Separation, heartache, and injury
My family and I are admittedly crazy dog people. We have been looking forward to this movie ever since we saw its preview. Unfortunately, after the light-hearted beginning, it was one heartbreaking scene after another. The previews show that the dog, Bella, and her owner are reunited in the end. Had I not known that, I would have left before it was even close to being over. My children, ages 10, 8, and 5, all cried from being so worried for Bella. Unlike in other children’s movies where after there is something heavy and sad, the happy is right around the corner, the only thing around the next several corners is more sad! I kept checking my watch, hoping this depressing tale would soon be turning around.
Two of the most upsetting scenes to us were *****spolier***** watching Bella chained to a dead man who is supposed to love her! She could almost get her chain close enough to the river to drink, but not quite. What came next was Bella narrating how thirsty and hungry she was.. It was an excruciating scene to watch, The other most difficult scene to watch was ******spoiler****** when Bella is hit by a car. After laying in a heap, which was upsetting enough, she gets up. She is bloody and hobbles on three paws, while her narration describes the horrible pain she is feeling. It was gut wrenching .
I kept pushing through to get to the happy ending to “fix” all the trauma my kids had just witnessed. After it was all said and done, my two boys and my husband declared it to be a good movie. My daughter and I said we didn’t like it at all because all of that poor baby’s suffering was just too much for our hearts. Even with the happy ending, the movie was loss after loss for Bella or the other innocent creatures around her. I am just too tender when it comes to dogs and other animals to handle it well. Apparently my daughter is the same way. If you have a sensitive child, or one who is easily frightened or worried, skip this one. Also, if you have an adopted child, who has experience loss and trauma, I think this would be terribly triggering for them. Many parental figures come and go and Bella tells you that she “never saw them again.” The little bit of happy in this film doesn’t come close to covering all the difficult loss and sadness in this movie, in my opinion. I wish I had read these reviews before going!