We’ve already established that the 90s were the greatest decade of all-time, so I won’t waste anymore time talking about why that is. Instead, I’ll get right to this week’s 90s movie review. Don’t forget to check out last week’s on Liar Liar if you haven’t yet!
This week, we head back to 1993 for one of those classic live-action movies where animals can talk and have the ability to think rationally.
This week’s movie is, of course, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey!
Budget: Unknown to everyone, including most Disney executives. It was the 90s and people spent money.
Worldwide Gross: $41,833,324 (Only in the 90s)
Stars: Michael J. Fox (voice of Chance, the American Bulldog), Sally Field, (voice of Sassy, the Himalayan cat), Don Ameche (voice of the Shadow, the wise Golden Retriever). Chance was played by Rattler the dog, Sassy by Tiki the cat, and Shadow was played by Ben the dog.
Director: Duwayne Dunham, the genius behind Little Giants and Halloweentown, which will both be reviewed in the near future.
Producers: Jeffrey Chernov and Franklin R. Levy
IMDB Summary: Three pets escape from a California ranch to find their owners in San Francisco.
Quick Review: Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is freaking amazing. First of all, imagine having your mind blown as a little kid when you found out animals could talk. We’re not talking cartoons here – we’re talking real-life household dogs and cats. Then imagine going on a crazy, 84-minute adventure with them through the wilderness of California where Sassy almost drowns to death, Chance unwisely befriends a porcupine, the gang is almost killed by a Mountain Lion, Chance has bad flashbacks of an animal shelter, and the gang saves a lost girl named Molly.
Whew. Even typing that last sentence brings me back to the rollercoaster of emotions the movie put me on. Sure, there are many humans in this story, but it’s the animals that give the most commanding performances in this classic film. For example, I hate cats. Absolutely loathe them. But the Sally Field/Tiki performance as Sassy warms my heart. For 84 minutes, cats are okay with me.
Most Touching Scene: The ending. How can you not cry when this stereotypical 90s white family is reunited with their long lost pets? When Chance yells, “Jamie, my boy!” and that little kid runs up to him yelling “Chance!” it’s got to break your heart a little bit. It’s also hilarious and perfect that each animal runs back to the family individually, so that each kid gets his or her pet back. And of course, director Dunham masterfully keeps us on the edge of our seat, awaiting Shadow’s return. Then Shadow comes limping up to triumphant music.
“Oh Peter, I worried about you so.” What dog talks like that?
Best Supporting Actor/Animal: Michael J. Fox and Rattler as Chance, the badass, “I don’t give a mother f***” dog who learns to love life with a family. MJ Fox is good in anything he does. I don’t care what people say about The Michael J. Fox Show.
Why This Movie Should Have Won An Oscar: This was one of those rare films where animals could talk and communicate without ever opening their mouths. The acting gravitas required to make this believable is unquestioned. There needs to be a Best Live Animal Academy Award.
Overt 90s Messages Learned: Families need two dogs, a cat, three kids, and two present parents. Because how else can families look in the 90s? Also that you shouldn’t worry if your animals escape your home because there’s always a chance they can make it home because they can talk to one another.
Interesting Movie Fact: This film has a 6.9 rating out of 10 on IMDB. I’m not joking. Also, there is a Homeward Bound Drinking Game. I’m not making this up. Four shots if you cry.
Millennial Man Movie Grade: A+ for emotion.