Title: Fly Away Home (1996; PG)
Director: Carroll Ballard
Major Themes: Animals, Canada, Geese
Synopsis: After discovering some goose eggs, Amy decides to try to rescue them—but what will happen when the goslings need somewhere safe to spend the winter?
While looking for another movie in a friend’s collection, I came across Fly Away Home. What a lovely story! This isn’t the type that I normally watch, but it is still an interesting tale of a girl and her dad and their desire to help out some geese.
After a tragic car accident in New Zealand that claimed her mother’s life, Amy goes home with her father to Canada. However, she can hardly remember this eccentric man who claims to be her dad, and adjusting to her new life isn’t easy. Then a nearby forest is cleared in favor of new buildings going up, and during Amy’s exploration of the area she discovers goose eggs. After carefully taking them home, she puts them under a light and before long she has 16 goslings to deal with each day! As the goslings grow, however, the local conservation officer finds out about their presence and informs Amy and her father that owning wild geese is against the law. How can they provide a safe home for them, and still be legal? And what about when the goslings get old enough to fly—will they have the instinct to migrate along with all the other Canadian geese, or will their captivity as youngsters prevent them from being able to do that?
All in all, Fly Away Home is a neat tale of a girl who loves her pets. Based on a true story, this will delight watchers of many ages. Anyone who loves flying (gliding, paramotoring, etc.) will also enjoy this as that is a key part of the film.
There are a few features some parents may want to know about, though. Amy’s parents have apparently been divorced for years, and now another woman is living in the house—she shows up occasionally through the story. It’s not a major element, but it is there. Also, the father seems to be somewhat of a hippie—long hair, etc. And it does support some views that I can’t agree with (tree hugger/environmentalist attitude, saying Amy’s mom is “in everything around you”, etc.). In all, it’s a nice film, but there were some aspects I didn’t like.
WARNING: Besides what is mentioned in the last paragraph, there is a scene at 16:41 through 17:22 where a man is basically naked and goes out to shout at the land developers. Throughout the film, the girl doesn’t always wear very modest clothing (short skirts, for example, and at one place she’s shown from the shoulders up in the shower). There is some lying at different parts of the story. There are a few words used that I don’t appreciate—God’s name is taken in vain several times, and h— and s— are also used.
Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Family Friendly