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Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey Review

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A family move home half way across America but have to leave their two dogs and a cat behind. The animals decide to team up and set off on an adventure to be reunited with their family. The unlikely three-some must overcome their differences and work together to achieve their goal.

★★★★

Originally filmed by Disney in 1963 as The Incredible Journey, Sheila Burnford's tale of three animals and their epic journey across the wilderness to be reunited with their absentee owners is an anthropomorphic orgy, even by Walt's weird standards.

The producers here have done little tampering with the original concept, besides making the "character" of the bulldog puppy Chance (voiced by Michael J. Fox) hip enough to sniff around the hen house enquiring, "Which of you guys are regular and which are extra crispy?" Don Ameche does the mature, steadfast retriever Shadow whose courage and experience sees off all manner of natural threats, while Sally Field plays the exquisitely vain Himalayan cat Sassy. Our 12-legged trio brave the hard­ships of the Pacific North West to find their owners in San Francisco, becoming nobler, better critters in the process.

Empire's four experts (between six and ten) adored every moment, blubbing in response to every well-thumbed emotional trigger. Their adult minders resisted its blandishments, although one was discovered as the lights came up complaining of something in his eye.

Although a remake that adds very little to the original bar a few jokes, this still remains enjoyable and brings a classic story to the attention of the next generation. The story still holds up and the action is more superior. Good family viewing for a rainy Sunday afternoon.