Disney has done it again by bringing a book to film with Jack London’s 1902 novel The Call of the Wild. I’m a big reader and very picky when it comes to taking a book and making it a film. In this case, Disney did not disappoint me. For the first time, I think I’m happy with the movie version.

The Real Story

Some of our favorite classic books originally had a darker side or even cuss words. For instance in the original story of Peter Pan, Tinkerbell calls Peter “a silly ass”. In Jack London’s novel “Buck the dog” is beaten and tied up. He reluctantly learns to fear the club. We don’t see that in Disney’s version of the book. Honestly, that is a relief. Thank you, Disney! I don’t do well with books or movies that have human or animal cruelty.

Story of Survival

The film does a great job portraying how Buck adjusts from a beloved dog of the town’s Judge to leading the pack to deliver the mail in Alaska after being kidnapped. We still see him struggle against the most extreme and adverse conditions. Days of travels pulling a sled team. Learning how to burrow in the snow to sleep. I thought they did a great job showing Buck’s survival instincts kick in.

Throughout Buck’s adventure, one man keeps running into him. Old man John Thornton. First, when John drops something, Buck returns it to him. Eventually, Thornton returns the favor by saving him from a team of amateur adventures looking for gold.

Harrison Ford

Ford does a depressed old man very well. A man who carries with him a great amount of tragedy and mystery from his past. One of the things that touched me most with Buck and Thorton’s relationship was Buck knocking away the liquor bottle from John. This movie is about Buck the Dog and what I love about Mr. Ford is he doesn’t take away the spotlight from who the real star of the movie is.


The Call of the Wild is an incredibly well-made movie. At first, my family and I noticed Buck didn’t look natural. After a while that went away. Buck pulls you in. He is interesting and you want to go out and get a BIG Saint Benard (don’t unless you know what you’re getting into, I had a friend who raised them they are a lot of work). All this despite never having a word of dialogue. The expressions and variety of different emotions, even though he isn’t real was amazing.


Let’s talk about the beautiful and breathtaking cinematography. Featuring several stunning shots and camera angles. Chris Sander’s direction is great. Just before watching this movie, I was reading a juvenile novel, Song For A Whale by Lynne Kelly. The main character goes to Alaska seeking a whale.  Sanders’s direction and images of Alaska for The Call of the Wild made my book come alive. It was everything I thought. In addition, Sanders made this a heart-warming adventure thas is both funny and emotional. Thank Mr. Sanders.


For me this movie was great, it made me laugh, cry and get goosebumps (have them now as I write this). Harrison Ford an awesome choice of course. A movie you can enjoy with the kids. Four and a half stars for me. Get your popcorn and Snowcaps sit back and enjoy.

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