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A Dog’s Way Home | 2019 | PG | – 1.4.1

content-ratingsWhy is “A Dog’s Way Home” rated PG? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “thematic elements, some peril and language.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes some flirtations, a death from exposure, avalanche related injuries and the near death of a skier, dangerous and perilous encounters in the wild, and some name-calling. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


A dog’s odyssey spans almost three years as she travels 400 miles to get home to her person, making friends and enduring hardships along the way. With Jonah Hauer-King, Ashley Judd, Alexandra Shipp, Edward James Olmos, Wes Studi and the voice of Bryce Dallas Howard. Directed by Charles Martin Smith. [Running Time: 1:36]

A Dog’s Way Home SEX/NUDITY 1

 – A married couple is shown in bed sleeping. A man and woman walk on a sidewalk and the man wraps his arm around the woman’s shoulder. A woman tells a man that he is “hot.” A woman flirts with a man in a few scenes and he smiles and laughs.
 A woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage. A woman wears a low-cut camisole that reveals cleavage and bare shoulders. Kittens and puppies suckle from their mothers (we do not see nipples) and a puppy suckles from an adult cat.


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A Dog's Way Home VIOLENCE/GORE 4

 - Three men ski on a hillside and an avalanche breaks loose, barreling down the hill and enveloping one man and two dogs; the dogs break out from under the snow and dig the man out and we see him taken away on a stretcher and later with casts on his arm and leg while recovering. Several wolves chase a dog until she is trapped by a stone wall; they surround her and move in for attack, they snap at her and bite her on the back and we hear her yipping (no blood is shown), and one wolf stands on her until they are frightened by a cougar that attacks them and scares them away (it snarls and roars and we see its sharp teeth).
 Animal control officers grab many kittens and puppies (we hear meowing and yipping) and snare an adult dog with a cable around her neck (she growls and cries as she looks back at her young pup left behind). A man threatens a woman and a dog at her side growls at him. An animal control officer puts a loop cable around a dog's neck as the dog's person protests and asks him to stop; the man then places his dog in the back of a truck and closes the cage door as the animal cries and the truck drives away. A dog is placed in a crate in the back of a car and taken away from its home as it cries and its voiceover calls for her person. A homeless man ties a dog up and sits on a sidewalk begging for money and we see them later on the banks of a river where the man sleeps and has the dog chained to him until the man dies (the voiceover for the dog talks about staying with the man until the heat drained from him); the dog then lays on the river bank, still chained to the dead man, and seems very weak from lack of food and water until she is found and unchained. A dog is nearly struck by cars on a highway and a few cars crash into each other trying to avoid hitting her; she crosses to the other side of the highway and cars screech to a halt, but one knocks her to the ground where she lays still and awakens with an injured leg (she then limps away). Animal control officers and police surround people with an injured dog and threaten to take the dog away; the people refuse to let the dog go and eventually the officers leave. An animal control officer arrives at a house and a dog inside jumps out the window and runs away.
 We hear a gunshot and a dog runs toward a dead cougar (we see a bit of blood on the ground near the animal); the dog sees a cougar cub meowing nearby and the cub follows the dog when she leaves the scene. A bulldozer tears down a structure where stray animals are taking shelter and a man stands in its way until they stop work.
 A dog and a cougar cub are surrounded by wolves as they howl and bark; the wolves chase the two through a forest and the cub climbs high into a tree leaving the dog on the ground where she barks aggressively to keep the wolves away (the wolves are eventually scared away). A dog fears that she is being hunted by wolves; we see several wolves on the other side of a river and hear them howling.
 A man yells at another man and a woman when they trespass on his property to feed stray animals. A man threatens a woman with "war" over a property that he wants to demolish even though there are stray animals on the premises. A man threatens to impound a dog and later threatens to euthanize her because he identified her as a pit bull. A woman talks of a law about dog breeds being "racism for dogs." A man shoves his dog off him and calls him names (he is recovering from injuries).
 A dog climbs a slide and jumps over a fence to run toward home; we see her running through streets, forests and over mountains and sleeping alone in the cold as a voiceover talks about being sad and lonely and hungry. A dog is frightened by unfamiliar sounds in the forest and we see a fox screeching in one scene. A dog is startled when she wakes up and sees a large bison standing over her.
 A dog breaks through a window screen and out of the house to chase a squirrel; the dog is nearly struck by a car as she crosses the road. We see many dogs in cages in a shelter and a voiceover talks about how sad they are. A dog chases a rabbit in the wild when she is hungry and the rabbit gets away. A dog approaches several other dogs picking through garbage for food; one of the other dogs growls at her and another barks as if inviting her to join them and we see them dumping over garbage cans and begging for food in several places. A dog runs through a grocery store chased by staff and spilling milk cartons on the floor (she stops to lap up some of the spill), and she grabs a cooked chicken and runs out the door. A dog snatches a cooked steak from a picnic barbecue and shares it with a cougar cub. A dog steals a basket with a fish in it from the banks of a river where a fisherman wades and falls in the water (there are no injuries); the man yells at the dog as she runs away. A cougar slides on ice trying to get fish she sees swimming under the surface; a dog joins in and they slip and slide knocking each other down.
 A puppy talks about living with cats until they are taken away by animal control officers along with the puppy's mother; an adult cat takes the puppy into her family. A man and woman joke about criminal trespass and breaking and entering as they enter a property where many cats and dogs are living.
 A man takes his dog to work and locks her in a closet until others hear her barking and she is taken out to interact with vets in a session where they talk about pain and depression. A dog is hidden in a sofa when a man comes into the room. A puppy chews on shoes and nips at a man's toes. A dog chases a squirrel in a few scenes and tries to climb up a tree to catch one. A dog imagines sharing a bed with a man and a full-grown cougar.


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A Dog's Way Home LANGUAGE 1

 - 1 mild anatomical term, 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (cat killer, stupid, one-tooth, shaggy butt, crazy hair, stupid dog, moron), 3 religious exclamations (e.g. God, Oh God, My God). | profanity glossary |


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A Dog's Way Home SUBSTANCE USE

 - None.


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A Dog's Way Home DISCUSSION TOPICS

 - Home, family, friendship, stray animals, greed, fear, intimidation, euthanasia, depression, veterinary hospitals, war veterans, homelessness, PTSD, service animals, animal rescue.

A Dog's Way Home MESSAGE

 - The bond between humans and dogs is very hard to break.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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