The Call of the Wild (2020) Review

Plot Summary: 

The Call of the Wild is the story of a dog named Buck, taken from his home in California to the wild and snowy frontier of the Alaskan Yukon during the 1890s. He will have to adapt, become a leader, and learn how to answer the Call of the Wild. Harrison Ford stars in this adaptation of the beloved Jack London classic.

Why It Makes My List:

For people who love dog movies, this should fit the bill. With an expressive, seemingly human version of man's best friend at the head of the film, most dog lovers should enjoy what the filmmakers have put together. While the visual effects (specifically, the digitally created dogs) were not cutting edge products like we saw in Disney's live-action The Jungle Book (2016) , they were generally pretty good and not too distracting. 

Other Reasons to Watch:

  1. Funny Dog Moments: The main character, Buck, is fun and his interactions with his various masters are generally entertaining and lively.
  2. More Family Friendly than Earlier Versions: The direction that they decided to take the film, while borrowing notes from the original film version, is noticeably less gruesome. While I haven't yet read the original novel, I can tell that the creators opted for a more inspiring and family-friendly version.
  3. Love Nature & Dog: While watching the film, I felt a stronger desire to get off my duff and get outdoors in nature!  Also, I kind of want bring a dog along!

Reason to Pass:

  1. Sensitive Viewers, Be Prepared: The film touches on subjects that younger viewers might not understand or to which they may be more sensitive. Examples include alcoholism as a remedy for heartache (though this is a small part of the story and ultimately shown to be a bad idea); animal abuse as a means of training the dogs to submit to their cruel masters; lastly, several characters die or are killed during the film, though none graphically. 
As of the writing of this post, The Call of the Wild is in theaters and will soon be Good on Disney+. 
As always, I recommend checking out the Parents Guide just so that you are aware of any potentially objectionable material before deciding whether to watch it.