Cast: Ashley Judd, Edward James Olmos, Jonah Haeur-King, Barry Watson, Motell Gyn Foster & voice by Bryce Dallas Howard

Director: Charles Martin Smith

Rating: * * * *

There are pets and there are pets. Nothing could be better than a dog bounding up to you, rearing on its hind legs to say Welcome back! Its paws might mess up your clothes a bit but that’s a small price to pay for unconditional love.

You, gentle reader, must have read news items of dogs finding their way home over thousands or hundreds of miles. This sweetly sentimental film is based on a book of the same name by W. Bruce Cameron and is narrated by the lost canine.
The doggie, a pitbull which looks very much like a domestic breed, answers to the name of Bella which means beautiful in Italian. And the dog lives up to her name through her experiences of various people, nature and animals during a 400-mile, two-plus-year journey to return to her humans Lucas (Jonah Haeur-King) his girlfriend Olivia (Alexandra Shipp) and war veteran mom. (Ashley Judd)

You don’t have to be dog-lovers to care about the dog voiced beautifully (by Bryce Dallas Howard) through its travails: Hunted by a pack of wolves, famished and thirsty, or being chained by Edward James Olmos’ sad homeless war vet. But there are happy moments too for this lovable pooch during its journey. Such a long journey.

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