(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from both The Incredible Journey and Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey)
Doug (vo): It's The Incredible Journey and Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. Yeah, these films are so similar, I just decided to do them both in the same video. Both these movies have the exact same story, yet very different ways of presenting it, and both result in very decent family films.
Stories of both versions[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): The original, The Incredible Journey, is about two dogs and a cat that, through a misunderstanding, think their caregiver has left them and go on a grand adventure to find their owner. And...that's about it. There's not really too much other story, and, honestly, you don't need it, as they come across so many strange and dangerous things, like bears and porcupines and crazy people. All right, maybe not all dangerous, just weird. But they come across some nice people, too. Some try to help them out, even keep them, but the animals always leave to find their true home. The remake is essentially the same thing, there's just one major difference. In one version, the animals don't talk, and in the other, they do. Robert Redford*, Michael J. Fox, and Sally Field are the voices in the remake.
- (It's Don Ameche who did the voice of Shadow, not Robert Redford. Channel Awesome quickly made a YouTube comment clarifying Doug's slip-up)
Reviews of both versions[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): To my astonishment, both versions actually work pretty well in their own right. Don't get me wrong, they can both be very corny, too, as you'd expect from films like this, but both seem to have an understanding about the nature of animals. They just express it in different ways.
(Clips from the original are shown)
Doug (vo): The original has a narrator. He talks through the film very similar to how a nature documentary would work, and it just so happens Disney did a lot of those at the time, though many of them were as staged as this movie was. It creates kind of a laidback atmosphere, but at the same time, it doesn't ignore the real dangers that are out there for our main characters. It's funny, just through select camera angles, editing, and the narration, you can suddenly see so much personality out of these three animals that probably had no idea what was going on when they were filming.
(Scenes from the original, showcasing the moments when the animals get into dangerous situations, are shown)
Doug (vo): Speaking of which, I really question how they got some of these shots, as the animals really look like they're in intense danger or pain half the time. Christ, they put them through rapids, they have them go up against bears. In the remake, you could argue they used more advanced effects, but in the 60s? I don't know. Some of this is really uncomfortable to watch. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and trust the animals were okay, but if you're not a fan of seeing animals in what looks like real danger, you might not be the biggest fan of this.
(Clips from the remake are shown)
Doug (vo): The remake gets rid of the idea of a narrator and just have the animals say what they're thinking while they're thinking it. You have Robert Redford [Don Ameche] as the wise, old dog, Michael J. Fox as the young, scrappy pup, and Sally Field as the know-it-all cat. Again, I was amazed at how easily I totally bought these animals were thinking what the movie was saying they were thinking, not just from the voiceover work, I mean, those are all great actors, but from how well they train the animals, the angles, the expressions they get out of them, and funny enough, even some of the dialogue. I mean, sure, a lot of it's silly and has jokes for kids, you'd expect that out of a film like this, but one of the jokes is, he goes up to a stranger's butt and says, "I never forget a face." While that's a cute joke, it does also kind of make sense. That is how a lot of animals identify who somebody is.
(Several clips of the original's depictions of the three animals are shown)
Doug (vo): In fact, when I watch this film, I still have a hard time imagining that this [Bodger the Bull Terrier] is the old one, this [Luath the Labrador] is the young one, and this one [Tao the cat] is male. I still weirdly hear the voices from Homeward Bound, which, I guess, shows you how much of an impression that film made. But there is something I enjoy more about that relaxing narrator's voice and the fact that I have to really read the expressions on the animals to figure out what they're thinking.
(Several clips from the original, showing Tao's experiences at a family home, are shown)
Doug (vo): And, yes, it definitely has its own corny moments. I especially love when the cat comes across this family and the kid is like, "Sing me a lullaby", and the father just has this perfect operatic voice.
(That moment is shown, showing the father singing her daughter to sleep; the father's voice is dubbed by an operatic-sounding singer)
Doug (vo): Oh, that's just how you sound when you're not trying to sing, huh? (Chuckles) Okay.
Final thought[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): Still, these are both perfectly fine flicks. Both kids and adults can watch them and enjoy them, and if you like dogs and/or cats like I do, it's always kind of neat to see them interact with other animals and people and, hopefully, nothing too dangerous. And it's nice to see it done in two very different styles. If you're gonna remake a Disney film, this isn't a bad way to do it. Hell, they kind of did the same thing with 101 Dalmatians, but they flipped it around. They took the talking animals and made it so they don't talk. It's honestly not a bad idea, Disney. (The poster for the 2019 remake of The Lion King is shown as Doug repeats Disney's name in a sterner tone) Disney! So, yeah, if you got an hour-and-a-half or maybe even three hours, and you just want to see a couple of films about two dogs and a little cat that go on this amazing adventure, these aren't bad ones to check out.
(A scene in the original, showing the three animals walking through the forest in the middle of sunset, is shown)