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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog is a 1995 family adventure drama in which a boy and his dog must fend for themselves in the wilderness after a shipwreck. Spoiler alert: For more sensitive viewers -- especially those who love dogs -- the scene in which the dog is left behind in the wilderness after the tween boy is rescued by the search party might be a bit much to take. There are also some moments of peril, including the boat wreck, an interaction between the boy and dog with a wildcat, and a scene in which the tween breaks his arm during a fall down a hill. The dog also falls off of a makeshift bridge but survives. "Crap" is used by a young boy. Overall, the movie imparts lessons on survival as the tween boy applies the lessons taught by his father earlier in the movie.
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What's the story?
The McCormick family lives in the Canadian countryside near the coast, where John McCormick (Bruce Davison) runs a supply shipping business. His son Angus (Jesse Bradford) helps him with his work, accompanying him on runs to customers in different ports. Angus knows how to build a boat, he can take it on the water, and he knows how to behave in the wild. All of these skills are tested when John's ship is capsized in a storm and Angus is lost at sea. Luckily, Angus's dog Yellow is with him as they are washed to shore. Angus faces many obstacles, the least of which is fighting hunger and injury, while his parents attempt to rescue him.
Is it any good?
With sweeping views of the beautiful Canadian coast and intense wilderness scenes, this tender coming-of-age story is bound to impress viewers of all ages. Where the tale could verge into the melodramatic, the McCormick family exhibits stolid emotional strength in the face of adversity. Moreover, Angus is raised with strict boundaries, which serve him well. When he asks to keep the stray dog that he calls Yellow, his father says, "Angus, this is your dog and it is going to be your responsibility." The following scene shows Angus buying dog food and a dog tag with his hard-earned money. And Yellow proves to be a loyal friend who saves Angus' life more than once.
The strength of the McCormick family's commitment to doing things correctly could be seen as a moral tale for the times. There are no shortcuts in this film -- and patience and perseverance end up saving lives.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about survival. What skills can you gain to help prepare you for life's adventures? Are there things that you'd like to learn to help you feel strong and helpful?
How does this movie compare to other dog movies?
Why are movies about dogs so popular? What is your favorite dog movie?
- In theaters: March 11, 1995
- On DVD or streaming: March 11, 2003
- Cast: Bruce Davison, Jesse Bradford, Mimi Rogers
- Director: Phillip Borsos
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Great Boy Role Models
- Character Strengths: Courage, Perseverance
- Run time: 81 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: For Perilous Adventure
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