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Fly Away Home (1996)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 17,055 users  
Reviews: 81 user | 48 critic

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

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(autobiography), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Fly Away Home (1996)

Fly Away Home (1996) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 ...
Developer
Nora Ballard ...
Jackie
Sarena Paton ...
Laura
Carmen Lishman ...
Older Girl
Christi Hill ...
Older Girl
Judith Orban ...
Teacher
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Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

goose | canada | bird | friend | new zealand | See more »

Taglines:

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

13 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Father Goose  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

JPY 44,470,850 (Japan) (13 December 1996)

Gross:

£3,121,394 (UK) (28 February 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(8 channels)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Daryl Hannah was considered for the role of Susan Barnes, but lost to Dana Delany. See more »

Goofs

Although a radar (like the ASR-7 shown at the Air Force Base) can hypothetically detect a flock of birds and an ultralight, it's unlikely. Their low reflectivity and slow ground speed (the support boat said they were going 21 knots, about 25 mph), the radar would "reject" the returns as clutter. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Movie Friends: Prashant Prabhakar (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Yakety Axe
Written by James Rich and Boots Randolph
Performed by Chet Atkins
Courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Story of Returning to Joy
8 April 2002 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

The greatest challenge any of us will ever face is how to regain the ability to reach for joy after the loss of a loved one. Especially, when that loss is abrupt and occurs at an age before one has developed the capacities to manage it. That is the over-arching and powerful theme that "Fly Away Home" manages to evoke so beautifully.

It's difficult to pin-point which of the masterfully developed elements of filmmaking that make this movie such a joy to watch again and again. But, surely, it all comes down to the great story-telling ability of Mr. Carol Ballard. Everything is harnessed to tell the story (a basic element of drama surprisingly ignored these days in Hollywood) of a girl who loses her mother at a critical point in her life, and has to find a way to the rest of her life, while reeling from the trauma and uncertain of how to survive her grief.

The discovery of an abandoned nest of Canadian geese eggs is the simple overlaying metaphor that takes us on her journey. The great difference between this movie and other movies of its type is that Mr. Ballard resists the temptation to explicate the transcendent story of Amy's emotional triumph over her loss and grief. Simply put, the story is about the geese, but it's really about Amy's recovery and reconnection with her future, with her life, though there isn't one line of dialogue explaining that to the viewer. It seeps out of the story through the masterful, chekovian performances of Anna Paquin as Amy and Jeff Daniels as her father. This theme is supported with such unerring consistency in the music (Mark Isham at his most sublime), the cinematography, editing, lighting, art direction and casting. All of the casting is just perfect. Especially in the sense that none of the actors ever seem to be pulling anything out of their "bag of tricks" or doing some bit you've seen them do before. The quality of the work is such that much of the dialogue in the movie seems spontaneous and almost ad libbed. The final sequence is a thing of sublime, subtly powerful beauty that is rarely seen in movies these days. A powerful, wordless climax. Something that happens so effortlessly, because the story that comes before has been told so completely and with such skill. I cry every time I watch it.

Thank you, Carol Ballard, for this beautiful gift of compassion and belief.

Note: Did Anna Paquin actually move from little girl to adolescent in the course of making this movie, or is it more of the master magicianry of Carol Ballard and his team?


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