The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained.
The Film: Homeward Bound: The Incredibly Journey (1993)
The Plot: During a family move, a trio of pets are left at the home of a rancher friend to be cared for tempoarily, but animals, not fully capable of understanding the English language, assume they’ve been abandoned. Not ones to go easily into the night and exist happily on a farm, they take it upon themselves to embark upon an incredible journey to find their owners in a tale of inspiring loyalty and hilarious Michael J. Fox hijinks!
The Review: Homeward Bound is a remake of an adaptation of book that plays all the right heartstrings and strikes all the right chords. The first filmed version of the story is excellent as well, though it’s a lot quieter since there are no celebrity voices for the animals.
Our trio here are Sally the cat (Sally Field), Chance the American Bulldog (Michael J. Fox), and Shadow the Golden Retriever (Don Ameche). Their incredible journey spans across the rocky, mountainous wilderness and is filled with dangers ranging from a lack of food to raging rivers and a hungry mountain lion.
The movie, while primarily for children, appeals to all ages because these animals are hella cute, and it’s actually really well written. I still quote this movie nearly twenty years after its release. Who doesn’t remember Sally’s sassy taunt of “cats rule, dogs drool” or Chance’s flapping lips and ears as he does his best imitation of Batdog!
In addition to plenty of cute lines, the film always treats the animals as characters, so you can relate to them and sympathize with them. Sure, if you see a dog in a movie we all want him to be okay, but with these guys there is an extra level of care – you can hear what they’re thinking and you know what motivates them to take these risks. When Sally disappears over the waterfall, you put your head down and pretend your eyes aren’t a bit watery. When the team works together you chuckle as Chance “can’t believe he’s running away from a cat” and cheer when they launch that pussy off a cliff (no tears here though, the mountain lions okay too!).
If you don’t love this movie, you don’t have a heart. Just thinking about it makes me a little emotional. Chance finally learns the value of a home and an owner and Shadow, the old dog, fights every step of the way, no matter how tired or exhausted he gets. The ending toys with your feelings in just the right way, it drops you into a dark place of emotional investment before letting the light come back in.
Homeward Bound really is an incredible journey, as corny as it sounds, but what can I say, I love animals, Michael J. Fox, and this film. It’s solid family fun, teaches you the value of love and trust and the endless loyalty and companionship of animals. Watch this one with your pooch.
But why spend 84 minutes watching this film when you only have 463,338 minutes left to live?
It’s a film that ultimately puts a smile on your face and warms you heart. As the world erupts in flame, you might as well go out smiling with a single tear sneaking out of the corner of your eye. If you’re a family man, or just someone with pets, this is a film you can all enjoy together. Or maybe, and I could be fired for saying this, watching this film will make you appreciate your family, friends, and pets even more to the point you’ll turn off the movie (after it’s over, it’s good!) and go outside for a walk in the park and potentially fight a mountain lion and then come to an understanding with him and you’ll each go your separate ways.