Review #917: The Incredible Journey.
Muffy the Bull Terrier (Bodger), Syn Cat the Siamese cat (Tao), Rink the Labrador Retriever (Luath), Rex Allen (Narrator), Emile Genest (John Longridge), Sandra Scott (Nancy Hunter), John Drainie (Professor James Hunter), Marion Finlayson (Elizabeth Hunter), Ronald Cohoon (Peter Hunter), Tommy Tweed (The Hermit), Robert Christie (James MacKenzie), Beth Lockerbie (Nell MacKenzie), Beth Amos (Mrs. Oakes), Eric Clavering (Bert Oakes), Jan Rubeš (Carl Nurmi), and Syme Jago (Helvi Numi) Directed by Fletcher Markle.
When I reviewed Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (#186) in June of 2012, I had noted (in a review typical of my writing for Season Two - not like the writing of today) that it was a remake of the 1963 film that was also made by Disney based off the novel of the same name by Sheila Burnford. The two films do depart in terms of the animals used for the film, with this film using a Bull Terrier, a Labrador Retriever, and a Siamsese cat with the remake using an American Bulldog, a Golden Retriever, and a Himalayan Cat. It's hard to say which of the two films is better, because they use different ways of telling the stories of the animals. Allen's narration of the journey does a fine job of toeing the line between telling the story and letting us see the animals interact with each other and the environments (some shots being filmed in Canada but other parts filmed in Sequim, Washington) around them, which are gorgeous to look at. The animals are clearly the star of the show, and they certainly make it easy to find them "cute", but also easy to root for. There's one scene where they encounter a bear, and it's an interesting scene to watch in part because of how it plays itself out. The human characters don't exactly have much in terms of personality, but they don't derail the movie too much. Tweed has a scene as a hermit that is pretty quirky (he has a crow who rests on his hat), but he is respectably entertaining. The family in the movie is mostly prevalent in the climax of the film, and while it is disappointing that they get the chunk of what is a pretty heartwarming return, it doesn't distract too much from a movie that is on the whole a good time. Both films are good flicks for children along with adults, with this one having its own sense of the wilderness.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.