Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Homage: Homeward Bound

There are certain movies from your childhood that still to this day mean something to you. For me, one of those movies is the original Homeward Bound, the story of three pets who set out on a treacherous journey across the wilderness to reunite with their owners.

It was my fourth birthday, I had received many gifts. As a four year old at a birthday celebration would be, I was ecstatic. A few days later I received another gift in the mail, this one was a gift I was not expecting. It was a video cassette of a movie called Homeward Bound. I watched the movie and it quickly became one of my favorites.

I loved the character of Chance the pitbull, voiced by Michael J. Fox. Chance was hilarious, he always made me laugh how he referred to the pound as the Bad Place (still to this day that's what I call the vet whenever talking in reference to a pet). Then there was Sassy the Himalayan cat, voiced by Sally Fields (not Roseanne Bar contrary to what some might believe). I always feared for her each and every time she got caught in the river rapids and separated from the two dogs. Finally, there was the golden retriever, Shadow. There has never been a more noble and uplifting character than him in all of cinema. As a kid I always lost it whenever Shadow came over that hill at the end and said, "Peter."

As I grew older and my siblings and I got pets of our own, our liking for this film was so great that we named our dog, Shadow, and our cat, Sassy. While Sassy was never the nicest thing on Earth (we eventually had to give her away), Shadow was as loyal and noble as the Shadow from the movie. Our Shadow always had a smile on his face, at times he was more like Chance than the nobility of the old Shadow, but as he grew older be became the dog in which he was named for. I still miss that lovable dog.

I haven't seen Homeward Bound in many years; at times I have to think hard to even remember certain scenes or sequences, when as a kid I probably knew every single line of dialogue. Even still, Homeward Bound was a landmark film of my childhood, one that if I saw today I'd probably be moved in very much the same way. I hope this film never gets forgotten and future generations of children continue to discover the delight that is Homeward Bound.

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