Adventures of Yellow Dog (The)
While learning to drive his father's pick-up truck - with comic results, mid-teen-aged Angus finds a mysterious dog. Angus wants to keep it, but his parents only reluctantly agree to keep him until his owner is found - if the dog has one. At first, the dog makes problems; Angus finds that he must be responsible for the dog, whom he has named names him "Yellow." One day shortly after, Angus's father John is somewhere along the coast of British Columbia with Angus and Yellow, making a delivery from his boat, CORMORANT. The weather unexpectedly gets rough, and the boat capsizes. John is rescued quickly, but doesn't know what's happened to his son.
Angus and Yellow have managed to get into a small lifeboat that Angus helped build, grabbed some supplies, and made it to shore. But the area where they've landed is very isolated, so although search planes fly over them several times, Angus can't make his presence known. Stranded for many days with only the dog for help and companionship, Angus uses survival skills he's learned. (Earlier, Angus and his younger brother camp out in their back yard as their father teaches them how to survive in the wild. He also gives Angus a knife that his father gave him.)
The boy and dog get along in the wilderness surprisingly well. But after a while, their food situation gets so bad that Angus resorts to eating cookies his girlfriend Sara made for what everyone thought would be a short, routine journey. The dog chases away wolves and later a bobcat (in the only scary scenes, as far as young viewers are concerned). A search team is inclined to give up, but Angus's parents won't let them.
With no standout acting, we can nonetheless be amazed by the boy's ability to take care of himself, which is nothing short of inspired, and will challenge young viewers. His rapport with Yellow, and Yellow's protection and company, will also inspire renewed appreciation for how animals assist us -- usually, in more everyday ways, but also when the shoe leather hits the trail, too.
Mimi Rogers, Bruce Davison, Jesse Bradford, Tom Bower, Joel Palmer, Josh Wannamaker, Margo
stray dog hero; family movie; British Columbia; 1995
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