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The Journey of Natty Gann

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Overview

Disney's The Journey of Natty Gann stars Meredith Salenger in the title role. During the Depression, Natty's father Ray Wise takes a job in a Northwestern lumber camp, leaving his daughter behind in Chicago with the promise that he'll send for her when he's put together enough money. Unwilling to wait that long, Natty runs away from her guardian Lainie Kazan and hops a freight bound for her dad's camp. In addition to the human friends she accrues along the way, including vagabond John Cusack and tough-but-nice ...
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Overview

Disney's The Journey of Natty Gann stars Meredith Salenger in the title role. During the Depression, Natty's father Ray Wise takes a job in a Northwestern lumber camp, leaving his daughter behind in Chicago with the promise that he'll send for her when he's put together enough money. Unwilling to wait that long, Natty runs away from her guardian Lainie Kazan and hops a freight bound for her dad's camp. In addition to the human friends she accrues along the way, including vagabond John Cusack and tough-but-nice juvenile delinquent Barry Miller, Natty is protected on her journey by a friendly wolf actually a dog, but you try training a wolf. Journey of Natty Gann stretches its "PG" rating as far as possible, but it's still safe and sane entertainment for the younger crowd.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
A family-oriented adventure, The Journey of Natty Gann follows the Disney formula, but does not let sentiment get in the way of a good story. Natty (Meredith Salenger) and her father, Saul Gann (Ray Wise), lovingly survive together in Depression-era Chicago, both fighting for the underdog. When he leaves for work out west, she goes out on her own to find him. Along the way, she befriends a lot of misfits and narrowly escapes the manipulative adults who try to catch her. Salenger plays Natty as quick and determined, fortunately not as a smart aleck or overly precocious. She is tough enough to eat a wild rabbit for food, but still cringes when she has to gut it with her pocket knife. Natty forges a bond with a wolf, who acts as her companion and protector. This relationship sometimes sinks into Disney mush territory, but overall, it makes narrative sense. Especially impressive is Harry (John Cusack), a kindred spirit who teaches Natty the art of riding the rails. With his Humphrey Bogart-style appearance and delivery, Cusack makes a perfect team with Salenger's Natty. For the most part, The Journey of Natty Gann is a coming-of-age tale that is rooted in Disney simplicity, but rare in its portrayal of a strong and gentle protagonist on a quest for family connection.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/21/2002
  • UPC: 786936178333
  • Original Release: 1985
  • Rating:

  • Source: Walt Disney Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Meredith Salenger Natty Gann
John Cusack Harry
Ray Wise Saul Gann
Scatman Crothers Sherman
Barry Miller Parker
Lainie Kazan Connie
John Hock
Paula-Marie Moody
Corliss M. Smith Jr. Bus Driver
Verna Bloom Farm Woman
Bruce M. Fischer Charlie Linfield
John Finnegan Logging Boss
Jack Rader Employment Agent
Matthew Faison Buzz
Jordan Pratt Frankie
Zachary Ansley Louis
Campbell Lane Chicago Moderator
Max Trumpower Chicago Worker
Doug MacLeod Chicago Worker
Gary Chalk Chicago Worker
Dwight McFee Chicago Worker
Peter Anderson Unemployed Worker
Ian Black Hobo
Ray Michal Hobo
Clint Rowe Bullwhip
Frank C. Turner Farmer
Jack Ackroyd Grocery Clerk
Grant Heslov Parker's Gang
Gary Riley Parker's Gang
Scott Andersen Parker's Gang
Ian Tracey Parker's Gang
Jennifer Michas Parker's Gang
Kaye Grieve Matron
Hannah Cutrona Twinky
Gabrielle Rose Exercise Matron
Marie Klingenberg Dormitory Matron
Stephen E. Miller Guard
Robert Clothier Railroad Official
Don S. Davis Railroad Brakeman
Alex Diakun Station Master
Harvey M. Miller Railroad Deek
Sheelah Megill Lady at Mill
Jeff Ramsey Logging Driver
Gary Hendrickson Logger
Wally Beeton Logger
Doug Boyd Logger
Bryan Couture Logger
Al MacIntosh Logger
Lorne LaRiviere Logger
Bob Storms Logger
Hagan Beggs Policeman
Wally Marsh Interrogator
Thomas Heaton Railroad Deek
Technical Credits
Jeremy Kagan Director
Andrew Bergman Screenwriter
Michael S. Bolton Production Designer
Dick Bush Cinematographer
Sandy Cooper Makeup
Jim Erickson Set Decoration/Design
David Holden Editor
James Horner Score Composer
Michael Lobell Producer
Jeanne Rosenberg Screenwriter
Steven Rosenblum Editor
Paul Sylbert Production Designer
Ian Thomas Production Designer
Albert Wolsky Costumes/Costume Designer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    anonymous

    I first saw this with my kids when it came out--we all loved it. When it came to VHS, I bought it, now I have it on dvd--unless one of my now grown kids "borrowed" it again. If they have, I will rebuy because of the story, time period, characters who are real for that time, and because I have to have it in my dvd library. This is one of the first movies by John Cusack and I own most of his PG-13 movies--some I watch on tv after editing for family viewing. There are many places in this movie that make you want to cry, and you do cry and laugh. These two young children are alone in the depression era and have very strong characters showing a tough I-don't-care attitude, but when they separate to go different ways, you know they'll find each other again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is a childhood favorite!

    I love this movie!!! If you liked White Fang, you'll love this one. As a matter of fact it's the same dog! This is a great family movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Movie. Crummy DVD.

    I saw it in theatres when I was a kid, I bought the VHS when 1st available; I was overjoyed to the point of near misty-eyed-ness when I recieved the DVD from my wife. TjoNG is one of the reasons I fell in love with wolves & learned to overcome my American cultural ignorance of them. The movie is the reason I listened more closely to my grandparents tales of the depression; why I stopped thinking depression meant an emotional state & recognized it as an economic problem. You & your kids can *LEARN* something from this movie, you can enjoy watching it, again & again; there's a marvelous emotional hurrah! throughout the entire story, Disney at it's finest without the clubbed-over-the-head forced-spoon-fed social & morality message & commentary. The scenery is breathtaking, you kinda think I wish I could go back to then & live in that incredible world. The music is perfect, nudging & reinforcing without interrupting or annoying. This is also one of Scatman Caruthers' last roles, doing what he does best; adding a touch of autheniticty that makes our suspension of disbelief effortless. The DVD is a horiffic slap in the face to the theatrical release, the cast, crew & it's *SO* bad it makes the movie look shoddy. I won't reiterate what the other people so ably & eloquently illustrated of the flaws, I'll just say BUY THE VHS! if you can't, well, this DVD is better than nothing. Barely. The only reason there're 3 stars is because I was in the theatre on a magical night near to 2 decades ago & I *KNOW* what should have been on this disc. Let's not even mention the despair of finding no extra features.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2002

    Meredith Salenger

    think Tatum O'Neil in Paper Moon or Natalie Wood in Inside Daisy Glover. This girl is a wonderful actress and absolutely adorable. Lovely Film!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews