Because Of Winn-Dixie

Check out our review of Because Of Winn-Dixie - is it any good and how suitable is it for kids?

A Dog's Purpose Poster

Because Of Winn-Dixie

Starring: AnnaSophia Robb, Jeff Daniels, Cicely Tyson. (U)

Release date: 2005

2 out of 5


Based on the children’s novel by Kate DiCamillo, and directed by Wayne Wang (better known for grown-up fare such as The Joy Luck Club and The Center of the World), this is the fluffy story of a ten-year-old girl named Opal (Robb), who has just moved to a new town (Naomi, Florida) with her preacher dad (Daniels). One day at the grocery store she spots a stray dog, adopts him and names him after the shop (Winn-Dixie), and the pair are soon bringing warmth and cheer to the townspeople, from the lonely librarian (Eva Marie Saint) to the singing pet shop employee (played by musician Dave Matthews).
It’s a well-meaning movie about growing up, as Opal learns about life and stuff from local old woman Gloria (Tyson) and spreads joy to the depressed locals (absolutely everyone seems to have a reason to be depressed, making Naomi the town you’d least like to visit). But for a film that tackles war, alcoholism (Opal’s absent mother), death and divorce, and has a big fluffy dog at its centre, it’s surprisingly dull and unlikely to charm anyone but the most ardent pooch lover. 

Is Because Of Winn-Dixie suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...


If you like this, why not try: My Girl, Fly Away Home, Pollyanna, A Little Princess, Anne Of Green Gables,