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Still shot from the movie: Fly Away Home.

Fly Away Home

When a young girl (Anna Paquin) finds a nest of orphaned Canada Goose eggs, she decides to hatch them, raise them and even teach them to fly. To do so, she and her father (Jeff Daniels) learn to pilot ultra-light aircrafts and eventually lead the birds on their first migratory journey. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: A-
Violence: A-
Sexual Content: A-
Language: B+
Drugs/Alcohol: --
Run Time: 107
Theater Release: 12 Sep 1996
Video Release: 07 Apr 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
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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."

Fly Away Home is rated PG: for an opening accident scene and some mild language.

Cast: Jeff Daniels, Anna Paquin
Studio: 1996 Columbia Tristar

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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