Based on the novel by Eric Knight and the 1943 film of the same name, Lassie Come Home introduces a new generation of children to the wonder dog known as Lassie, by giving her classic story an upgrade for 2020.
Young boy Florian (Nico Marischka) and his pet dog Lassie are inseparable. From the moment Florian finishes school, Lassie is ready to meet him so that the two of them can spend time with each other. But when Lassie inadvertently knocks over the landlord on her way to visit Florian after school, she deems Lassie a menace and forces Florian‘s parents to either get rid of Lassie or to find somewhere else to live.
Florian‘s father Andreas (Sebastian Bezzel) decides to let his boss look after Lassie as his granddaughter Priscilla (Bella Bading) will be coming to visit him while she is on holiday from school, but things go from bad to worse when Lassie runs away and tries to and get back to Florian. When Florian finds out that Lassie has gone missing, he and Priscilla run away from home to try find her.
I have to admit that even though I know the Lassie story and I knew what to expect, I still struggled watching a film with distressed animals or a family that is sad because their pet has gone missing. While Lassie Come Home certainly made me feel sad when Florian and Lassie were separated, I felt like the rest of the film fell flat. The human characters weren’t particularly likeable as most of them are self-centred and short tempered, which makes it very difficult to want any of the characters to have a happy ending and is something that I found a little strange for a family friendly film. The attempts at humour were very few and far between, but also weren’t very funny as they weren’t executed very well at all.
Despite the lack of likeable human characters, I did enjoy watching Lassie as she went on her own adventures on her way to finding Florian. It was very sweet that she would do whatever it takes to be reunited with her best friend, but unfortunately I do wish that the human characters could have been a little bit more likeable and relatable, as that would have been a huge improvement and it would have made the film more enjoyable.
Lassie Come Home is a Lassie film for a new generation, which sadly won’t be remembered as fondly as its previous adaptations.
Lassie Come Home will be showing as part of the Children’s International Film Festival from the 27th of November to the 13th of December.