Theodore "Ted" Brooks (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) is a dentist from Miami, Florida whose picture appears on every city bus in advertisements to promote his dental practice at the beginning of the film. When Brooks receives his letter from Alaska one day naming him as the only heir of a Lucy Watkins, his mother, Amelia (Nichelle Nichols), reveals that he is adopted. Brooks travels to the fictional village of Tolketna to claim his inheritance left by his biological mother: seven Siberian Huskies and a Border Collie, and discovers his roots.
Totally out of his element, Brooks has to face challenges he has never dreamed of: blizzards, thin ice, an intimidating, crusty old mountain man named Thunder Jack Johnson (James Coburn), and the aggressive, defiant lead dog, Demon. All of this happens with the buzzing excitement of the Arctic Challenge Sled Dog Race which is only two weeks away.
During his stay in Tolketna, Brooks attempt to find the reason why he was given up for adoption, including any information about his biological father. He meets a bar owner named Barb (Joanna Bacalso), who was a close friend of his biological mother. Barbs helps Brooks to deal with the dogs and teaches him how to drive a sled, and falls in love with him throughout the film. Brooks continues to encounter Thunder Jack, who wants all of his biological mother's sled dogs, especially Demon. Eventually, Brooks learns from Barb that Thunder Jack is his real father.
Brooks feels that the truth is worth the dogs themselves, and trades them to Thunder Jack. Jack tells Brooks that he and Lucy stayed in a cave during one of the Arctic Challenges. It is there that Brooks was conceived. The next morning, when Thunder Jack woke up, Lucy was gone. He says that he was looking for Lucy, but never found her. Lucy gave Brooks up for adoption.
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