Hachi: A Dog's Tale

  • Review Date: June 30, 2010
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2010

Common Sense Media says

Dramatic story of a dog's devotion is emotionally intense.
  • Review Date: June 30, 2010
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2010





What parents need to know

Positive messages

This beautiful story about the relationship between a man and his dog is emotionally powerful. Emotional themes might be too adult for younger viewers.

Positive role models

Hachi, the dog, is the headlining role model in this story: he is the picture of devotion. Parker is also a kind father and gentle husband.

Violence & scariness

Loss and mourning, but no violence.

Sexy stuff

Considering the G rating, suggestive scenes where adults kiss and prepare to bathe together are rather risque for younger viewers.

Not applicable

Yankees game and Yankees cap are featured.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults drink wine and champagne in the evening together. Daughter's fiancé brings beer to dinner and drinks a beer with his future father-in-law.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the adorable puppy in this movie does more than play with toys: he changes an entire community's view of friendship. Considering the G rating, suggestive scenes where adults kiss and
prepare to bathe together are rather risque for younger viewers. Adults consume alcohol. Some mature moments are implied, though not seen, so parental guidance is suggested.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Somewhere in a monastery in remote Japan, a puppy dog is crated and shipped to another country. But his luggage tags are lost, and he ends up wandering the platform of the train station in a town called Bedridge. This is where Professor Parker Williams (Richard Gere) finds him -- and the beginning of an unlikely friendship unfolds. Hachi, as the dog is known by the symbol on his collar, becomes so involved in the lives of the community that he is remembered for many years to come.

Is it any good?


Like a Zen meditation, this movie has a calm pace that soothes viewers. That is, until a tragedy occurs and Hachi's true colors shine through. Though this movie is based on a true story that took place in Shibuya, Japan in the '30s, there are some parts that may confuse contemporary American kids (such as, where is Animal Control when Hachi is roaming about for years at a time?) But director Lasse Hallstrom captures a dog's-eye view of life beautifully. Be prepared to shed a tear, and brace yourself to want to adopt a dog just like Hachi when the movie comes to a close.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Hachi is a hero or not. Can animals be heroes? Parker's grandson thinks of Hachi as a hero. Do you agree?

  • At one point Parker's daughter purposefully opens the gate to let Hachi decide to stay with her family or to run away. Is this responsible behavior?

  • This movie is rated G for general audiences, but its content deals with some sophisticated topics. Here is a peek at what the target age of this movie might be looking for in their media lives.

Movie details

DVD release date:March 9, 2010
Cast:Jason Alexander, Joan Allen, Richard Gere
Director:Lasse Hallstrom
Studio:Sony Wonder
Run time:93 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:General Audiences

This review of Hachi: A Dog's Tale was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written byBella1612 September 18, 2010

So Sad!!!!!!

Such a good story! I was sobbing at the end of it.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old Written byD-day September 12, 2010


This film is really heart-warming, I was close to tears by the end of it. It has good role models because the dog is very loyal to his owner,but...the sexual stuff and the sadness is a bit too much for younger kids so I say 8+

What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Adult Written byBeckstar October 29, 2011

sad true story

A beautiful, but extremely sad true story about a dog devoted to his owner. I think it's ok for kids, but If It can make an adult bawl her eyes out, I'd hate to see what it would do a child

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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