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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 20 February 2008
In this film, a young girl, played by Anna Paquin, has to go and stay with her Father after her Mother dies in a car accident. At first, the young girl is depressed and fails to find her feet in the strange new surroundings of Ontario, but eventually discovers some purpose after discovering an entire family of abandoned Geese eggs who she nurtures through the hatching stage.

In the process known as imprinting, the Geese latch onto the young girl and follow her everywhere, but then the girl and her Father have to think about training the young geese to fly, and do this with the help of two aircraft which the Father has designed and built himself. All of this is based on a true story.

This film is sweet, poignant, and has much to say about the importance of nature. It is all the more inspiring for being based on a true story and if you allow it to, this film will also teach you that EVERYTHING in nature has a value, not just the animals that are cute and cuddly.
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on 17 October 2003
Amy has just lost her mother in a car accident. While wandering around by herself she finds some eggs in a destroyde goose nest. She decides to try to make them hatch. I guess its her way of dealing with her loss.
The movie contains some stunning scenografi as the full 5 minute+ beautiful song "10 000 miles" (by Mary Carpenter) is playing. Can you imagine, in this fast moving world, a movie taking time for that? Almost brings tears in the eyes of a grown up hard-boiled man like me.. Right from the magic opening scene, I was grabbed by this move.
You might say this is not very complex, but sometimes you can find room in your heart for a relativly simple story.
Impressive playing by the young girl, Anna Paquin( youngest Oscar winner ever with "Piano").
ps: sorry for my not-so-good english
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on 15 September 2007
We recently rented this film from Amazon and it was thoroughly enjoyed both by Kids (10, 8 & 6) and by their parents - so much so that having just watched it my daughter immediately asked if she could get a copy for Christmas!

It's loosely based on a real life story (some details of which are included on the DVD for the benefit of curious adults) with great acting from the leads and affecting photography of the geese.

If you are one of those families who still sometimes sit together round the tv on wet Sunday afternoons and you enjoy the classic Disney action movies (Incredible Journey et al)then this will be perfect for you.
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It begins in New Zealand with windscreen wipers washing away rain. A mother in her mid thirties is driving her 13-year old daughter home at night to Pukekohe. Amy Alden (Anna Paquin) is listening to music on her headphones - smiling lovingly at her cool mum who looks over at her spirited girl with pride. But as a beautiful and inspirational piano theme plays ("10,000 Miles" by Mary Chapin Carpenter - a Robbie Burns poem put to music) - a truck approaches just when Mummy is taking an ill-timed mobile phonecall. She swerves fast to avoid the oncoming juggernaut but flips the car in doing so. It rolls to a shattered stand still - paramedics pull only the injured Amy from the wreckage. Her father Thomas then comes all the way from Ontario to bring his traumatized daughter home (they parted when she was three).

Thomas Alden (Jeff Daniels) is an upbeat force - a self-made man - a Canadian dreamer, sculptor and madcap inventor - obsessed with flight, hang gliders and ultralight trikes (he's even built an exact replica of the Moon Lander in his barn because the Earth no longer has one). And where Dad lives is beautiful - rural woodland and rolling hills surrounds his farmstead. But developers covet the land and one-day after bulldozers have illegally knocked down trees and natural habitat - Amy is out surveying the carnage. She spots a batch of goose eggs thrown by the dozers that haven't hatched yet. Gathering all 16 in a pouch - she carefully places them in a disused cabinet in the hay barn - using straw as a bed and her mother's old clothes as wraps. To keep them warm in the closed wooden drawer - she steals one of Dad's old mobile lamps (when he's not looking) and then hops the yellow bus to school. Busy sculpting a commission of a bronze Dragon - Dad hasn't noticed the deep bond that's going on in the barn. But then they hatch into goslings and soon the little fuzzballs are all over the kitchen table squawking, eating, pooping and following Amy wherever she goes.

As they grow - Dad realizes he's at sea with those gorgeous but needy creatures - so he seeks advise. A local sheriff who knows something of their habits comes calling and explains. 'Imprinting' means that Canadian Wild Geese will follow anything and anyone they see after their born and presume them to be their mother. They migrate South each year come late Fall to the wetlands for warmth and abundant food (as they've done for millennium). Their mother will show them the way and they'll return in the spring to the exact same spot. Unfortunately as per the law - domestic birds must have their wings clipped so they don't fly away. But when Glen tries to engage in the act of 'pining' as per Ordinance 9314 - Amy goes berserk and hits him with a frying pan.

Dad, his lovely girlfriend Susan (Dana Delany), the recently arrived brainbox Uncle Dave (Terry Kinney) and local mechanical help Barry (Holter Graham) all now collude. Inventor Thomas realizes that as the geese fly at 31 miles per hour and view Amy as their mother - they could theoretically follow her in a specially modified ultralight. So the building of small planes and the imprint training of the geese begin in earnest for the arduous marathon ahead. Soon the Canadian media and even the military at Niagara Air Force Base become involved as the now 14-year old Amy engages in her epic 5000-mile flight home with Igor (one who has difficulty flying), chaperone Dad in a second ultralight trailing behind and the other 15 birds flying alongside "Mama Goose". They become a cause celebre and Amy an environmental hero...

It's hardly surprising that Caleb Deschanel won the Oscar for cinematography - because "Fly Away Home" is a looker to say the least. As you can imagine the up close and personal shots of hatching chicks and fluffy mites would melt a heart of stone. Fully extended wingspans of gracious birds landing in slow motion on spring ponds, glorious Canadian dawns as Dad tries out his latest whacko flying machine, aerial shots that look down on Amy's imitation goose ultralight with Autumn coloured terrain below as her trusting flock accompany her home - gorgeous stuff. Even a memory of Mum pushing Amy on the swing in the barn is beautifully rendered.

The 2009 American BLU RAY (Barcode 0433962955346) is REGION ABC (Region Free) so no compatibility issues for any buyers. The picture is fabulous and combined with Mark Isham's sweeping score - the effect is magical in a truly cinematic way. It's defaulted to 1.85:1 - Full Screen Aspect Ratio - giving you the full visual whack. The Audio offers English, French and Spanish Dolby TrueHD 5.1 while the Extras include pieces on the autobiography of Bill Lishman (who actually did fly with geese in his tiny biplane), interviews with the principal actors and Californian Director Carroll Ballard discussing how he worked with Robert Rodat and Vince McKewin on the adapted screenplay. It's pleasingly indepth and newly informative - even after you've watched the film.

But this would all amount to naught if the movie didn't work on a deeply parental level - and "Fly Away Home" does. I saw this at the cinema and there were mums and dads clutching their kids and bawling like big girl's blouses. By the time Mary Chapin Carpenter's stunning musical rendition of "10,000 Miles" returns (it's on her 1998 hits CD "Party Doll And Other Favorites") as Amy nears her destination with thousands waiting anxiously for her to appear on the horizon - resistance is utterly futile (lyrics from it title this review). I've seen family films get to the parents before - "Wall-E", "Despicable Me" and even Disney's remake of "The Parent Trap" - but never quite like this.

"You've been a friend to me..." Mary Chapin Carpenter sings.

Buy this gorgeous family movie on BLU RAY (where it deserves to be) and find out why it's lovely story of redemption has touched the hearts of millions...
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on 12 August 2007
It is heart warming in the right way. The project of the Geese going south is well worth watching - It is delightfull to follow the project of saving not only adopted geese and their future survival - But the reclaiming of nature and enviriontment for the future, against globalization and quick profit - It is as it gets.

Joyfully and against all odds, it turns out the way we hope for.

All actors are brilliant, the script is great and you cannot help loving this film if you are between 7 and 100 years of age.

Go for it. The film is a pearl of wisdom and a great example of how civil disobedience, is the way forward, when it comes to projects ahead of their time.

All Children should have this DVD waiting for them under the X-Mass tree or get it as a birthday present. It encorages the right spirit in children, in a delightfull way.
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on 9 January 2004
I watched this film by accident (one of those christmas movies when you happen to be in front on the TV) and was initailly put off by the schmaltzy synopsis/subject matter; In spite of myself, the beauty of the film combined with extremely believable and endearing characters forced me to shed my cynicism; i was transfixed by the end.
It is a simple but powerful film that stays with you for a long time afterwards.
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on 10 October 2014
This is a brilliant film! In fact we bought it as a gift for the children of my husband's hospital specialist as we couldn't give her anything as a thank you for her wonderful kind, caring and prompt action in diagnosing and treating him for Sleep Apnoea. I now have my husband back after having him fall asleep whenever he sat down and tending to nod off while driving, very scary !
We originally bought this DVD after seeing it with some LDS friends. It is ideal for all ages, there is no bad language, the story is uplifting and based on a real life experience. When our grandchildren were visiting us from Canada they watched it several times and when they returned home we sent this film as a birthday present for the 7 year old and she watched it that morning before she went to school. Thoroughly recommend this DVD ,
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on 11 June 2011
First saw this film on TV one dull, miserable Saturday afternoon and it certainly made all my troubles "fly away". I became totally immersed in this fascinating story of a young girl who finds friendship and true bonding with a flock of baby geese whose mother has been run over. If, like me, you just love a bit of schmaltz you will enjoy this. Also the photography is just amazing, in particular shots of the geese learning to fly and following the young girl in her glider. Good family viewing.
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on 28 January 2016
One of the best films ive seen it brings family value to the heart of it it is so touching the birds are lovely in it a good family film no swear words either wish they make more like this the young girl was very good in it i have watched this so many times never get bored of it recommend
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on 17 January 2014
This is such a feel good movie, my daughters asked me to buy it so we could watch together again! It's a cute story about a girl who raises geese....like I said, a feel good movie for a rainy sunday afternoon when there's nothing else on the TV. I would also say it's suitable for all ages.
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