed in British Columbia and California. The movie is also set in Yukon and takes place during the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s.

The film revolves around John Thornton, portrayed by Harrison Ford (who answered the call of the studio to return to play Indiana Jones in 2021), embarking on an adventure with a large, clever dog called Buck, across the Yukon Territory in northwest Canada.

Harrison Ford and Buck dog landscape

At first, they had a man playing the dog parts, but then they found Buckley, a former stray dog mix of St. Bernard and Scotch Collie. This sort of Chewbacca dog that we see on the screen is Buckley's CGI version, animated using digital scans of his moves and expressions.

The 2020 movie is based on Jack London's classic novel, first published in 1903. This story has a lot in common with the recently released Disney movie about a lead sled dog Togo, also filmed in Canada and set in Alaska, starring Willem Dafoe.

Here is our spoiler-free guide to the filming locations of The Call of the Wild.

1- Yukon Territory
Call of the Wild boat
You may be wondering where were shot the great outdoors pictured in the film. On one hand, many locations are CGI'd or have a lot of post-production effects on them.

On the other paw, the production team visited the stunning landscapes of Yukon twice during summer 2018 and February 2019, scouting locations across the territory.

They worked with two locals to get the shots needed. As the Government of Yukon informed, filming took just under 8 weeks. Yukon locations were digitally inserted behind actors filmed in-studio.

We also recognized the design of the boat featured in The Call of the Wild as soon as we saw it: The movie's sternwheeler is inspired by the SS Klondike, declared National Historic Site of Canada located in Whitehorse (capital and only city of the state).

The ship is a replica of a boat built between 1929-1936. Both original and replica ran freight along the Yukon River until the early 1950s.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox and Gareth Sloan - Map Location

2- Whistler, British Columbia
Waterfall sequence with kayak
The production was also filming outdoor scenes in the Whistler area in British Columbia, Canada. Whistler is a small town, considered an adventure sports paradise.

This is a great whitewater kayaking destination, surrounded by several rivers offering wild clean rapids and waterfalls.

The pictured scene was filmed on location by a stuntman in a fall on the Cheakamus River near the Function Junction in Whistler. The town also boasts the largest ski area resort in North America, the Whistler-Blackcomb.

The Callaghan Lake Provincial Park, the Callaghan Creek, or the Nairn Falls feature awesome cinematographic landscapes and ideal environments for hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking.
Image courtesy of 20th Century Studios and The crazy french man - Filming Location

3- Smith River and Wilson Creek Beach, California
Rowing the river canoe
According to Northern California's digital magazine Times-Standard, the Smith River in the Redwood Region doubles for the Yukon River in some of the rapids scenes with Harrison Ford and his canine companion.

Wilson Creek Beach was used in a steam locomotive sequence, replacing via CGI sections of the landscape to make it fit in the era when the movie is set.
Image courtesy of 20th Century Studios - Smith River Location / Wilson Creek Beach

4- Santa Clarita, California
Filming in Santa Clarita set
Most of the movie, including Harrison Ford canoeing with a blue screen behind for the river scenes, was filmed in the studios in Santa Clarita.

3BL Media reports that to accurately bring the story to life, the production constructed several era-appropriate towns and sets, recreating the spirit of the Yukon end of the century gold rush spirit.

As you can check out on the behind-the-scenes image pictured, lots of special effects and tons of fake snow were necessary to make the actors forget that they were actually filming the wild freezing nature of The Great North just a few miles from Malibu beach.

Ruf der Wildnis drehorte
Finally, you can find here the book's The Call of the Wild locations map. This post also explains the original places where the novel takes place.
Image courtesy of 20th Century Studios - Film Location Map - Ruf der Wildnis Drehort

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