After we fell in love with him in the 2016 film A Dog’s Purpose, dog Bailey and his various reincarnated selves return to the silver screen for A Dog’s Journey.
Directed by Gail Mancuso, the film sees Josh Gad (Frozen, Beauty and the Beast) and Dennis Quaid (The Parent Trap) reprise their roles as the voice of Bailey and his owner Ethan, respectively.
The premise is the same as the last film: time and again, Bailey reincarnates into new dogs, but somehow always finds his way back home. This time around, Bailey is tasked with taking care of CJ (Kathryn Prescott), Ethan’s granddaughter.
Prescott brings a surprising amount of depth and complexity to the role, while 11-year-old Abby Ryder Fortson shines as the young CJ – as does her scene partner, Molly the Beagle.
Like Molly, all the canine actors in the film bring a new dimension to the performances of their human co-stars. The bubbly Josh Gad is perfect as the voice of Bailey’s internal dialogue, breaking down the language barrier between pooches and humans and enabling viewers to see the world from a dog’s eye view.
The film doesn’t quite fulfil its promise to be a tear-jerker, as many of the emotional moments are cut short. But when it comes to feel-good vibes and doggy cuteness, A Dog’s Journey certainly delivers.