In 2017, audiences fell in love with A DOG’S PURPOSE, the heartwarming family drama about one very special dog who tries to figure out the meaning of life. Two years later, it turns out there’s even more meaning yet to be discovered in A DOG’S JOURNEY, opening on May 17.
If you’re unfamiliar with these touching tales of man’s best friend, and the best-selling novels on which they’re based, you have no idea just how spectacular (and kinda crazy) these stories get. Read on to discover why A DOG’S JOURNEY is one of this year’s must-see movies. You’re in for a doggone treat.
What Is A Dog’s Purpose?
Based on the best-selling novel by W. Bruce Cameron (who also co-wrote the movie), A DOG’S PURPOSE opens in the 1950s. Josh Gad (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) supplies the voice of Bailey, a sweet red retriever puppy who is adopted by a young boy named Ethan.
After spending a few wonderful years together, Ethan’s life takes a turn. Teen Ethan, played by KJ Apa of “Riverdale,” is dating Hannah (Britt Robertson) and dealing with his alcoholic father (Luke Kirby of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”). An accident smashes Ethan’s dreams of playing college football, so he moves away, leaving Bailey on a farm with his grandparents. Then, Bailey dies … and that would be the end of most stories, but not this one!
Life Finds a Way
Bailey is reincarnated as a German shepherd puppy named Ellie (yes, Bailey is now a girl dog), who works with a police officer. When she’s killed in the line of duty, she’s reincarnated again (we told you this story is wild) as a Corgi named Tino, who helps a woman named Maya fall in love with a guy named Al, who has his own dog named Roxy. Tino and Roxy form a romantic bond that’s broken when Roxy dies. Tino doesn’t stick around for long, but he’s reincarnated again as a St. Bernard-Australian shepherd mix named Waffles.
After being abandoned, Waffles returns to the farm where he used to spend summers with his first owner. He finds a middle-aged Ethan (Dennis Quaid), who names the stray dog Buddy. It doesn’t take long for Ethan to realize that Buddy is actually his old friend Bailey — and the dog decides his next purpose is reuniting Ethan with his high school sweetheart, Hannah. Together, the three live happily ever after, and Bailey understands that there isn’t just one purpose. (Sort of how there isn’t just one life, apparently.)
Get Ready for A Dog’s Journey
If you thought A DOG’S PURPOSE was a wild and emotional story, just wait until you see A DOG’S JOURNEY. Josh Gad returns as the voice of Bailey, who, like Ethan, is getting on in years. But Bailey, Ethan and Hannah (Marg Helgenberger) are all living happy lives with the latest addition to their “pack:” Ethan and Hannah’s granddaughter, CJ.
Unfortunately, CJ’s mom (Betty Gilpin of “Glow”) takes CJ away. When Bailey’s time to pass comes, Ethan makes him promise that when he’s reincarnated, he will find and take care of CJ, because she needs Bailey more than Ethan does. As in A DOG’S PURPOSE, Bailey is reincarnated not once, but many times in his journey to look after CJ, seeing her through childhood into her teenage years and adulthood alongside her best friend, Trent. Will CJ realize the truth behind a dog’s purpose like her grandpa did? How many lives can one dog live?
We’ll find out when A DOG’S JOURNEY opens on May 17.