Fly Away Home parents guide

Fly Away Home Parent Guide

The script offers children the security of a predictable ending and adds a few twists to make things more interesting and realistic for older viewers.

Overall A-

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.

Release date September 12, 1996

Violence A-
Sexual Content A-
Profanity B+
Substance Use B

Why is Fly Away Home rated PG? The MPAA rated Fly Away Home PG for an opening accident scene and some mild language.

Run Time: 107 minutes

Parent Movie Review

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.”

Starring Jeff Daniels, Anna Paquin. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release September 12, 1996. Updated

Fly Away Home
Rating & Content Info

Why is Fly Away Home rated PG? Fly Away Home is rated PG by the MPAA for an opening accident scene and some mild language.

The movie opens with the depiction of the car accident that claims Amy’s mother. Although not graphic, the scene is every intense. Flying of ultra-light aircraft sometimes results in crashes (no lives are lost). A man is shown in his underwear. A child is embarrassed when she is accidentally seen with no clothes on (no nudity is shown). A live-in relationship between a man and woman is implied. A child gets a nose ring. Disagreement with the advice of a game warden leads to characters choosing to break the law. There are scenes of adults drinking alcohol with dinner. A man falls asleep while drinking a beer. No one is portrayed as intoxicated.

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Fly Away Home Parents' Guide

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:

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Fly Away Home movie is April 7, 2009. Here are some details…

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.


Related home video titles:

The wonder of birds and their extraordinary ability to cover huge distances is the premise of the documentary Winged Migration. Another group of feathered creatures, that do their traveling on foot, is featured in the film March of the Penguins.

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