I wanted to love it. I probably would have settled for liking it even a little more than I did. Today I realized I had way too many hours worked this week for a part-time job. I decided since I had enough points for a free movie I should take a couple hours and see something.
I decided to see a dog movie since I work with a rescue center. I went to see A Dog’s Way Home. I’m used to having the theater all to myself when I go to a 10:30 screening so I was quite surprised to see how many seats were reserved when I chose mine. From the trailer, it looked to a kid-friendly fun and heartwarming movie. Well, it was a movie so they got that right. No, when he finally gets home that part is sweet and heartwarming. Kid friendly? I guess all parents have to decide.
Maybe had I read the book first I would have been prepared for some of the trials this poor little girl went through on her journey to her person. I’m not saying that dogs have not journeyed long distances to get back home. They have and those stories are heartwarming. I’m not concerned about some of the featured agendas that others might think are harmful and wrong. No, I’m used to those and most go over the kid’s heads. The whole thing centered around what I learned is a real ordinance in Denver banning pit bulls and other related “dangerous breeds.” I’m not saying this is a good or bad ordinance. Okay, I am. It’s a bad one from what I’ve now read up on. I am going to say that the dog casting was ridiculous. As cute as she was she in no way looked at all like any kind of pit. Or bull. Or terrier.
There was a group of special needs adults, about twenty so it was like twenty kids, and there were about six or eight under ten-year-old children. Did you know kids as a lot of questions during movies and question all kinds of things?
Here are my top three things that made it for sure not kid friendly.
- Early on in the journey the author has two hunters shoot and killed a mama cougar and laughed about it leaving the baby cougar an orphan. People still hate that Bambi’s mom got killed but this is okay? Lots of plot twists but how does a non-lactating dog, not sure how old cause the timeline was so screwed up, nurse a cougar? Yes, a cougar. So that was kind of weird. I did a search and it doesn’t seem possible. Correct me if it is possible.
- A homeless man, obviously depressed, we know this because the dog told us, finds the dog and uses it as a way to raise money. Okay, I’m okay with that because people will give if you are using the money to feed the dog. The part that I am not okay with is that the guy chains the dog by the collar around his waist. The dog then tells us that she quietly rested there until the all the warmth went out of the body along with the life. Of course, a little voice in the theater cries, “Mommy, is that old man deaded?” Then Bella rips into the bags of groceries and then she tells us she has never been thirstier. She tries in vain to drag the dead body to the river where a fish is flopping around which means she would get both food and water if she succeeds. She doesn’t. Even bad writing can’t make her strong enough, and she so she looks like she is going to die. Yes, the same little voice asked if Bella was dead. Thank goodness two teen boys ride by, unhook her, and off she runs with a fresh burst of energy after a quick slurp on cold water. You’re getting the picture, right? Somebody thought that it would be a good idea to chain a dog to a body thereby scaring all the children and special needs adults. Wow.
- There were wolves and all kinds of major obstacles. Nice scenery, though. Then, so close, almost there. She gets hit by a car and then limps on three legs to her home only to find the family has moved. Talk about tears and traumatized kids.
It’s a movie so it ends well and the dog is back home with her blanket. The end.
Don’t worry, Bruce Cameron gets another chance later this year. He wrote this book