Harmless children's fare, "Far From Home: Adventures of Yellow Dog" is another one of the many family tales about a small town kid befriending a lost animal. Messages are learned, fun is had, a couple of tears are shed. The only things that take the film to a level somewhat higher than other films in the subgenre are the acting and the scenery.
While hunting a rabbit in the woods, Angus (Jesse Bradford, "Bring it On") runs across Yellow Dog. The two become fast friends and, when Angus becomes lost in the wilderness, Yellow Dog is there to protect him and keep him company. No bonus points for guessing that Yellow Dog will save his master when another animal threatens him.
That's really it for the plot - there's not a lot of movie here, but I found the characters likable and the scenery impressive. James Gardner's cinematography captures the scenery of British Columbia wonderfully, making for some postcard-perfect images to admire. The performances are nice, if not memorable. Mimi Rodgers and Bruce Davidson are enjoyable as Angus's parents, while Bradford offers a sincere effort as Angus.
While the movie may be simplistic and predictable, there are plenty of thrilling and emotional moments that were convincing and effective. At just above 80 minutes, the picture moves along at a fairly rapid clip, quickly getting into the main plot and really never becoming dull. The music is a little melodramatic, but other than that, this is a subtle, well-done family adventure that I liked. Nothing terribly memorable, but basically entertaining.
VIDEO: Fox offers "Far From Home" in 1.33:1 pan & scan and 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The anamorphic widescreen presentation, while not flawless, certainly did justice to the film's beautiful cinematography. Sharpness and detail were often perfect, as the picture remained especially crisp and clear throughout the majority of the film. Fine details and solid depth were often noticed, too.
Some minor edge enhancement and grain appeared throughout the film, but nothing of great concern was noticed. Compression artifacts weren't seen, nor were any print flaws. The film's rich, natural color palette was well rendered, with deep greens and strong colors in general.
SOUND: The film's 2.0 soundtrack isn't half bad, as some mild ambience makes it way to the surrounds. I could have done without the somewhat overemotional score, but it sounded fine too, coming through with superb clarity and detail. Dialogue remained crisp and easily understood throughout, as well.
EXTRAS: The trailer for "Yellow Dog" and two other Fox title previews.
Final Thoughts: An entertaining adventure that offered fine performances and beautiful cinematography, "Far From Home" is thin and predictable, but it still works well enough. Fox's DVD doesn't offer much in the way of supplements, but does boast fine audio/video quality. Recommended.
The Film ***