This was an absolutely beautiful film, the sort that Disney will probably never make again. It's unfortunately easy to forget it ever existed because, for one reason or another, it's never broadcast on TV anymore. It's scarcely mentioned in any capacity. When I rediscovered this film, I was overcome with emotions that had been deeply embedded in me from seeing this back in preschool days. If one were to summarize what makes it different from most 21st century children's movies, it would be the sparse dialogue and powerful performances. It allows the audience to think, to be drawn into the time period rather than bombarded with fart jokes and loud-mouthed flat characters.
Why is this film so rarely known today? Is it because Natalie's father is a hard-working, humanized, sympathetic man who also happens to be a union leader? Is it because she and John Cusack's character have a questionable age difference in their tacit (unconsummated) love?
In any case, it's a gritty story about innocence, with beautiful photography and an unforgettable soundtrack by James Horner.
Pick up a copy of this classic, it's chicken soup for the soul!