Fly Away Home
is a 1996 family film Very Loosely Based on a True Story
, directed by Carroll Ballard (The Black Stallion
) and starring Anna Paquin
, Jeff Daniels and Dana Delany.
After her mother dies in a car accident, Amy Alden (Paquin), a 13 year old girl, moves from New Zealand to Ontario to live with her father, Thomas Alden (Daniels), an eccentric inventor whom she barely remembers (her parents split up when she was young). Amy doesn't like the lonely surroundings, she doesn't know what to make of her father, and she misses home and her mother. Then one day, after a bulldozer has knocked down a tree on some property near their house (which Thomas is upset about), Amy discovers a nest of abandoned eggs on the ground. She takes the eggs to Thomas' barn, and they hatch into baby geese. Because of the process of "imprinting", the geese think Amy is their mother, and she takes care of them as a mother would
. However, soon it will be time to migrate south, so Thomas, an amateur pilot, builds small planes for himself and Amy so they can get the geese to fly and then be able to fly south for the winter. Along with the problems of flying, and getting the geese to fly, Thomas and Amy also have to deal with Glenn (Jeremy Ratchford), a park ranger who initially tries to pinion the geese to render them flightless (Amy doesn't respond well to this
), and then wants to confiscate them when they start flying. Not only that, but Amy and Thomas' intended destination for the geese (a bird sanctuary in South Carolina) becomes a battleground between environmentalists and developers.
Though more than a few reviewers commented on the timing of the film (it was delayed after Jessica Dubroff, a seven year old girl, was killed when she was at the controls of a small plane during a transcontinental flight, along with her father and flying instructor
), the film was generally well-received and is considered one of the better and more underrated family films of the time.
This film contains examples of: