- Gratuitous Special Effects: Buck is CGI in many shots where a real dog could have been used instead.
- Special Effects Failure: When the first trailer dropped, a number of viewers complained about the CGI used to create Buck being too obvious in some shots. Most critics' reviews for the film also noted that Buck always looks ever so slightly off in every scene he's in, never once looking like he could be mistaken for a real dog. Even Rotten Tomatoes' critics consensus for this film called the CGI "distracting and unnecessary".
- Slow-Paced Beginning: A common complaint is that while the film does improve once John Thornton takes ownership of Buck, it takes an awful lot of superfluous character interaction and comedic animal shenanigans before it builds up to that plot point.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: John Thornton's subplot about coming to grips with his son's death and ultimately choosing to try and reconcile with his estranged wife ends up being this, since his fate remains the same as it was in the book, with him dying alone in the wilderness, where no one is likely to find out what happened to him.
- Uncanny Valley: A number of viewers have noted that Buck appears to make human expressions with oddly human-like eyes, which is part of what takes them out of the movie.
- What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: While the film heavily tones down the more violent scenes from the book and adds in copious amounts of comic relief, it nonetheless retains the scenes of animal abuse and culminates in one man being thrown into a burning building while another bleeds out due to being shot, neither of which were even in the original book.
YMMV / The Call of the Wild (2020)