Review: ‘Fly Away Home’
Starring: Jeff Daniels, Anna Paquin, Dana Delany and Terry Kinney
Rated: PG for an opening accident scene and some mild language
Running time: 108 minutes
One of the great things about a family is knowing someone has your back and that you have theirs.
Another great thing about family is that it doesn’t have to be connected by blood or, in the case of “Fly Away Home,” by species.
When 13-year-old Amy (Anna Paquin) loses her mother, she has to move to Canada to live with her estranged father, Tom (Jeff Daniels).
It’s been a long time since Amy’s been with her father, so as you can imagine, things are tense at first. She doesn’t really want to give him the time of day and doesn’t understand his work (artistry and inventing) or his hobby (flying).
And it certainly doesn’t help when Amy meets his live-in girlfriend, Susan (Dana Delany).
To help get used to her surroundings, Amy decides to explore the area around her new home and comes across an area of marsh that’s recently been razed. She finds a clutch of goose eggs, abandoned by their family after the bulldozers scared them away.
Unable to leave them, Amy takes them home to keep them warm and safe until they hatch.
Hatch they do and being that Amy is the first living thing they see, she becomes “mother” to the 16 baby geese.
They proceed to follow her anywhere and everywhere, including the dining room table.
Things are beginning to look up for Amy, Tom and Susan until a problem with local law enforcement arises.
Since the geese live with people, they’re considered “domestic” and need to have their wings clipped.
If they don’t and they begin to fly, wildlife rangers will confiscate them and who knows what will become of them.
Amy and her father don’t want to injure the birds because they want them to be able to fly south. However, with no actual mother to show them where to go, come migration time if they try to fly they’ll become lost and will probably die.
Since Tom’s main hobby is flying, he gets the idea to lead the geese south for the winter by flying in an ultralight aircraft (looks like a dune buggy with wings) and having the geese follow them.
The plan is to lead them from Canada to a wildlife refuge in North Carolina that’ll be turned into condos if Amy and Tom can’t get the geese there in time.
The only snag with that plan is that is since Amy is their “mom,” they will only follow her, not Tom.
From then on, it becomes a race against time to teach Amy how to fly the ultralight, get the geese comfortable with flying in general and then make sure they can get there safely without worrying about wildlife rangers or hunters doing them any harm.
It’s a great story and inspiring, too, because it shows what lengths people will go to make sure their family is safe and taken care of to the best of their ability. Even if said family members have wings.
Speaking as someone who used to have two geese as pets (I’m not joking), I can certainly appreciate wanting to make sure they’re okay.
You’ll appreciate it, too, once you’re introduced to the feathery little guys that have names like Igor and Feather Brain.
While the concept may sound a little farfetched, I assure you that it isn’t.
It’s loosely based off the true story of a guy named Bill Lishman who actually did this back in 1993.
He wrote a book about his adventure that came out around the same time this movie did called, “Father Goose.”
Fact or fiction aside, “Fly Away Home” is an amazing story about courage and hope that you can enjoy on your own or with your entire family.
The Movie Dude, Joe Altomere of Fort Myers, grew up in his parents’ video store in Plantersville, Texas. He owns close to 2,000 DVDs and Blu-ray discs and considers that only the start of his collection. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.