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Fly Away Home


Latest Home Video

Apr 07, 2009

MPAA Rating:


Run Time:



Jeff Daniels

Anna Paquin


1996 Columbia Tristar

Still shot from the movie: Fly Away Home.

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Reviewed by

Overall A-
Run Time107

Making the Grades

Following the death of her mother in a traumatic car accident, 10-year-old Amy Alden (Anna Paquin) is reluctantly brought from New Zealand to Canada so she can live with her estranged father. Adjusting to this new arrangement is difficult for both of them, as Tom (Jeff Daniels) tries to make room for his daughter in his cluttered bachelor lifestyle, and Amy's grief keeps her from wanting to bond to anyone.

Tom's already clumsy efforts to settle the sorrowing girl into life on his Ontario farm are further hampered when some greedy land developers destroy the neighborhood's peace by knocking down trees and trampling wildlife. However, it is in the aftermath of their destruction that Amy discovers a nest of orphaned goose eggs, which begin to awaken her dormant sense of attachment.

Doing what her heart dictates, the young girl brings the eggs home and attempts to incubate them in a dresser drawer. A few days later, a gaggle of goslings are eagerly following in her every footstep. Realizing she is the only mother they know, Amy takes on her new role and does her best to care for the fluffy grey chicks. But when they exchange their down for feathers, the novice mom acknowledges she will need some extra expertise if she is to teach her gangly family how to fly and eventually migrate.

With the help of her father, some of his friends and a couple of ultra-light aircraft, Amy hatches a plan to save her geese. Along the way she will also preserve a wetland, make the national news, and have an opportunity to connect with her dad.

This may sound like a sentimental coming-of-age story, yet superior writing and cinematography have this film soaring well above similar movies. With only a few content concerns (which include a few mild profanities, an implied live-in relationship, and some blatant disrespect for the law when the Aldens meet up with an ornery game warden), Fly Away Home provides near perfect family entertainment. The script offers children the security of a predictable ending, adds a few twists to make things more interesting and realistic for older viewers, and illustrates the joy to be found when "birds of a feather flock together."

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Fly Away Home.

In the movie, there are several times when the characters are in disagreement with authority figures. What various means do they use to respond? Which of their approaches are legal and which are not? How would you react if you felt a law was unjust? Is it ever acceptable to break the law?

Fly Away Home is loosely based on a real life event, where ultra-light aircraft were used to teach a group of Canadian geese how to migrate. This technique was later used to help endangered birds that had been raised in captivity. To learn more about the remarkable work being done by scientist and conversationalists, check out the site of Operation Migration at:

Canadian Movie Ratings

AB Not Rated
MB G -----
ON Not Rated F-for Family

Canadian Home Video Rating: G

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Fly Away Home...

DVD Release Date: 7 August 2001-08-07

Come Fly Away Home with Amy and her geese on this Special Edition DVD. Learn all about the movie by listening to commentary by director Carroll Ballard and Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, enjoy the music of composer Mark Isham and his newly created isolated score, as well as watch the theatrical trailers. Gain a better understanding of the real life predicament of birds being released back into the wild through the following featurettes: Operation Migration: Birds of A Feather, The Ultra Geese, and the HBO Special Leading the Flock. There are also link to the Operation Migration website. Audio tracks are available in English (Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish, French, and Portuguese, with subtitles in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Georgian, Thai, and Chinese.

Home Video Notes: Fly Away Home: Blu-ray 2-Disc Set

Release Date: 7 April 2009

Fly Away Home migrates to Blu-ray with digitally mastered audio and anamorphic video. Also on board the flight are the following: a director and cinematographer’s commentary, the HBO Special Leading the Flock, featurettes (Operation Migration: Birds of a Feather and Ultra Geese) and theatrical trailers.


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