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Recap / Film Reroll: Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

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A Shadow of the dog he once was...note 

We play Homeward Bound! Joz makes a furry friend! Pitr climbs on a sheep! Scott tells us all about Don Ameche!
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Episodes 21-22 of Film Reroll. Based on the 1993 movie.

Having been left alone, and — as far as they are aware — abandoned by their owners, Chance the bulldog puppy, Shadow the old retriever and Sassy the self-proclaimed cat queen embark on their perilous journey to get back home. A journey which crosses their paths with a dangerous wolf pack, a wild but curious fox and a friendly bear with whom they have a great time.

This campaign also marks the first appearance of Timothy E. Nolan, who has since been helping Paulo Quiros out with the writing and world-building.

Starring Scott Aiello as Shadow, Jocelyn "Joz" Vammer as Chance, Pitr Strait as Sassy, and Paulo Quiros as the Dungeon Master.

Followed by O Brother Where Art Thou.


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Tropes:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Shadow accidentally calls Peter "Tommy."
  • Animal Talk: Played With.
    • Domesticated animals can talk to each other, but they can't understand human speech.
    • Farm birds apparently can't speak, as their owners are not really attached to them enough individually to talk much to them.note 
    • The runaway dog who joined the wolf pack can speak, but he seems to be gradually losing that ability.
    • Flynn the fox is still mute, but our protagonists can communicate with him in other ways. It remains to be seen if being a part of their gang will cause him to start talking as well.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Sassy, whenever Pitr fails his Acting roll.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Sassy does this at one point.
    Sassy: I'm stubborn, though. It's on my character sheet.
  • Call-Back:
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    • When Sassy gets put on painkillers, Pitr's voice slides into a relaxed purr that the other players note is very similar to the voice Paulo did for another cat, Lydia.
    • The players sing a certain leitmotif when Chance faces a turkey.
    • They also start singing another famous movie theme when thinking about what might attack them during the night.
    • The first time a die roll goes off the table in this campaign, it's explicitly noted that it doesn't count because they're not playing Jumanji any more. note 
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Flynn, a wild fox who joins their party.
    • Also the wolf pack, including the Wolf Dog "Joe."
    • Possibly the hermit too, unless he's meant to be the same person as the birdwatcher from the film.
  • Canon Welding: The players jokingly theorise that Sassy is the same character as Lydia from their Wizard of Oz campaign, as they are both feline Faux Affably Token Evil Teammates. The biggest difference between them is that Sassy is less mysterious and more egotistical.
  • Cats Are Magic: Averted. Pitr Strait hoped that Sassy would secretly be a vampire, but this turns out to not be the case. If anything, Shadow the golden retriever is the one with magical powers.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Sassy hurts her face, she gets a cone around her neck to stop her from touching the wound. She is ashamed of it and tries to remove it at several occasions, but it actually saves her life when she falls down in the river by keeping her head above the water.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Shadow claims that moose (or "moosen") have sharp teeth and often bite off the tails of other animals. Sassy doesn't believe him. After all, there are no such things as moose.
  • Cone of Shame: Sassy gets stuck with one for most of the first episode, as a consequence of some extra shenanigans in the opening scene.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: The players create a conspiracy theory about Don Ameche not being real, since he isn't given top-billing on IMDB. (He does, however, appear in the full cast list.)
  • Crosscast Role: Both Jocelyn Vammer and Pitr Strait. The former plays Chance, a male pup, and the later plays Sassy, a female feline. It's agreed all round that this results in a better match of character and player style than the alternative would have.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • The big grizzly bear, as Chance, Shadow, Sassy and Flynn actually manage to kill and eat him.
    • The little girl Chance rescued in the film, as they never run into each other here. In The Stinger, the players remember about her and ask Paulo to do a dice roll to find out if she survived. He rolls, and reports, "They found her... but a little too late."
  • Descent into Addiction: Sassy immediately grows addicted to the morphine the vets used on her. However, she manages to break the addiction when she realizes that she can't both bring a bottle on the journey and shit-talk the others at the same time.
    Sassy: I'm not addicted! I can stop whenever I want... but I just don't want.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • Apparently, Shadow thought that a "reddit" was some kind of creature, rather than a message board.
    • Shadow also believes that racoons are "big cats with masks." Sassy wonders what they have to hide.
    • However, Shadow has visited the zoo with Peter, so he knows that the big animal chasing them is a "lookmommylook."
  • Face Stealer: Chance plans to rip off the bear's face and then wear it as a trophy. Unfortunately, the gang runs into the wolf pack before he gets the chance.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The gang's battle against the bear is told in a very detailed and gory way.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Sassy, at least from the mice's perspective...
    Sassy: Oh, you are mine, little darling... I don't know if you can understand this, but we're gonna have a good time, you and I...
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Sassy and Flynn. They fight a bit when they first meet, but when Flynn saves Sassy from drowning, she developes a strong respect for him.
  • Going Native:
    • One of the wolves is actually a runaway dog. Notably, he is the only member of the pack who can talk, though it sounds like Hulk Speak.
    • After killing the bear and going a bit wild, the animals consider going native in the woods too, but their devotion to their humans wins out.
  • Graceful Loser: The spirit of the bear treats Chance with respect when they meet during the latter's Near-Death Experience.
  • Groin Attack: Chance bites off and swallows the bear's balls, causing it to fall down to the ground, screaming in pain.
  • Happy Ending Override: The players sort of do this to their own story by pointing out that adopting a wild fox like Flynn as a house pet is actually a terrible idea (because they smell horribly and don't pee in the basket).
  • Hero Antagonist: As in the movie, the park rangers. All they want is to take care of these poor, injured animals. They only count as antagonists because Sassy doesn't trust them, and believes one of them to secretly be a bear in disguise.
  • Insistent Terminology: Pitr Strait claims that the only accents he can do is a Dracula-style Transylvanian accent and a "generic offensive Middle-Eastern accent". When the other players point out that Sallah from their Raiders of the Lost Ark campaign didn't sound like either of those, Pitr says that Sallah doesn't have an accent, he has a voice.
  • Lonely at the Top: Sassy decides to come along on the dogs' adventure because "being a queen is no fun without subjects." Of course, she is only a queen in her own mind.
  • Look, a Distraction!:
    • Sassy tries to distract the bear by saying that there is soup in a nearby tree. It doesn't work.
    • Later, she tries to scare the same bear by warning for strippers. It goes just as badly.
  • Name's the Same:
    • Shadow's owner — Peter Burnford-Seaver — has a first name which is pronounced exactly like that of player Pitr Strait, which the latter decides to exploit...
      Shadow/Scott Aiello: Peter will know what to do. Peter knows everything.
      Pitr Strait: Wait, can I get that soundbite isolated?
    • When the players hear Flynn's name, they wonder if they have ended up in TRON, since that franchise also has a character named Flynn.
    • The players also jokingly theorise that Chance and Shadow are actually Chance the Rapper and Shadow the Hedgehog.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: Discussed. The players argue whether or not the animals in the movie were hurt during filming. Eventually they decide that they were probably really afraid, but never in any actual danger.
  • No Name Given: The Wolf Dog seems to have abandoned whatever name his owner gave him, and claims that he doesn't have one at all. Sassy then decides to give him a new name: Joe Biden.
  • Only Sane Man: Shadow is pretty much Chance and Sassy's babysitter, even if he is a bit of a Know-Nothing Know-It-All.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Scott Aiello once again slips into a British accent. This time, it happens when Shadow tastes blood for the first time, which apparently makes him sound like Alec Guinness.
  • Poor Man's Substitute: The players feel that Don Ameche (the voice of Shadow in the movie), while awesome, is a The Boys from Brazil style clone of Clark Gable.
  • Pounds Are Animal Prisons: Mostly averted, but Shadow does get asked "What Are You in For?" by the dog in the next cage.
  • Psychotic Smirk: DM Paulo Quiros apparently has one at one point. Pitr Strait describes it as his "devious model face."
    Pitr Strait: Paulo's trouble's-a-comin' face is so similar to his sexy-sexy face.
  • Pun: When Chance (the loudest member of the gang) starts teaching Flynn how to bark, Sassy says this:
    Sassy: You might say that we have a second Chance.
  • Questionable Consent: Sassy feels really uncomfortable about being licked by Shadow...
  • Running Gag: Paulo Quiros reminding Pitr Strait that Sassy still has the cone around her neck.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Chance — a dog — meets Flynn the fox, the rest of the gang wonders if they have ended up in The Fox and the Hound. Chance's attempts at communicating with the fox are also compared to Arrival.
      Pitr Strait: Did you know foxes don't experience time linearly?
      Joz Vammer: That makes sense, actually.
      Pitr Strait: No, it doesn't. Shut up!
    • Our pet protagonists can't quite understand their owners' speech, (making them believe that humans are the ones who can't talk) so people sound like the adults from Peanuts to them.
    • At one point, one of the players refers to the animals' human owners as "Mallory and Jennifer", as a nod to Michael J. Fox's role in the movie.
    • A perception check in the forest results in a shout-out to the "Squirrel!" running gag from Up.
    • The other players compare Pitr Strait's portrayal of Sassy with Judi Dench.
    • The green, digital bones raining down from the sky when Shadow and Chance are "accessing the dog web" and coming into contact with their inner animals might be a reference to The Matrix.
    • When Pitr Strait discovers that Sassy has "kick with boots" on her skill sheet, he wonders if she's actually Puss in Boots. (Paulo says that no, she isn't.)
    • When Pitr says that he's planning to attack the bear's face, Joz compares him with a facehugger from Alien.
    • During the fight with the bear, one of the players calls out "Sweep the leg!" as a suggestion.
    • When the players ask whether they're making any real progress in the fight against the bear, Paulo replies, "This isn't even his final form."
  • Unreliable Narrator: Sassy says that when she will tell their story, she will claim that she decapitated the bear all by herself.
  • Unsound Effect: The result of several of Sassy's failed acting attempts, such as when she attempts to distract the bear by making the sound of something a bear might eat, which turns into her saying, "Honey honey honey honey..."
  • Wham Line: The first time the Wolf Dog speaks intelligibly is one for the players as well as the audience, being also the first indication that he's not a normal wolf, and it having been firmly established beforehand that wild animals don't talk in this setting.
  • When Trees Attack: Our heroes believe that the howling of wolves is actually coming from the trees. This scares them, as trees are usually supposed to keep quiet.
  • With Catlike Tread: Done by a real cat, ironically enough. Sassy breaks apart many twigs when she tries sneaking up to the bear.
  • You Killed My Friend: Sassy tries to invoke this by telling her friends to avenge her death. However, she ends up not dying after all.
  • You No Take Candle: The feral dog who is part of the wolf pack speaks a broken form of English.

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