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Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog

Rated PG, 82 min. Directed by Phillip Borsos. Starring Mimi Rogers, Bruce Davison, Jesse Bradford, Tom Bower, Joel Palmer, Dakotah.

REVIEWED By Louis Black, Fri., Jan. 13, 1995

The film opens with three young boys dressed as Indians chasing a rabbit. The older boy corners it in slingshot range, but can't bring himself to fire. The rest of the story flows from there. Rather quickly, the boys find and adopt a stray dog into their family which consists of Mom (Rogers), Dad (Davison), and two brothers, Angus (Bradford) and Silas (Palmer). They name the dog Yellow Dog; they love the dog, the dog loves them. Dad wisely prepares his sons for living in the wild, showing them how to live off the land and survive in nature. The dog romps and plays and gets into trouble. Dad takes Angus and the dog along as he sails a load of cargo to a far distant harbor deep in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest. Then, in the middle of a ferocious storm, the boy and the dog are washed overboard and wind up lost in the deep wilderness. What happens to the two of them is the rest of the story. This paint-by-number production is scrumptious to look at, nicely directed, and engagingly paced. Still, there are no surprises, no twists or turns, just the straight-ahead story of survival, done in a predictable way. Rogers and Davison turn in fine but generic performances in this fine but generic film. Still, the audience was crying by the end. When it was over, the four-and-a-half-year-old turned and said, “That was great!!” but the next day admitted to having been a little scared by some of the dangers that befell Angus and Yellow Dog. You might want to add an extra half-star for younger viewers.
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