Reviewed by: Paul T. Andersen
This harmless live-action Disney children’s film features 2 dogs and a cat who get lost in San Francisco, trying to return to their home. We listen in on the conversations of these 3, and all the many other dogs that appear in “Homeward Bound II”. The voices are supplied by Michael J. Fox, Sally Fields, and Ralph Waite. Young children will enjoy this one, although probably not quite as much as Homeward Bound I. It has engaging animals and a cute story with a little suspense.
The story opens with a family leaving on a vacation to Canada, taking their pets with them. Each of the three children has a pet—one a very playful bull pup (Chance), another an old and wise Golden Retriever, and the third a long-haired cat. At the San Francisco airport the animals are put in shipping crates. On the way to the airplane, Chance becomes convinced they are being sent to a bad place (perhaps the dog pound from which he was rescued). He escapes the crate, the others follow and the adventure begins as they attempt to find their home while their owners fly away.
There are various close calls and encounters with other dogs, some friendly and some hostile. Two villainous, but comical, men who comb the streets looking for dogs to sell to research labs come across the trio. They eventually capture Chance, but he is rescued by the other two with the help of a pack of friendly stray dogs. None of the scenes are too intense for young ones. On their journey, they rescue a boy from a burning house. Later Chance meets a girl dog with whom he eventually falls in love. She later returns to her pack of abandoned street dogs. In the end, Chance and company find their way home, just as the family arrives looking for them. Chance has learned to more fully appreciate his home and his master. In the happy ending, Chance’s “girlfriend” shows up at the home and is welcomed into the family.
“Homeward Bound II” has no profanity and no foul language, no sex, no drugs, and only very mild violence. There are no anti-Christian messages, and no themes inappropriate for youngsters. From a Christian point of view, there is practically nothing objectionable about the film at all, except that, as usual, God is simply left out completely. There is no acknowledgment of His existence. The family is exceptionally wholesome, and their relationships warm and kind.
There is no harm in letting your kids watch this movie (unless you’re worried about them asking you to buy a pet for them afterwards). This is a cute, clean little production with humor and fun for children—strictly entertainment with no strong moral. “Homeward Bound II” is not filled with a lot of action. It mainly consists of dialogues between the animals as they move toward home.
This movie is definitely aimed at young ones (probably 4-8 years old), and is not likely to hold the attention of many adults. My seven year old loved it and thinks she would like to watch it again and again. However, my 14 year old had a hard time sitting through the whole thing, and my 9 year old thought the middle was boring. If you are considering adding this video to your library, I think you can find better elsewhere.