22
Jul 04

FT Top 100 Films 57: THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY

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FT Top 100 Films
57: THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY

Why did they drop the word Incredible from the title of the Hulk movie last year? Did they feel pointing out the lack of credibility in a tale of a man who gets angry and turns into a nine foot two year old whose lost his blankie would be the last straw? Well it did not work. The very lack of credibility of a story is often its saving grace. The Incredible Journey is much more credible than the Hulk. Indeed its very credibility means that without the soubriquet “incredible”, people may take it for a true to life tale of household pets overcoming all odds. Like at the end of the news.

This is the 1963 version by the way. Not Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, which was one part the original and one part Look Who’s Talking Next (with all the shit jokes that entailed). Instead a nicely gentle Disney live action movie with the daddy of the folksie voice-over ensuring that even when things get hairy (and they do) the five year old audience is never too scared.

There might be some questions asked about the anthropomorthology going on here. Two dogs and a cat traveling this distance to be with their master. What cat you know would give a fuck? But unlike later kiddie movies with animals, the narrator is left to try and ascribe the motivations of these animals. A harsher storyteller may bang on about how nuts these domesticated animals were to trek out into the wild. But they are animals. They should have vestigial survival instincts wrapped up in their bonce somewhere. The question should not be if these creatures could survive in the wild, but exactly how feral they will be when they get to their destination. The astonished shock of the owners at the end when the animals find them perhaps should have been mixed with a degree of fear. Perhaps the animals would be happy to be “home” but their new found viciousness should make sure it will never happen again.

But I guess Disney were never going to end the film with the two dogs and a cat ripping the throats out of their estranged owner. That would be incredible.

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