Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog

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Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog
Far from Home poster.jpg
Directed by Phillip Borsos
Produced by Peter O'Brian
Written by Phillip Borsos
David M. Evans (uncredited)
Music by John Scott
Cinematography James Gardner
Edited by Sidney Wolinsky
Arc Productions (special effects)
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • January 13, 1995 (1995-01-13)
Running time
81 min.
Country United States
Language English
Box office $11,642,946

Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog is a 1995 adventure film starring Jesse Bradford and directed by Phillip Borsos, which was his final film. Its cumulative box office earnings were $11,642,946 according to Box Office Mojo.


Fifteen-year-old Angus McCormick (Jesse Bradford) lives near a small town in British Columbia, Canada with his parents and eight-year-old brother Silas. Nowadays, he either runs his paper route to earn his savings, learns wilderness survival skills from his father, or spends time with his friends David and Sara (Margot Finley). One afternoon, while gathering up firewood near the house, Angus finds a stray Yellow Labrador Retriever and begs his parents to let him care of him. Angus' parents, John and Katherine McCormick agree that Angus can keep the stray on the condition that he takes full responsibility in taking care of the dog, whom Angus later names him Yellow.

Several days later, while Angus, his father, and Yellow Dog were traveling along the coast of British Columbia, turbulent waters capsized their boat. John McCormick was rescued by helicopter and transported to a hospital for minor injuries, but Angus and Yellow soon found themselves stranded on the coast far from civilization. While Angus's parents relentlessly badger rescue teams, Angus, schooled by his father in wilderness survival skills, and assisted by the intelligent Yellow Dog, tries to attract rescuers.

Angus sets up a shelter on the rocky shores with his lifeboat and several branches before checking on the supplies he manages to retrieve from his father's capsized boat. The only supplies he has include a box of matches, some fishing hooks and tackle, and a box of cookies that his girlfriend Sara had made for him. Angus catches a fish for supper and digs for clams on the shoreline with his dog Yellow. But after spending nine days on the shores without much luck attracting rescue teams and with little food left to sustain themselves, Angus realizes that he and Yellow must move on to reach civilization on their own. With the nearest lighthouse located about twenty miles south through the rugged wilderness of British Columbia, Angus decides to take the challenge and begins his journey across one of the largest wildernesses in Canada.

While spending a cold, rainy night in a makeshift shelter, Angus and his dog Yellow find themselves under attack by a pack of wolves. While Yellow chases off one wolf and engages in a fight with a second wolf, Angus finds himself confronted by a third wolf. He fends off the wolf for a moment before crawling away to safety, but the wolf turns and goes after Angus again. Before the wolf reaches Angus, Yellow appears and chases the wolf off. Yellow then leads a relieved Angus away to safety through the rainstorm.

Over the next several days, Angus struggles to find food to sustain himself and Yellow. In addition to the box of Sara's homemade cookies, Angus gathers grubs, berries, wild edible plants, and roots to eat. He even catches a small deer mouse in a makeshift trap and shares it with Yellow, but it's not enough to stave off their hunger. Besides starvation, other dangers test Angus' and Yellow's ability to survive in the Canadian wilderness. Rainstorms and cold temperatures tear at them day and night, forcing Angus to build a fire to keep himself and Yellow warm. One day, Angus slips and tumbles down a cliff, breaking his left wrist in the process. Later that same day, Angus finds himself at the edge of a large lake and spots the lighthouse positioned on a hill on the other side. He builds a raft out of branches, logs, and sticks, and with the aid of his dog is able to paddle across to the opposite shore.

Angus and Yellow eventually reach the lighthouse, but find it deserted and with no additional food or supplies to sustain them. Angus soon discovers a logging road running down the side of another hill several miles away and decides to head over there in the hopes of finding someone to help them. The following day, Yellow brings back a snowshoe hare to Angus, who kills it with a stick and cooks it for their supper. After a good meal and a rest, Angus and Yellow continue on their journey but soon find themselves looking down a narrow gorge with a running river below them. Angus soon finds a fallen tree across the top of the gorge and decides to cross it, but he and Yellow soon discover that the other side is blocked off by other fallen trees.

Just as Angus and Yellow begin to give up hope, a plane flies overhead and soon spots them on the tree. The pilot informs the rescue teams of his discovery, and a rescue helicopter is dispatched to pick up the boy and dog. Angus is relieved when the helicopter arrives to pick him and Yellow up. One of the rescue members is lowered down and manages to grab hold of Angus, who tells him to get his dog. The man promises to return for the dog, but unbeknownst to him and Angus, Yellow attacks the man by biting down on his leg. As Angus and the man are lifted back up to the helicopter, Yellow is accidentally knocked off the tree and falls down the gorge into the river below. The team promises Angus that they will return for his dog, but with the winds picking up speed, the helicopter is forced to transport Angus over to a nearby hospital and leave Yellow behind. Yellow eventually survives the fall and manages to swim to shore with only an injured hind leg, but he is left behind to fend for himself.

Though Angus was happily reunited with his family, he was disappointed for leaving Yellow behind. The rescue teams spend the next few days afterwards searching for Yellow, but were unsuccessful in finding any trace of the dog. Because of the tight budget issues they were facing after searching for more than three weeks, the search teams decided to call off the search. Saddened and betrayed, Angus blames himself for losing Yellow but refuses to give up hope that his dog is still alive. His family pitches in to help him find Yellow, putting up posters all over town and even searching different areas of the wilderness around their property for Yellow. One afternoon, while walking home from school, Angus' girlfriend Sara eventually cheers him up a little by kissing him. Later that day, Angus blows his dog whistle one last time and an exhausted Yellow appears in the middle of the field behind the house. He and his family all rejoice over the return of Yellow, who has finally returned home.


Critical response[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics with a 57% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

External links[edit]