Review: A Dog’s Purpose melts hearts

A movie that accurately reflects what it means to be a pet-owner


Permission Michael McPhee

The movie “A Dog’s Purpose” warmed hearts everywhere, showcasing a relationship which pet owner’s everywhere can relate to.

Halle Zides, Staff Writer

A Dog’s Purpose,” narrated through a fun-loving canine’s perspective, follows one dog’s soul along his journey through five different lives. It encounters some positive relationships and some unfortunate ones. Any pet owner would enjoy this movie because it can give them an inside look on how they make their furry friend feel.

Based on the story written by W. Bruce Cameron, the film allows viewers to see all that a dog possibly feels or thinks in certain situations, such as how a dog reacts to a fight, or love. Lasse Hallström directed the movie which was released in January and is now streaming and On Demand.

“A Dog’s Purpose” focuses on a red retriever, Bailey, voiced by Josh Gad, and his owner Ethan, played by various actors including Bryce Gheisar, K.J. Apa, and Dennis Quaid at different phases of Ethan’s life. Josh Gad voiced the pup very well, making Bailey seem innocent and curious, with so much life in him. Bailey’s spirit became a few other dogs throughout the movie and the voice stayed consistent, making the film’s success dependent on this dog’s voice. All three actors that portrayed Ethan did a great job as they were all able to make Ethan a character that consistently complemented Bailey while showing the progression of a man’s life.

This movie celebrates how much joy a human can bring to a dog and vise versa.”

Several moments during “A Dog’s Purpose” were enough to shed a few tears and cause brief heartache. Whenever one of the dog’s stories, or lives, was coming to an end, there was a moment of closure that would then lead into another life. The segway between each life displayed a galaxy looking screen that played light and airy music. When a new puppy popped up on the screen viewers oohed and aahed. It was an amazing portrayal of life and death. This brings comfort to dog owners, as it shows that even though a dog’s life ends earlier than wanted, they live on.

This movie celebrates how much joy a human can bring to a dog and vise versa. While some people avoided or criticized the film because there were accusations of potential dog abuse on set, the filmmaker clarified that editing made the dogs look as if they were risking their lives, even though they were not. A scene in particular that drew concern was when a German Shepard had to jump off a bridge into harsh waters. However, these intense scenes symbolize a dog’s dedication to their owner.

Ultimately, as a dog owner, “A Dog’s Purpose” hit close to home and made me both smile and cry. I was pulled through an insightful, heartwarming journey that truly captures the ups and downs of the relationships we have with the animals in our lives.