A Dog's Journey, directed by Gail Mancuso, picks up the story of a dog whose spirit leaps into a new puppy every time his previous host body expires. This time around, the spirit follows the granddaughter of the previous film’s human hero, played by Dennis Quaid, to the city to protect her from the neglect of her alcoholic mother.
As a summer family-pleaser, the movie has already been welcomed by reviews suggesting that "there's enough heart and canine soul here for genuine cross-generational appeal" (Radio Times) – suggesting that it will make a good rainy afternoon alternative to a day in the park with the dog and kids.
Dog day afternoon
The ‘dog movie’ genre is often looked down upon by great directors, critics, and audiences alike, who consider it some lesser type of artform. But unfortunately, this phenomenon is self-replicating: nobody considers dog movies to be art, so nobody tries to make an artful dog film.
Thus, A Dog's Journey won't change the world, but it will keep the kids happy for a couple of hours: Mancuso’s picture is destined for lazy afternoon screenings for undiscriminating children and their parents, the movie's appeal squarely set between adoration for the dogs and lust for the easy-on-the-eye sun-kissed grandparently sexiness of Dennis Quaid and Marg Helgenberger (replacing Peggy Lipton from the first film).
You'll leave the cinema anxious to get home to your own dog and resolving to take him for a nice walk and an ice-cream as soon as the weather perks up.
Curious incident of the dog in multiple bodies
The basic idea remains the same from the first film: that through transcending his body, a dog can become a supernaturally loyal best friend across the decades and generations. Other than that, the recognizable dog-movie motifs are all there to meet your expectations: slapstick moments with baddies, sad moments with an ill character, touching moments with the kids, all achieved through the wonders of dog acting (and some 'Kuleshov Effect' editing techniques).
Plus, of course, there's so much cuteness you'll wish it was a live show so you could go and pet the stars afterwards.
Share yours by using #MyDogsJourney, #JourneytoSaveThemAll, and tag @adogsjourneymovie and @bestfriendsanimalsociety on Instagram, and Universal Pictures will donate $5 to Best Friends. Universal Pictures will donate up to $25,000 cumulatively. #ADogsJourney pic.twitter.com/CPaWlc6F5o— A Dog's Journey (@a_dogs_journey) April 30, 2019