A boy befriends a stray dog who he christens Yellow. When the pair are shipwrecked on a remote island, they help one another stay alive - but can they hold on long enough for help to reach them?
Set in remotest British Columbia, this is a shamelessly hackneyed yet classy adventure lifted straight from a vintage Lassie episode, as an adorable, mysteriously stray Labrador adopts the hicksville McCormick family.
Dog and young master McCormick (Bradford) become inseparable chums, a friendship which evolves into total reliance on one another, after they are shipwrecked on a desolate shore during a routine supply run down the coast. Hopes of rescue quickly run as low as the food supplies, forcing the pair to embark on a trek for safety through the wooded wilds. It's here that the film makes an interesting detour off the old chestnut path, with a highly entertaining and informative section detailing a multitude of handy survival hints to be employed in the unlikely event of being shipwrecked off the Canadian coast.
The ever reliable will-they-or-won't-they be rescued scenario comes into play and a heart-rending finalé has the poor mutt lost, presumed dead, when his master is finally plucked from the wild by a rescue team. Thankfully for the tots in the audience, he stumbles back alive and well for his final big scene, just as you always knew he would.
Luckily, predictability doesn't overshadow the movie's appeal since it is deftly handled by Borsos, striking such a basic emotional chord that you'd have to have a heart of stone not to get pulled in. This really is miles better than you would expect.