Adventures of Bailey: Christmas Hero
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It s Christmas time at the Baker household, and Bailey is at it again. Worried that he won t get any presents from Santa, Bailey learns about a mysterious Native American brave who can make his holiday wishes come true. But when Bailey s actions threaten his family s plans, he is forced to make a big decision...one that just might help him to finally understand the true meaning of Christmas.
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My kids were actually crazy about the first one, "Adventures of Bailey - The Lost Puppy." (That movie was definitely geared toward a younger audience, but I have to admit, I ended up liking it, too.) So when we saw the second Bailey movie had come out, we had to get it. And I have to tell you, I was elated when my kids liked this one as much as the first one, if not more. I was also so impressed with the movie, I went online to order some copies as gifts, and that's when I decided I should post a review. I don't want to give away the story, and I do not want to spend time detailing the plot. I just want to take the time to point out some of the things my kids (and I) liked about this movie.
They thought it was cool to see Bailey as he has grown from a puppy to a dog, and they loved being part of his new adventure. His brother, Duke, accompanied Bailey this time, which really added to the fun. We're dog lovers at our house, and we feel like our dogs are members of our family. So it's not that difficult for us to buy into the dogs being main characters and talking and doing all these things. Besides that's the fun of it! And I actually prefer the dogs' mouths don't move - it can look so fake. My kids are fine with it, too. Unlike the first Bailey film, the family is an integral part of the movie, and I think the human and dog stories blended together really well. It kind of reminded me of the Disney film, "Homeward Bound," which I loved.
If you love Christmas and you love dogs, it's a must see! It has both entertainment value and an incredible message. It flowed really well (my kids were never bored -- neither was I, for that matter), the acting was solid, the scenery and all the Christmas lights and decorations were great, and the dogs were awesome. It's simply a beautiful, little film.
"Bailey" is a family drama filled with amateur actors doing their best to connect with the material. After causing a ruckus at a local Christmas event, Bailey (a mischievous pooch) is cursed to go without presents for the holiday season. When the family visits Grandpa's farm, Bailey and his brother Duke head off to find an elusive Indian figure (aka Santa) to restore the gift receiving privilege. Of course, this journey is fraught with peril. The two dogs get lost in lush, newly mown fields as well as in a quaint little village and might never make it home! Along the way, they discover that there are more important things than presents on Christmas Day. Meanwhile, our human protagonists are learning much the same lesson. Can Bailey and Duke make it home for Christmas? And will everyone be a little wiser and more thankful this year? No spoilers from me!
Due to its inexpensive budget, "Bailey" is one of those films that employs the talking animal format without any special effects. The camera just closes in on the dog's face as some actor (using a funny voice) narrates the line. I think that's a perfectly viable option, under the circumstances, but it does make the movie feel very stagnant. Its images don't really bring the action to the screen. In one scene, an actor actually makes a yawning noise for a dog but the dog is just sitting there panting. I mean, really, dogs yawn all the time. They couldn't find one scene to match the actor? That wouldn't require special effects, just common sense! Still, the dogs are cute. The movie is simply too long and I think the little ones will start to lose interest before the big finale. It lacks some of the energy of the hyper films that seemed designed to address the ADD generation, and in that way, it does stand out. About 2 1/2 stars. Nice, but not even close to being a Christmas essential. KGHarris, 10/12.