Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

G | 84 mins | Adventure, Children's works | 1993

Director:

Duwayne Dunham

Cinematographer:

Reed Smoot

Production Designer:

Roger Cain

Production Company:

Walt Disney Pictures
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HISTORY

According to production notes from AMPAS library files, source author Sheila Burnford based her children's book, The Incredible Journey (1961) on her own three pets. During the extended blackouts of World War II, the animals comforted both Burnford and each other. Burnford describes an unusually close relationship between her English bull terrier and Siamese cat, who would play together and sleep in the same basket. When Burnford's husband brought a Labrador puppy into the family, the dog guarded the older bull terrier when he began to go blind.
       The film opens with voice-over narration by Michael J. Fox, who provides the voice for "Chance."
       Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is the directorial debut of Duwayne Dunham, who was previously known for his work as a film editor. He edited several productions for director David Lynch, including Blue Velvet (1986, see entry), Wild at Heart (1990, see entry) and the television series Twin Peaks (1990-1991), for which he won an Emmy Award. Dunham directed one additional theatrical release, Little Giants (1994) before returning to television to direct movies and series.
       The end credits include the following statement: "Dedicated to the Memory of Franklin R. Levy and Ben-Ami Agmon." According to a 21 Mar 1992 NYT obituary, Levy had begun work as producer on Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey when he became ill. Although Agmon's contribution to the film remains undetermined as he is not credited onscreen, his work on other films included production assistant on Fade to Black (1980, see entry) and ... More Less

According to production notes from AMPAS library files, source author Sheila Burnford based her children's book, The Incredible Journey (1961) on her own three pets. During the extended blackouts of World War II, the animals comforted both Burnford and each other. Burnford describes an unusually close relationship between her English bull terrier and Siamese cat, who would play together and sleep in the same basket. When Burnford's husband brought a Labrador puppy into the family, the dog guarded the older bull terrier when he began to go blind.
       The film opens with voice-over narration by Michael J. Fox, who provides the voice for "Chance."
       Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is the directorial debut of Duwayne Dunham, who was previously known for his work as a film editor. He edited several productions for director David Lynch, including Blue Velvet (1986, see entry), Wild at Heart (1990, see entry) and the television series Twin Peaks (1990-1991), for which he won an Emmy Award. Dunham directed one additional theatrical release, Little Giants (1994) before returning to television to direct movies and series.
       The end credits include the following statement: "Dedicated to the Memory of Franklin R. Levy and Ben-Ami Agmon." According to a 21 Mar 1992 NYT obituary, Levy had begun work as producer on Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey when he became ill. Although Agmon's contribution to the film remains undetermined as he is not credited onscreen, his work on other films included production assistant on Fade to Black (1980, see entry) and The Unseen (1981, see entry).
       Buena Vista Distribution Co, Inc. released The Incredible Journey in 1963, directed by Fletcher Markle and starring Emile Genest and John Drainie (see entry). A 3 Feb 1993 DV review relates that Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey expands on the original version by enhancing the personalities of the three animals through expressing their thoughts with celebrity voices and introducing a "non-nuclear" family to the story.
       According to production notes in AMPAS Library files, the film was shot between Aug 1991 and Oct 1991. Principal locations included downtown Portland, Oregon, which substituted for San Francisco, California, and Joseph, Oregon. The Eagle Cap Wilderness area in northeastern Oregon was used to represent the Sierra Nevada.
       In Mar 1996, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc. released Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco , directed by David R. Ellis. The sequel used many of the same starring actors as the first movie, including Michael J. Fox and Sally Field. Don Ameche, who died in 1993, was replaced by Ralph Waite in the voice performance of "Shadow."



Academic Network Georgia Institute of Technology; student: Candis Pham; Advisor: Vinicius Navarro. lfr. 7/2010 More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
3 Feb 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 1993
p. 8, 33.
Los Angeles Times
3 Feb 1993
p. 6.
New York Times
21 Mar 1992.
---
New York Times
3 Feb 1993
p. 15.
Variety
8 Feb 1993
p. 74.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Starring
Starring
Starring
Starring
Animal voices provided by:
+

PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Franklin R. Levy Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Co-prod
Presented in assoc with
Animal trainer
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
1st asst cam "B" cam
Cam loader
Video asst
Best boy elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept asst
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Leadperson
Const coord
Const foreman
Lead scenic artist
Greensperson
Prop master
Asst prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
Lead cost
Cost asst
MUSIC
Supv mus ed
Mus scoring mixer
Orch
Supv copyist
Orch contractor
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Sd des
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
ADR ed
ADR ed
1st asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Foley mixer
Foley rec
Foley rec
ADR mixer
ADR mixer
ADR mixer
ADR rec
ADR rec
Addl audio
Addl audio
Addl audio
Addl audio
Addl audio
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Dubbing rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec animal eff & makeup
Spec animal eff & makeup
Titles & opticals
Spec vocal eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Addl casting
Addl casting
Oregon casting
Casting asst - Los Angeles
Extras casting
Animal coord
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod secy
Scr supv
Asst to Mr. Levy
Asst to Mr. Dunham
Asst to Mr. Ernst
Asst to Mr. Wise
Prod accountant
1st asst accountant
2d asst accountant
Addl accountant
Animals provided & trained by
Head dog trainer
Head cat trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Exotic animals provided & trained by
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Veterinarian
Veterinarian
American Humane Association representative
Visual consultant
Visual consultant
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
DGA trainee
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Studio teacher
First aid
Unit pub
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation asst
Caterer
Craft service
STAND INS
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford (Boston, 1961).
MUSIC
"Mission Impossible Theme," written by Lalo Schifrin.
SONGS
"Witch Doctor," written by Ross Bagdasarian.
DETAILS
Release Date:
1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 3 February 1993
New York opening: week of 3 February 1993
Copyright Claimant:
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 March 1993
Copyright Number:
PA602982
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theatres
Color
Technicolor®
Lenses/Prints
Arriflex® cameras and lenses provided by Otto Nemenz; Produced and distributed by Eastman Film
Duration(in mins):
84
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32183
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Chance, a white and brindle bulldog, tells the story of how he was abandoned as a puppy and lived on the street until the pound picked him up and put him behind bars. He explains that he had a second chance in life when the Seaver family adopted him. Sassy, the Seaver’s cream-colored Himalayan cat, interrupts Chance as he chews a dress inside a suitcase. Sassy is upset because she was awakened by Chance’s noisy snarls. Downstairs in the garden, Bob Seaver and Laura Burnford are getting married with Laura’s three children, Peter, Hope and Jamie, at their side. Chance describes how each child belongs to a different animal companion; Peter is in the care of Shadow, an old and wise Golden Retriever, Hope belongs to Sassy, and Jamie, the youngest son, is Chance’s mischievous cohort. As Chance and Sassy exchange playful insults, Chance chases Sassy and their commotion interrupts the wedding party as Bob and Laura are pronounced husband and wife. At the reception, Chance jockeys for table scraps while Shadow, an obedient and faithful dog, tries to keep Chance from eating the humans’ food. Chance begs for a handout from two ladies who discuss the future of the new couple and their children and mention that the family will be temporarily moving to San Francisco for Bob’s work. The pets will be left with a friend while they are away. Later, at Kate’s ranch, Peter, Hope and Jamie bid a sorrowful farewell to their animals. Although Chance has fun chasing farm animals and assumes, from past experience, that their owners have left for good, Shadow maintains ... +


Chance, a white and brindle bulldog, tells the story of how he was abandoned as a puppy and lived on the street until the pound picked him up and put him behind bars. He explains that he had a second chance in life when the Seaver family adopted him. Sassy, the Seaver’s cream-colored Himalayan cat, interrupts Chance as he chews a dress inside a suitcase. Sassy is upset because she was awakened by Chance’s noisy snarls. Downstairs in the garden, Bob Seaver and Laura Burnford are getting married with Laura’s three children, Peter, Hope and Jamie, at their side. Chance describes how each child belongs to a different animal companion; Peter is in the care of Shadow, an old and wise Golden Retriever, Hope belongs to Sassy, and Jamie, the youngest son, is Chance’s mischievous cohort. As Chance and Sassy exchange playful insults, Chance chases Sassy and their commotion interrupts the wedding party as Bob and Laura are pronounced husband and wife. At the reception, Chance jockeys for table scraps while Shadow, an obedient and faithful dog, tries to keep Chance from eating the humans’ food. Chance begs for a handout from two ladies who discuss the future of the new couple and their children and mention that the family will be temporarily moving to San Francisco for Bob’s work. The pets will be left with a friend while they are away. Later, at Kate’s ranch, Peter, Hope and Jamie bid a sorrowful farewell to their animals. Although Chance has fun chasing farm animals and assumes, from past experience, that their owners have left for good, Shadow maintains more faith in humans and knows that his bond with Peter will be restored. When Kate leaves on a stock drive to deliver her horses to winter grazing fields, the animals become discouraged and Shadow decides it has been too long since he has seen Peter. He jumps the fence and runs into the woods to find his way home while Sassy and Chance follow. The group makes it to the top of a mountain, thinking that home is just on the other side, but they see nothing but more mountains and woodlands. A determined Shadow pushes them to keep traveling, fearing that Peter might be in trouble. After a frightening night in the wild, Shadow leads the others to a river where Sassy catches fish for breakfast. As Chance’s fish flops on the ground, it leads him to a couple of bear cubs. Chance proudly chases the cubs off, but when the mother bear defends her young, the animals are scared away. Shadow decides they need to cross the river but Sassy does not want to get wet. When Sassy crosses the river on rocks and tree trunks, one of the logs breaks and she is swept away by the current. Shadow swims after her, but Sassy disappears over a waterfall. Although Shadow and Chance search for her, they are forced to give up and Shadow regrets that he failed in his responsibility to love and protect his companion. He explains to Chance that this is the noble role of their species. Not far away, a man watching a bald eagle finds Sassy, barely alive, washed up next to the river and nurses her back to health. Starving, Chance unsuccessfully hunts for food while Shadow attempts to teach him the importance of patience. In the meantime, Kate returns to her ranch and realizes that Shadow, Chance, and Sassy have run away. The Seaver children are devastated by the news and Peter yells at his stepfather for leaving the animals behind. Feeling remorseful that he has let his new family down, Bob creates a poster to be dispersed across the country with an image of the animals announcing: “Lost Pets – Reward.” Back in the woods, Shadow and Chance try to catch food, but while Shadow is face deep in the river, Chance sees a mountain lion and they run for their lives. Facing a dead end in their escape route at the edge a cliff, Shadow ingeniously lures the mountain lion onto a log balanced on a rock and Chance jumps on the other end, catapulting the mountain lion over the cliff and into the river below. Sassy hears Shadow and Chance’s celebratory barking in the distance and leaves her new companion to reunite with the dogs. The trio goes fishing again and, with Sassy’s help, they are finally able to eat. Despite Shadow’s warning, Chance playfully examines a porcupine and gets wounded with spines from its tail. Back in San Francisco, Peter attempts to file a missing person police report for the animals, and the officer suggests that he make a poster instead. When he returns home, Peter finds that his stepfather has already made a poster, and he regains faith in Bob. As the animals continue their journey, Shadow hears crying and finds a lost girl. Shadow, Sassy, and Chance stay with her through the night. In the morning, Shadow hears a search party calling the girl’s name and leads them to her. Forest Service personnel from the search party recognize the animals from Bob’s poster and take them to the Pineville Animal Shelter. Informed that their pets have been found, the Seaver children leave school and the family heads out to meet them with great excitement. Upon arriving at the shelter, Chance becomes anxious because he is reminded of his past experiences and, as the two dogs are restrained, Sassy escapes. While the shelter vet pulls porcupine spines from Chance’s snout, Sassy sneaks into the shelter and releases Shadow. Hearing Chance’s moans, Shadow fears that his friend is being killed and Sassy distracts a shelter worker so Shadow can help Chance break free. The dogs dig a hole under the fence and the animals narrowly escape into the woods just as the Seaver family drives into the shelter. Although Shadow gets a gut feeling that they should return to Pineville, the animals continue on their journey home. Shadow, Sassy, and Chance finally reach the top of the last mountain and see their hometown below. As they make the last leg of their adventure, they traverse a train yard, jumping tracks and precariously darting in front of oncoming trains. While Shadow steps across a path of wooden boards, they break beneath him and he plunges into a mud pit. Encouraged by his companions, Shadow struggles to climb out, but he has injured his leg and wants to give up. Despite Chance’s desperate call to action, Shadow says he is too old to make it and advises Chance to stand on his own. Chance tells Shadow he loves him and that he won’t let him give up. Meanwhile, the Seaver family has returned home. As Bob plays basketball with the kids, he is surprised to hear them call him “Daddy” for the first time. They hear barking in the distance and Chance bounds over the hill, tackling Jamie. Soon, Sassy runs to Hope. The family waits for Shadow, but he is nowhere to be seen. Just when Peter is about to lose faith, Shadow limps over the hill, regains his strength, and runs into the boy’s arms. As the family goes into the house, Chance reflects on the lessons of sacrifice, friendship and love he learned on his journey. Once inside, however, he is unable to restrain his enthusiasm for the Thanksgiving turkey. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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