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May 17, 2019

A Dog's Journey Review



A Dog's Journey (Rated PG)
Some friendships transcend lifetimes. In A Dog’s Journey, the sequel to the heartwarming global hit A Dog’s Purpose, beloved dog Bailey finds his new destiny and forms an unbreakable bond that will lead him, and the people he loves, to places they never imagined.

Bailey (voiced again by Josh Gad) is living the good life on the Michigan farm of his “boy,” Ethan (Dennis Quaid) and Ethan’s wife Hannah (Marg Helgenberger). He even has a new playmate: Ethan and Hannah’s baby granddaughter, CJ. The problem is that CJ’s mom, Gloria (Betty Gilpin), decides to take CJ away. As Bailey’s soul prepares to leave this life for a new one, he makes a promise to Ethan to find CJ and protect her at any cost.

Thus begins Bailey’s adventure through multiple lives filled with love, friendship and devotion as he, CJ (Kathryn Prescott), and CJ’s best friend Trent (Henry Lau) experience joy and heartbreak, music and laughter, and few really good belly rubs.


Hawaii Dad Blog Review
The movie begins with Bailey living on a Michigan farm with Ethan and his wife, Hannah. Also living with them are their toddler granddaughter, CJ, and their daughter-in-law, the recently widowed, Gloria (Hannah's son died just before CJ was born). Gloria feels Ethan and Hannah see her as an unfit mother (she is one), and even accuses them of wanting to take CJ away from her to get the money from an insurance payout. Eventually, Gloria leaves for Chicago, taking CJ with her in a heartbreaking scene. Bailey is a source of comfort for the grieving couple until he needs to be put down due to a medical condition. Ethan holds the dog in his final moments and tells Bailey's that his purpose is to always look after CJ.

Throughout the remainder of the movie, Bailey's spirit moves in and out of the bodies of several dogs over their respective life spans. 
Each dog will seek out and find CJ as she grows and deals with an alcoholic and neglectful mother, an abusive boyfriend,and a case of stage fright which hampers her burgeoning music career.

Although there are several different "dog bodies," the spirit of Bailey is consistent and we, the viewer, know this because Bailey's thoughts are voiced by the same actor, Josh Gadd. He provides comedic relief by seeing situations as, I'd imagine, a dog would. Sometimes his commentary would balance out an intense scene, and other times it would show a dog's intuition, such as when he thinks that Gloria smells strong (because she's drunk) or when he senses that Hannah is upset (because she was losing her granddaughter).

A Dog's Journey is a sequel to A Dog's Purpose, but if you did not see the first movie, you will still enjoy the second one.

A Dog's Journey really knows how to pull at the heartstrings.  My son enjoyed the movie because of the cute dogs and poop jokes, but overall, it is a great family movie - perfect for dog-lovers and anyone who enjoys a heartwarming tale. 
I may look at dogs different now, as I wonder if my long gone Pomeranian is trying to find me...


Mahalo to the sponsor for the complimentary tickets.

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