Parents' Guide to

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

By Common Sense Media, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Adventurous animal tale will have kids riveted.

Movie G 1993 84 minutes
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 27 parent reviews

age 6+

Good, except for the Humor

Our 6 year old loved it, but unfortunately the snarky humor did not go over his head. The next day, he greeted his grandmother with "Hi, Butt-Face!" We had to have a long talk about why the cat was literally "sassy" to the dogs at first, and why it is insulting to others to use those sassy lines from the movie. There were also fat jokes and fat sight gags, which should never be acceptable. There was a lack of diversity, except for one Black character, a police officer who was portrayed eventually as empathetic. Overall it was a good pick for a first-time full feature for a sensitive boy: tense but not too scary, with positive messages about family and the love and loyalty between pets and their children. Just wish the humor had not been demeaning and hoping our boy doesn't repeat the lines at school.
age 3+

Great film for the family

So we did let our son know that the animals were pretending and would all be okay. Some of the story was hard for him to follow but he loved it. We love that there is no villain. Chance and Sassy are a bit mean to each other but they learn. The cat and water scene is the scariest bit so we did tell our son it would be okay and he did dream about it once (he is three). There is a cougar and a lost girl but those were quickly resolved without being too heavy for our sensitive son. Enjoyable with good characters. There is some gender stuff like the cat is the only girl and she says things about weight and getting dirty, but the other female characters are well rounded so it wouldn't come across as gender stereotyping to our so much as cat stereotyping.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (27 ):
Kids say (31 ):

Witty dialogue and well-cast voices make this movie a delight from start to finish. Fox and Ameche do a terrific job of giving voice to their canine characters; Ameche is particularly poignant as the older and much wiser Shadow. Field, hilarious as the snide and sharp-tongued Sassy, constantly berates Chance for his impetuous behavior and less-than-perfect manners. The animals themselves perform some riveting stunts.

As the threesome makes their way home, viewers of Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey are carried along through a landscape full of peril and beauty. Although there are some scary moments -- like when Shadow and Chance confront a bobcat, or when the elderly Shadow falls into a deep ditch on the last leg of their journey -- the banter keeps things light. The well-written script contains plenty of kid-friendly humor, but even adult viewers will enjoy Sassy's stinging putdowns and Shadow's deep-voiced wisdom.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate