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Fly Away Home (1996)

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A father and daughter decide to attempt to lead a flock of orphaned Canada Geese south by air.



(autobiography), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4,494 ( 446)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas "Tom" Alden
David Alden
Barry Stickland
Glen Seifert
Deborah Verginella ...
Amy's Mother
General Hadfield
David Hemblen ...
Dr. Killian
Ken James ...
Nora Ballard ...
Sarena Paton ...
Carmen Lishman ...
Older Girl
Christi Hill ...
Older Girl
Judith Orban ...


Amy is only 13 years old when her mother is killed in an auto wreck in New Zealand. She goes to Canada to live with her father, an eccentric inventor whom she barely knows. Amy is miserable in her new life...that is until she discovers a nest of goose eggs that were abandoned when developers began tearing up a local forest. The eggs hatch and Amy becomes "Mama Goose". The young birds must fly south for the winter, but who will lead them there? With a pair of ultralight airplanes, Amy, her dad and their friends must find a way to do it... Written by Martin Lewison <lewison+@pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A family of orphaned geese who lost their way. A 14 year old kid who will lead them home. To achieve the incredible, you have to attempt the impossible.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for an opening accident scene and some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Father Goose  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,708,044 (USA) (13 September 1996)


$24,506,082 (USA) (10 January 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(8 channels)|


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Amy's fake nose ring was Anna Paquin's attempt at being humorously rebellious, to see what the crew would say if she had pierced her nose mid-shoot. She found the fake ring in a 'neat junky jewelry store' in Toronto, and got it for free. To her disappointment, her attempt at being rebellious was well-received, as Carroll Ballard decided to use the nose-ring gag in the film as well. See more »


After Tom runs outside in his underwear, the lace curtain is visible in his view of Amy's window. From inside the room, the curtain is pushed to the side. See more »


[first lines]
Thomas Alden: Amy? It's your dad.
Amy Alden: Dad?
Thomas Alden: I came down from Canada. I've come to take you home.
Amy Alden: Where's Mom?
Thomas Alden: Um...
Amy Alden: Mum died, didn't she?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Amy's birds return the following year to Amy's surprise as she wakes up one morning. See more »


Referenced in The Big Hit (1998) See more »


10,000 Miles
Produced by Mark Isham, John Jennings, and Mary Chapin Carpenter
Performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter
Courtesy of Columbia Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An incredibly sweet story
12 September 2000 | by (Memphis, TN) – See all my reviews

WARNING: This review may reveal portions of the movie plot.

If you want to just lose yourself in a story that is sweet and uplifting, then this is the movie for you. I was surprised at how efficiently this movie drew me in, but then again I'm a big softie at heart. I started watching this movie late one night and didn't want to stop -- so I didn't!

The movie concerns a young girl who goes to live with her father after her mother is killed in a car accident. Dad and Mom divorced many years before and live on opposite sides of the world -- Canada and New Zealand -- so she doesn't know Dad very well.

Jeff Bridges plays the father in this film and does it incredibly well. He's an artist who is just a little bit quirky, a big believer in following your dreams, and desperately trying to capture the love for his daughter that he regrets having lost in the divorce years before. Anna Paquin as his 13-year old daughter is wonderful -- how do young kids act so well??? -- as she learns to grieve for her mother, find a new life in a new country, and love and trust a father whom she has barely known most of her life.

The supporting cast shines as well, in most cases. Most notably is Terry Kinney as Daniels brother and the young girls uncle. He's the kind of uncle everyone wants to have around, although when he falls asleep while babysitting and Paquin's character disappears, he doesn't seem very responsible. He becomes a bit of a scene stealer though as the movie progresses. He has one of the best lines in the film when he tries to convince a U.S. border-patrol agent that he needs dozens of gallons of gas to go camping for his portable generator to run his blender and TV. "Nothing like camping in the middle of no where with your VCR, a good movie, and a pina colada."

Dana Delany (of TV's "China Beach" fame) plays Daniels sometimes live-in girlfriend and seems to be the only actor who doesn't really stretch in this part. I don't believe this is Delany's fault, however. This story is primarily about the father-daughter relationship, and Delany's part suffers as a result. Most scenes are supportive and don't really give her a chance to shine.

The story is well written with a combination of genuine emotion, without becoming overly sappy. Yes, the film is sweet, but not sickeningly so. When the credits began to roll at the end of this movie, the first thing I thought of way, "How could this have gotten a PG rating?" I *literally* heard one four-letter word in the entire film, and that is said under the breath so that I wasn't even sure I heard it. There is one reference to sex outside marriage, and a car accident at the beginning of the film. That's it. Parents, you can show this to young children without any real concern. My suggestion: Watch the first 5 minutes of the film and if you decide your children can handle the opening sequence of a car crash, then there probably is nothing else in the film that should be a problem (in my opinion!)

23 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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