Making the Grades
Woof! That's what I often think as I head into another dog movie. Usually I have to watch these things with the thought that an 8-year-old would find this enjoyable, even if I don't. Well, this time I was barking up the wrong tree. Far From Home brings a high quality adventure that involves a boy every bit as much as it involves a dog. Even better, it portrays a realistic story that takes place off Canada's west coast.
John McCormick sets out with his 14-year-old son Angus on a floating business trip along the Pacific shore. With them comes Yellow, a recently adopted family dog. As they head up the coast in the small family boat, a bad storm arises eventually capsizing the craft. John is safe, but Angus and the dog have been washed ashore, leaving John and his wife wondering if their son is still alive. Fortunately, Angus has a father who has spent much time teaching him basic survival skills, allowing Angus to have a chance of saving his life.
Angus is sensitive, a trait not often portrayed in movies, especially in young boys. Early in the film, he is chasing a rabbit with his slingshot. His younger brother and another friend are not far behind, but they see Angus as the hunter who will get his prey. Angus does corner the rabbit, and has an opportunity at an easy shot. In the last moment, though, he realizes that he doesn't want to kill the rabbit, so he chases it away, claiming he missed it. This character presents a welcome change from the know-it-all Home Alone kid.
This movie has appeal for adults and children. It packages an interesting adventure together with good family relationships and realistic situations. The youngest of children may be slightly frightened with the dilemma that Angus is in, but if they watch with a parent, they should find the movie both a learning and entertaining experience, making Far From Home a top dog story.