Most helpful positive review
68 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Yes, those ARE five golden stars
on February 18, 2002
This is a Disney film based on Sheila Burford's book __The Incredible Journey__, about three household pets (specifically a bulldog named Chance, a Himalayan cat named Sassy, and a golden retriever named Shadow) who run away from a faraway ranch in order to find their way back to their home in San Francisco. Meanwhile, the owners (specifically 3 kids: a little brother named Jamie, a big brother named Peter, and a sister in the middle named Hope) call a search-and-rescue while at the same time trying to cope with a stepfather. As you may expect, this film eventually comes to a happy ending where everyone is reunited and all is well.
Now, I'm 15 years old and I have loved this film ever since I saw it in the theater at the age of 6. I had many reasons why I loved it at the time--I thought it was funny, I thought it was exciting, and the ending made me cry (hey, don't snicker, I was six years old back then). But now I have a reason why this film has stood the test of time against much flashier and less "cute" movies that I see nowadays, and that's simply because...well, because it's really a good movie!
Don't understand? Well, this film is so much more than just a movie with talking (sort of) animals that go on a journey in order to entertain little 6-year-olds. The pets aren't just animals; they exude the human personalities of their owners! Chance, owned by Jamie, is a mischievious pup who's always sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. Shadow, owned by Peter, is a wise old golden retriever who's always trying to keep Chance out of trouble. And Sassy, owned by Hope, is a fickle cat who always acts like she's sick of being stuck with her "brothers", if you know what I mean.
And then there's the fact that even though the pets start out acting like siblings who drive each other crazy, they wind up going through thick and thin and actually realizing that they really love each other. Also, this film also has a subplot that turns out happy too; Peter, Hope, and Jamie finally learn to love their stepfather and actually call him "Dad". When the pets are back home in the end (face it, you KNEW it was going to happen) and they see the happy faces of their ecstatic owners, and EVERYONE is actually LOVING each other like a REAL family, Chance thinks with pride, "For the first time in my life, I was HOME." Never before have I heard such a profound statement in a Disney movie.
Any idiot can entertain a 6-year-old by making him laugh, cry, and be excited. However, it takes the work of a genius to entertain a 6-year-old with a work that he will even love nine years later. See this film NOW!
P.S. Don't see the sequel--it's completely insipid, and the pets have totally lost their human personalities in it.