Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

  • Review Date: March 8, 2005
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Adventurous animal tale will have kids riveted.
  • Review Date: March 8, 2005
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 84 minutes





What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn worthwhile lessons about sticking together in the face of adversity.

Positive messages

Teaches the importance of family, teamwork, loyalty, and perserverance.

Positive role models

The animals are brave and often resourceful; they care strongly about each other and their family and stick together even when things get hard.

Violence & scariness

A fight, but no injuries are incurred. Family pets are lost, but eventually they find their way home.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this uplifting, heartwarming adventure has strong messages about family and perseverance, as well as a few tense/scary moments when the animals are in peril. While kids under 5 will enjoy the animals, they probably won't follow the story. And older tweens may find it too juvenile, despite the abundance of attitude and irreverent humor. But those in the 5-8 age bracket will fall in love with the characters and get the humor -- this film is aimed at them.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

When their owners go on vacation, golden retriever Shadow (voiced by Don Ameche), bulldog Chance (Michael J. Fox), and Himalayan cat Sassy (Sally Field), are left with a friend. After a few days, Chance becomes convinced that something's wrong and runs away; Sassy and Shadow follow. Determined to go home, they traverse the Sierras, ford rivers, and tangle with unfriendly bears. Shadow becomes a hero by finding a lost little girl and alerting her parents. Afterward, when the three pets are taken to a shelter to await their family, they again break out and continue their difficult journey. Exchanging wisecracks all the way, Chance, Shadow, and Sassy finally arrive home, where they're welcomed with open arms.

Is it any good?


Witty dialogue and well-cast voices make HOMEWARD BOUND: THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY 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 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what kids should do if they get separated from their parents.

  • How did Shadow, Chance, and Sassy cope with their fear of being alone?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 10, 1993
DVD release date:August 10, 1993
Cast:Don Ameche, Michael J. Fox, Sally Field
Director:Duwayne Dunham
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Friendship
Run time:84 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey 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; OK 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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Teen, 13 years old Written byreviewgirl13 April 27, 2009

Good movie, and very sad.

I actually still watch this movie sometimes. It's sad, heartwarming, funny, and touching. Parents, there's nothing to worry about; no bad language, no smoking, not really anything that will concern you. But, you must know your child well, because this movie can make them cry and/or become frightened. You see, I even felt a little sad watching this movie. One dog, Shadow, becomes hurt and the cat, Sassy, and the other dog find Shadow in a ditch lying in the ground, hurt and dirty. He's weak and he's trying to make it back up to his friends, but keeps falling. Then, he says that he can't go on with the two. It's a sad scene. There are more scenes like this, and your kid(s) may become sad.
Adult Written byMi3 February 2, 2011
Kid, 10 years old January 22, 2011
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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