A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf is an old-fashioned Disney adventure film that's best for older kids and tweens. The human hero shares much of the screen time with his wolf-dog partner in a magnificent outdoor setting. Together they help a peaceful Native American tribe protect their fragile ecosystem and face down a powerful enemy. Multiple action sequences find Henry and White Fang in serious peril -- from their natural habitat (a raging river, mountainous terrain) and evil villains with traps and rifles. White Fang bares his teeth and threatens his adversaries. Two decaying bodies are found in the wilderness; one has been hanged. Battle scenes result in some daring rescues and several deaths (none graphic or bloody). Promoted as a sequel to White Fang, this movie stands on its own and, with the exception of White Fang, has a completely different cast of characters.
What's the story?
In WHITE FANG 2: MYTH OF THE WHITE WOLF, Henry (Scott Bairstow), on his own in the wilds of Alaska, has been mining for gold, carefully saving his treasured stash of nuggets for a raft trip to a local city where he'll collect his fortune. But during a harrowing ride in the unexpectedly raging river, Henry loses his gold and is separated from White Fang, then saved by a young Native American woman, Lily (Charmaine Craig), of the Haida tribe. Moses, the Haida chief, is desperate for Henry’s help. His village is in the midst of a famine; the caribou whose yearly presence they count on for food have not returned to their mountain. In a dream, the old man has seen White Fang leading them to the animals. He appeals to the young man: "Find your wolf companion and let him lead us to the missing caribou so we can hunt again." Reluctant at first, but attracted to Lily, sympathetic to the tribe's plight, and desperate to find White Fang, Henry agrees to help. What Moses, Lily, and Henry do not know, however, is that a vicious team of white settlers will do anything to run the Haida off the mountain. The adventure intensifies as Henry's quest threatens to upend the white men's evil plan.
Is it any good?
Magnificent scenery and cinematography and the dynamic native wildlife, especially White Fang, make up for the conventional good-versus-evil story line, some on-the-nose dialogue, and stock villains. And the gently earnest portrayal of the Native American presence in the Northwest adds substance to the tale. For kids and families who are comfortable with lots of exciting action and suspense, with young people and animals frequently in danger, and with some lengthy battle sequences in which deaths occur, it's an entertaining, old-fashioned adventure with more than one happy ending.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the treatment of the Native American tribe in this film. How does it differ from portrayals in earlier adventure films you might have seen? What do you think has caused this cultural change?
Alaska is the setting for this movie. The story would be different set in any other place. List all the specific attributes of this natural environment (terrain, wildlife) that contribute to the adventure.
In a sequel, can you always expect the story to be a continuation of the original movie? If you saw White Fang, what, if anything, links it to White Fang 2? How does each movie stand on its own?
- In theaters: April 15, 1994
- On DVD or streaming: August 13, 2002
- Cast: Scott Bairstow, Charmaine Craig, Alfred Molina
- Director: Ken Olin
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Wild Animals
- Run time: 106 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: mild action
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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