“The Call of the Wild” (Twentieth Century)

Harrison Ford and a dog named Buck appear in the movie "The Call of the Wild." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. (CNS/Fox)

By Catholic News Service

Jack London’s beloved 1903 novel returns to the big screen for the seventh time in this computer-generated special effects extravaganza, directed by Chris Sanders.

A pet St. Bernard-Scotch Collie mix dog is kidnapped from his California owner (Bradley Whitford) and shipped to the Yukon, where gold fever is raging, and large dogs are in demand to pull sleds. He joins a team run by two benevolent mail carriers (Omar Sy and Cara Gee), before being sold to a wicked gold prospector (Dan Stevens). Eventually he’s rescued by a kindly explorer (Harrison Ford) and joins him on an expedition deep into the wilderness, all the while hearing the “call” to return to his primal roots.

Although purists will be disappointed by the defanging of London’s searing tale, this is a highly entertaining comedy-drama with solid messages about love, friendship and respect, suitable for all but the youngest viewers.

Mild violence, characters in peril. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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