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A Dog’s Way Home: If You Love Dogs, You Will Cry

There are some things in life that just work; like the invention of pizza. Another one of those things is dog movies, and no matter the faults of the film, if you love dogs, you will cry.

A Dog’s Way Home follows part-Pitbull Bella (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard), who is rescued as an orphaned puppy by a young man named Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King). Bella lives happily with Lucas until a cruel animal control officer impounds Bella in accordance with the Denver Pitbull banning law, and threatens that she will be euthanised if she remains in the city. Lucas decides to move Bella to live with some friends in New Mexico until he can find a home outside the city, but Bella runs away to go home and find Lucas. On her way home, Bella embarks on a long but inspiring journey, meets new friends both human and otherwise, and never gives up on getting home.

 Put a cute dog in a movie and highlight how much dogs love humans and you have got a winner.

The film’s plot is pretty straight forward and has definitely been done before in many films time and time again, but what is it about dog films of this sort that just gets us every time?

Despite its winning formula, A Dog’s Way Home is far from perfect; the film leaves several ideas abandoned after using them earlier in the picture, like a vengeful neighbour who supposedly reported Bella to animal control in the first place, but he never shows again after that.

The plot is also not the smoothest ride. With Bella moving from one mini adventure to another, the audience can so easily tell that a chapter in her journey is over and another is beginning. This made for a quite choppy sequence of events that constantly remind the audience that this is a film and that the filmmakers are going to show you a new part now.

A Dog’s Way Home’s dialogue was also too expositional at times, which was understandable since the main character is a dog, but some of the completely-out-there exposition could have been toned down a notch or two. The fact that Bella’s lines were mostly how a dog would be, more than how humans talk, gave the film some authenticity and made it more fun.

The animation graphics was also an issue with the film since they did not really incorporate into the feature, which took audiences away from being immersed in the movie.

For the acting, Bryce Dallas Howard nailed the excited, loving, and goofy voice of what audiences think a dog would actually say or think. Jonah Hauer-King is very likeable as the loving and caring dog owner, and not just because of his good looks but because Hauer-King was really able to convey love and care through his performance.

If you love dogs, by all means go and watch this film, bring tissues, and be prepared to get struck right in the heart.

Like This? Try

A Dog's Purpose (2017), Marmaduke (2010), Marley & Me (2008)

360 Tip

The dog that plays the adult version of Bella is named Shelby and she was a rescue dog. She was found living in a junkyard in Tennessee.

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