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Fly Away Home Reviews

Another stunningly beautiful and genuinely charming child-and-animal adventure from director Carroll Ballard ( THE BLACK STALLION). Devastated by her mother's surprisingly graphic demise in a car accident, 13-year-old Amy (Anna Paquin) must join her father (Jeff Daniels) in Canada. The teen finds a new reasoning for living in an abandoned clutch of Canada goose eggs, which she patiently incubates. When the goslings mature, she devises a plan to get them down South for the winter: She'll lead them in the small light plane her accommodating dad supplies. Kids shouldn't mind (or even notice) the occasional strained metaphor or clunky narrative contrivance -- the bad park ranger who wants to clip the goslings' wings and a nasty real estate developer who threatens to bulldoze their new winter home. Adults, however, may wince at the unintentional dark echos of Jessica Dubroff (the 7-year-old aviatrix who crashed while trying to set a world's record at her father's behest) prompted by the sight of Amy learning to fly her small plane. Still, this is family entertainment at its best: Intelligent and surprisingly unsentimental. And anyone who doesn't fall in love with those goslings has a heart of stone.