A true story about a couple's struggles to meet the challenges of their son's autism.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicola Graham
Rob Graham
Granny Pat
Andrew Byrne ...
Lorraine Pilkington ...
Duncan Preston ...
Grandpa Jim
John Havers
Paula Murray
Harry Gostelow ...
Gill Hutley ...
School Teacher
Susan Porrett ...
Veronica Roberts ...
Katy Maw ...
Snooty Woman (as Kathryn Tennant Maw)


A true story about a couple's struggles to meet the challenges of their son's autism.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A true story about an extraordinary friendship



Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 December 2006 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Mein Freund auf vier Pfoten  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is Andrew Byrne's first movie. See more »


Kyle Graham: Rain off. Rain off.
Nicola Graham: Kyle, You can't turn the rain off.
See more »


References Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends (1984) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Stunning Achievement
1 February 2014 | by See all my reviews

PASSER BY: "Disgraceful behaviour!"

KYLE'S MOTHER: "What, you staring at a disabled child having a fit? I agree!"

Kyle is a lost cause. Born with a very severe case of autism, he can barely communicate... apart from repeating parrot-like what he hears. He often rehashes these phrases in the most inappropriate situations, much to the amusement of everyone except his mum and dad. He throws random temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way. He still wears nappies at the age of 6. He has no comprehension of the emotional needs of others. His only outlet in life is his obsession with trains.

His parents are at their wits end. They've sent him to a special needs day school, but progress is frustratingly slow. The father wants to pack him off to a specialist unit 5 days and nights a week, but mother is desperate for him to have a chance in the real world. Mum is sick of having no social life, while dad is seriously considering an affair with a family friend. Things look bleak. Then, they decide to get a dog... And everything changes.

After Thomas is a wonderful film, the best I've seen this year so far. Every detail, from the little picture cards Kyle has to examine to understand what he has to do, to his tendency to walk up and down in a straight line for hours, rings true. The little actor they have to play this part is perfect. This is no sugar-coated Hollywoodised view of a handicap... living with this child is a chore, and would test the patience of a saint.

Then along comes Thomas, named after Kyle's favourite Tank Engine. He doesn't really bond with the canine straightaway... but gradually, an eternal friendship is forged. Thomas helps him open up, and what started out as a hopeless situation becomes a journey of discovery for him and his parents, as they see more and more of their son every day. The scene where he calls them Mum and Dad for the first time is such a tearjerker, you'll want to reach for the toilet paper product that Thomas's breed also advertises.

Few films earn the title Life Affirming. This one surely does. 8/10

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