Movie review: Lassie Come Home

Eighty years after Lassie first captured hearts in English novelist Eric Mowbray Knight’s classic novel ‘Lassie Come-Home’, the iconic long-haired collie is returning in this remake of the original 1943 film. Reviewed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM)

Full review see Lassie Come Home

Rated PGThemes Family; Adventure; Animal hero; Friendship
Not suitable under 5; parental guidance to 6 (distressing themes (separation from beloved pet, characters seen in emotional distress, implied loss of parent))

Now showing in select cinemas. Check your local guides.

At a Glance:

Lassie Come Home is the latest adaptation of the adventures of the rough collie, “Lassie”, who first became famous and popular with the 1943 classic with the same title, starring a young Elizabeth Taylor. Generations of children have since followed Lassie’s adventures in numerous movies and a successful TV series. This time, the story is set in modern-day Germany, but sticks with the main ingredients: a deep friendship between a child and a loyal dog, a painful separation, and desperate efforts from all parties to have Lassie come home. There is only mild level peril, scary or violent material, instead, some more interpersonal drama for the human protagonists. Children will enjoy the animal and funny scenes, and probably won’t be too bothered by some (in fact, many) quite unrealistic chance events. Australian children might also enjoy getting an impression of the beautiful German scenery, and since the movie was dubbed from the original German into English language, foreign language and subtitles pose no barrier.

The main messages from this movie are that people – and animals – can achieve extraordinary things if they set their mind to it, and that family and friendship are the most important goods.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Friendship
  • Facing difficulties and challenges
  • Courage.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Avoidance and running away: Bella’s father, and also grandfather, did not face their tragic losses of a loved one in very constructive ways: they both tried to avoid the pain, inadvertently creating more hardship for themselves and others. Gladly, they learn their lesson by the end of the movie and start making better choices.