Walt Disney Pictures
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Sally Field, Don Ameche, Robert Hays
Also Starring: Tiki, Rattler, Ben
Directed by: Duwayne Dunham
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: A Disney remake of their 1963 film The Incredible Journey. Chance is a young American Bulldog (played by Rattler and voiced by Michael J. Fox) who has been adopted by the Seaver family. The family’s other pets are Shadow, an aging Golden Retriever (played by Ben and voiced by Don Ameche) and Sassy, a sarcastic Himalayan (played by Tiki and voiced by Sally Field.) Sent to stay at a ranch while the family is on vacation, the animals become concerned and set out for their home on the other side of the Rockies.
Cinema Cat: This is the debut starring role for Tiki, the cat actress who would go on to play Salty on the comedy series Caroline in the City (although, as with most movies, several cats shared the role.) Tiki shines in this role, doing an admirable job of running to keep up with the much-larger dogs and holding her own on screen. Tiki also opens a door to release Shadow from an enclosure at an animal shelter (she had many tricks which she could perform on cue.) Having human voices playing the animal parts (even though this was before CGI made the process of moving their mouths practical for an entire film) is a bit strange, but the animals’ personalities are the true stars and the actors do a good job of creating the humanized personas.
Kitty Carnage Warning! The most harrowing moment in the film is when Sassy is caught in a rapidly flowing river and is swept downstream and over a waterfall. The animals were closely monitored in this film and presumably no harm came to any of them during filming, but it could be a difficult scene for some to watch.
Final Mewsings: When you’re surrounded by dogs you almost have to be sassy.