In 1963, Disney made the classic The Incredible Journey, the story of three pets who lose their owners while on vacation and have to find their way home across 200 miles of the mountains and forests of the Canadian Rockies, with a narrator ‘explaining’ their thoughts, and thirty years on came this update.
The story is the roughly the same – old dog Shadow, young mutt Chance and cat Sassy are forced to get along on their perilous journey after their owners move across the country and they are left behind. The big difference here is that each animal’s thoughts are given a voice, courtesy of the well-known vocal cast (unsurprisingly, Ameche is Shadow, Fox is Chance and Field is Sassy). It’s packed with beautiful scenery (the movie was filmed mainly in Oregon), some witty ‘dialogue’ (on seeing a porcupine for the first time, Chance comments that he thinks it is ‘probably a squirrel having a really bad hair day’) and terrific performances, both from the live animals and the actors voicing them. Just lovely. (The film was followed by an inoffensive sequel, Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco, in 1996.)
Is Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Young viewers may be scared when the trio spend their first night in the woods.
It is also upsetting when Shadow falls down a hole and is injured.