Parents' Guide to

Hero Dog: The Journey Home

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Peril, some injury in dog-in-the-wild adventure.

Movie PG 2021 90 minutes
Hero Dog: The Journey Home Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 1 parent review

age 8+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This is a heavy-handed adventure story about a dog in the wild, but kids will probably enjoy it. It's the story of a man who lost his vision while serving his country in Afghanistan who now must find a way to navigate the deepest of woods after the captain of the boat that was to take him back to his family loses consciousness and leaves him far from home, with only an Alaskan Malamute named Chinook to get him home. There's plenty of the requisite peril -- everything from mountain lions to wolves to merciless rocks and rapids, and if that's not enough, the son and daughter of the lead character soon become lost themselves after they try to use their camping skills to do what the helicopters, planes, and walkie talkies of the search party cannot do. But no matter. Chinook is preternaturally gifted at orienteering, and knows when to bark when the danger to the humans is especially eminent.

The lead character is not only blind, but he has also lost his wife to cancer two years ago. He works a job in "the city" now that the local mine has closed. Also, his son resents his dad for taking the job because that means they're going to move to the big city, and the son wants to continue to enjoy his life in the great outdoors. It's already a lot, so it seems a bit much to also have to face off against a rabid mountain lion with nothing but a flare gun and a big dog. It's clearly in the tradition of the older Disney movies with gifted pets who rescue their grateful human counterparts, but it really doesn't do anything new with that tried-and-true formula. Still, dog lovers will enjoy seeing a heroic dog do his thing.

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