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First, Lassie (1994) is considerably more contemporary than most 'Lassie' films yet has a collie as the hero. (This might interest children ages 8 through 13 who enjoy action and dogs.)
Second, the film has a theme I appreciate - a theme of reaching out to others when others treat you cruely or degradingly.
Third, the film kept my attention more than other Lassie films or films with canine stars.
[While I enjoyed Old Yeller and Air Bud (1998), many dog films such as The Shaggy Dog (both 1959 and 2006), Where the Red Fern Grows, Shiloh, Far From Home, etc. either were incredible unrealistic or failed to keep my attention for long.]
However, there is merit in the response, "This film is too violent and uses foul language." While this Lassie film is no Stand By Me or Jaws, it isn't Mr. Roger's Neighborhood either. Some words are included in this film that parents may not appreciate their five year olds hearing, and some scenes (while not very violent) have undertones that are more likely to 'scare' parents than children.
I do not desire to give away the plot to the reader. However, the film begins with Lassie's real owner being killed in a tractor-trailer accident on wet roads. Based on this description, it is possible for the reader to further realize this is not a "sugar-coated" motion picture.
Overall, I would recommend this film to parents who have allowed their children to view 101 Dalmatians (live action) and/or films such as To Kill a Mockingbird. However, for parents with young children, Lassie films such as Lassie Come Home (1943) and Lassie (2006) might be more children friendly.
Sure, nitpickers will say it's not an original plot, but the tried and true formula works well here. The scenery is beautiful, the human acting competent (with one exception), and we see the most cosmetically beautiful Lassie to date. Knowing that this dog is a direct descendant of the original, being handled by the original trainer's son, is just icing on the cake. The overall effect is heartwarming and sentimental.
The one character I found to be poorly acted was that of the villain, a neighboring rancher. His portrayal is a cheap caricature in a part that could have been made much more complex. Fortunately, his impact on the film as a whole is minimal.
If you love Lassie, you'll be in good hands and familiar territory.
The acting is fine, and the scenery is beautiful. And naturally, our main character, the dog, is gorgeous. What Lassie isn't? So a basic plot, a predictable ending, but touching at some parts, and good enough to keep your screaming toddlers and younger kids occupied. A little bit of language, if you're a prude, but hey, if your kid watches this and says, "Faggot", it's not worth getting mad over.
Not really worth the buy, but worth the watch to decide if your kids like it enough. Just remember: pure fluff. Nothing more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful fun movie to watch. Very satisfied with purchase and would buy again no problem!!Published 23 days ago by Gary Bowman Sr.
My toddler loved it. Not sure about the rock music though. Overall it was nicePublished 5 months ago by Julio Perez
This is my all-time favorite dog movie. I want to have a dog like Lassie. So cute, intelligent and loyal.Published 6 months ago by Rose Henry
This movie was filmed in my county near my home here in Southwest Virginia. I found out when our town recently started doing movie night and chose this movie as the first showing... Read morePublished 8 months ago by yesterdaysmom