Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : DVDs : Home Video
A Dog of Flanders

A Dog of Flanders

Fall 2000 Home Video
Ages: 6 - 12 yrs.
VHS Price: $14.95
The opening scene is a grabber: A poor woman clutches her baby as she staggers through a blizzard. It sets the stage for a lovely film based on the 19th Century children's novel by Ouida Sebestyen. A remake of the original movie made in 1914, the story is about a poor farm boy named Nello who comes across a near-dead dog in the woods. He nurses the dog, a Bouvier--a large working breed of dog known as the Bouvier de Flanders--back to health. They become inseparable as Patrasche, the dog, pulls Nello's milk cart to town and back every day. But Nello dreams of more than farming. He wants to be an artist.

The film beautifully portrays his determination and courage in the face of adversity. Jesse James plays Nello at 7. Jeremy James Kissner plays Nello at 12. They both give heartfelt performances. Jack Warden is Nello's Grandpa, who shows Nello that if he has love, he has all he needs. Jon Voight is the art master who helps Nello realize his dream.

It's a good story for everyone-and a worthy reminder to be true to what your heart most wants to do.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2000 Parents' Choice
Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

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