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The Journey of Natty Gann (1985)

Meredith Salenger , John Cusack , Dick Bush , Jeremy Kagan  |  PG |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Meredith Salenger, John Cusack, Ray Wise, Lainie Kazan, Scatman Crothers
  • Directors: Dick Bush, Jeremy Kagan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 21, 2002
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000065V3A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,511 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Journey of Natty Gann" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A sleeper when released in 1985, The Journey of Natty Gann has since become an enduring family classic. While following a familiar Disney formula (the perilous adventures of a girl and her pet wolf), director Jeremy Paul Kagan adds something fresh at every turn, aided by a first-rate cast and beautifully scenic locations. Then-promising newcomer Meredith Salenger is perfect in the title role--a scrappy kid in Depression-era Chicago who travels cross-country to the Pacific Northwest, hoping to find her father (Ray Wise), who had been forced to leave her with an awful landlady while he took a logging job in Washington. Natty befriends the wolf and a fellow drifter (John Cusack, in an early role), and her journey is a memorable one, intense and realistic but still appropriate for kids. Although Salenger's subsequent film career has been modest (she later graduated cum laude from Harvard), Natty Gann remains a worthy claim to fame. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

America is in the depths of the Great Depression. Families drift apart when faraway jobs beckon. In this masterful, atmospheric adventure, a courageous young girl (Meredith Salenger) confronts overwhelming odds when she embarks on a cross-country search for her father. During her extraordinary odyssey, she forms a close bond with two diverse traveling companions: a magnificent, protective wolf, and a hardened drifter (John Cusack). A brilliant, moving tapestry, woven of courage and perseverance.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie Given A Shabby DVD Transfer treatment November 22, 2002
What could have been the usual predictable Disney film, turns out to be a truly remarkable experience the whole family can enjoy. The story of a young girl who travels across country to find her father during the depression, is played perfectly by Meredith Salenger. The supporting cast is just as excellent, with John Cusack playing a drifter she meets along the way, and Jed who plays Wolf, her companion for much of the journey. During her trip, we have a first hand look at the desparation many people suffered through during the depression. The scenery is gorgeous, and the score is terrific. This should be a Disney classic and it's too bad the people at Disney don't realize it, which brings me to the bad part of this review.
Apperently there isn't anyone at Disney who ever thought this movie would be or could be this great. It was released on VHS, but was out of print and unavailable for a long time, unless of course you wanted to spend mega-bucks for it on Ebay. I would have hoped that with this re-release, it would have gained some measure of respect, but Disney only saw fit to slap a quick pan and scan version on DVD and sell it at a low price to make a few bucks. The transfer is horrible, the picture is grainy much of the time, the characters out of frame, and most of the scenery is completely lost. The audio is ordinary, much of the sounds when they are in the forest inaudible, and the beautiful score is completely wasted. It's too bad that the people at Disney don't know what a gem they have. In other words, the movie gets five stars, the DVD transfer gets one star....which averages out to a three. Despite that, I suggest you buy this movie while you can before it disappears into oblivion once again.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Teriffic! Tremendous! Stupendous! wtF?! OOOPS??!! February 24, 2003
Great Movie. Crummy DVD. I saw it in theatres when I was a kid, I bought the VHS when 1st available; I was overjoyed to the point of near misty-eyed-ness when I recieved the DVD from my wife. TjoNG is one of the reasons I fell in love with wolves & learned to overcome my American cultural ignorance of them. The movie is the reason I listened more closely to my grandparents tales of the depression; why I stopped thinking depression meant an emotional state & recognized it as an economic problem. You & your kids can *LEARN* something from this movie, you can enjoy watching it, again & again; there's a marvelous emotional hurrah! throughout the entire story, Disney at it's finest without the clubbed-over-the-head forced-spoon-fed social & morality message & commentary. The scenery is breathtaking, you kinda think I wish I could go back to then & live in that incredible world. The music is perfect, nudging & reinforcing without interrupting or annoying. This is also one of Scatman Caruthers' last roles, doing what he does best; adding a touch of autheniticty that makes our suspension of disbelief effortless.
The DVD is a horiffic slap in the face to the theatrical release, the cast, crew & it's *SO* bad it makes the movie look shoddy. I won't reiterate what the other people so ably & eloquently illustrated of the flaws, I'll just say BUY THE VHS! if you can't, well, this DVD is better than nothing.
The only reason there're 3 stars is because I was in the theatre on a magical night near to 2 decades ago & I *KNOW* what should have been on this disc. Let's not even mention the despair of finding no extra features.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie... terrible DVD... September 12, 2002
By A Customer
First off, this is one of the best family Disney films of all time. Great story, good acting, epic in scale.
However, this DVD edition [bad]. Image quality [bad]. And it's not in widescreen, which is just a sin if you remember the scope of the film.
Obviously, Disney's trying to find ways to cut corners these days and shell out low quality merchandise.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, terrible DVD in ONLY Pan & Scan!!! June 5, 2002
By A Customer
I had pre-ordered this DVD weeks in advance, assuming that the film would be in it's original aspect ratio, 2.35:1 Widescreen. However, when the DVD arrived, it was in the 1.33:1 Pan and scan version! No extras! What a waste. The movie itself is so good, and yet Disney releases a below-average DVD. Why bother with the DVD if you already own the VHS version, that's already pan-and-scan? The DVD is at a good price...
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible video quality June 16, 2002
By A Customer
Disney should be ashamed of themselvs for caring so little about this excellent film. It looks like they took the original analog telecine from 1985 and simply converted it to DVD. There is obviously wsa not anew digital transfer from film (which the film deserves). The image appears to be less than DVD image quality. Plus the image weaves all over the screen like a worn out film print shown at a discount movie theatre.
In my opinion, this DVD is simply a rip-off.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No OAR, No Sale June 5, 2002
I really loved this movie when I first saw it & would love to have it on dvd, but sadly, Disney has decided not to release the movie that I saw, they decided to release only 1/2 of it.
Set in the Depression, Natty Gann runs away from the woman her father had left her with when he got a job in the Pacific Northwest. Her journey is truly exciting as she dodges Child Welfare, befriends a wolf and meets up with John Cusack. In the meantime, her father has to search for her when he finds she's missing. Definitely an overlooked gem of a film. I will definitely buy this when Disney chooses to release the entire movie.
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