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As you all know, I wasn’t a fan of Disney’s The Incredible Journey. (Well, if you didn’t know, please check out my review of it.) I found it incredibly boring and honestly hadn’t even heard of it before. I HAD heard of Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey though, but never saw it nor knew that it was a remake. I couldn’t understand why someone would want to remake The Incredible Journey for any other reason besides fixing its flaws.
So surely, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey must be a better film, right? Well, let’s find out!
And remember, SPOILERS AHEAD!
The film begins at a small house wedding wherein Bob Seaver, played by Robert Hays, is marrying Laura Burnford, played by Kim Greist. Laura has three kids, each of whom has a pet. The pets are a young American Bulldog named Chance, voiced by Michael J. Fox, a Himalayan cat named Sassy, voiced by Sally Field, and an older Golden Retriever named Shadow, voiced by Don Ameche.
One thing that immediately gives this film extra points over its predecessor is the fact that the animals talk! Their mouths don’t move, so it does look weird to hear the actors project their voice over the animals, but I much prefer this than the silence and intermittent narrator we had in the first film.
Bob is moving the family to San Francisco for temporary work purposes and they are unable to take the pets with them. So they decide to leave the pets at a ranch run by one of their friends, Kate, played by Jean Smart, until they are able to come back and pick them up. As Bob and the family drive away from the ranch, Chance misunderstands this as the family abandoning them as he himself was abandoned before and even spent time at a dog pound.
Shadow has a bit more faith that their owners will come back for them, but when Kate leaves them to go on a cattle drive (with a note telling a neighbor to feed the animals while she’s gone), Shadow comes to the conclusion that something is preventing their owners from coming back. So, Shadow, followed by Sassy and Chance, escape from the ranch by using a tree stump to jump a fence and are, as the title of the film suggests, homeward bound!
When Kate returns from her cattle drive, she learns from her neighbor that the pets were nowhere in sight when he came to feed them. Realizing that they’ve escaped, Kate calls the Park Services to see if they’ve spotted the trio. She then calls Bob and his family to let them know about what’s happened. The family is understandably saddened by the loss and puts up “missing pets” flyers hoping that someone has spotted the pets.
Meanwhile, Chance, Sassy, and Shadow have been battling the elements in the forest including bears, a mountain lion, a porcupine, and a raging stream. Sassy even gets temporarily separated from the other two when she falls into said stream and is nursed back to health by an old man who has a cabin in the forest, played by the late William Phipps.
Once she regains her health, Sassy leaves and is reunited with the dogs. The trio then discovers a young girl crying in the forest. It appears that the girl got lost in the woods and a search party consisting of the girl’s parents and Park Services employees are nearby looking for her. Shadow gets their attention and directs the rescue party towards the missing girl. Everyone is happy to find the girl and the Park Services employees recognize the three pets as the pets from the flyers.
They take the animals to a shelter nearby and call Bob to let him know that they’ve found the animals. However, Chance and the other two think they’re being taken to the pound and quickly escape before Bob and his family can come to pick them up. Fortunately though, the animals make it back to their hometown albeit with a few more delays and are reunited with their family back at their home.
And that was Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey! Um, so the talking animals did indeed help a lot, but sadly like its predecessor, this is a story that I just don’t find interesting. I’m just not into watching animals as the main characters of a film for over an hour, so I still found this to be a boring film.
I mean, there were good things such as the animal voice-overs as well as the overall training of the animals. But other than that, I found the film to be boring and every time it seemed to end, it just kept going.
Summing up, some of you may enjoy this film, but I did not!
So, the final score for this film is 20/35 = 57.14% (F) !
The next review will be posted on July 3, 2018.
2 thoughts on “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)”
Personally, my tastes in cinema– both live action and animated– tend to be biased in favor of animal stories, and the filmmakers improved on the original to such a degree that I consider this to be one of my top favorite live-action Disney films.
For me, the best part is the somewhat sibling-like relationship between the childish, energetic Chance and the aptly-named Sassy. The way that their personalities are allowed to bounce off of each other makes for some great comedy! (Tangentially, I think Sassy got all the best lines.)
Yeah, I think I suffer in that I’m not super animal-loving so that I end up not liking these movies.
Yeah, the sassy Sassy did have the best lines, lol!