Family Review: A DOG’S JOURNEY

By Trina Boice

Republished with permission from The Movie Review Mom

We just had a dog movie in theaters, right?  Yep.  That one was called A Dog's Way Home This
one is the sequel to A Dog's Purpose.  Confusing?  Yep, a little bit. If you loved A Dog's
Purpose, then you'll like this one too.  If you’ve seen that movie, then you’ve pretty much seen
this one.  Why the need for a sequel, then?  Good question.
This movie was harder for me to watch than A Dog's Purpose because my own family’s dog of
15 years recently died.  I bawled for days.  That’s the reason for this sequel.  Dog lovers are just
as loyal as dogs themselves, so this movie is a blatant attempt at squeezing more money and tears
out of dog lovers.
All that being said, it's still charming and will probably make you cry.

It’s a bit of a coming-of-age movie about a young girl trying to find her way in the world. In that
regard, it’s really HER journey and not the dog’s. The central plot is whether or not CJ will find
the right man to love. A thicker theme would have been better and some may be turned off by
the idea that a girl has to find a man to be fulfilled.
Josh Gad has such a likable voice, right? Dennis Quaid has such a likable smile, right? They’re
both back in sequel. Bruce Cameron wrote the novel of the same name, as well as this
screenplay. Congratulations to director Gail Mancuso for making her big-screen debut in A
Dog's Purpose movie, after directing sitcoms for a while.
A couple more ideas that might bother viewers are that the characters in the movie are either
really good or really bad with nothing in between. Also, there were quite a few canine bodily
functions. I guess they’re supposed to be hysterical, right?

Your kids are going to want a dog. It’s sad enough when a dog dies, but Baily dies over and
over again. It’s sad every time.

Reincarnation is a big theme, obviously, in this movie. If you don’t believe in reincarnation, this
entire movie will just seem totally bizarre to you.  Well, maybe “transmigrate” is a better
description of how the dog’s soul jumps into new bodies after it dies.  The breeds are different
and even the genders are different.  Still bizarre, right?  Good luck explaining that to your kids.
No profanity, which makes the movie more family-friendly.  That is if you can handle the sad
death scenes.

 “I know that my purpose is to love people.” – Bailey (Josh Gad)
 “Things don’t always turn out as we plan, but sometimes the surprises are the best part.” –
 Love
 Family
 “I don’t have all the answers, but I know we end up where we’re meant to be.” – Bailey

Trina Boice is an author of 23 books and teaches online for BYU-Idaho in the Pathway program.  She received the Young Mother of the Year honor in 2004, an award that completely amuses her 4 sons. She’s a popular international speaker in China and writes movie reviews at You can find her books on Amazon, and at

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