White Fang

(1991)
White Fang

Starring Klaus Maria Brandauer, Ethan Hawke. (PG)

 

Jack London’s classic adventure story about the friendship that develops between a man and a wolf gets the Disney treatment. Filmed against stunning Alaskan scenery, it’s the story of teenage Jack (Hawke), who has come to the Yukon of 1898 to prospect his father’s claim during the Gold Rush. Teaming up with two prospectors, he heads into the wilds and it’s there he first meets the orphaned wolf (with some dog’s blood in him) known as White Fang.

While not a great representation of the novel – Jack wasn’t a teenager in the book, and the book was more about White Fang than it was about Jack – this is nonetheless an enjoyable wilderness adventure focusing on an interesting slice of American history. Hawke is fine as Jack, but the most acting praise should be given to Jed (who also appeared in The Journey of Natty Gann), the dog playing the role of White Fang, as he steals the movie away from all his human co-stars. Fans of Jean-Jacques Annaud’s The Bear and the adventure Legends of the Fall should note that their star, Bart the bear, has a brief role here. 

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SCARY MOMENTS:

There are various scenes of men being attacked by wolves.

Children may be frightened by a scene in which Jack falls into a freezing lake, followed by a corpse that has come out of its coffin. Jack has to get past the corpse to escape from the water.

Some of the dog/wolf fights are quite frightening.

 

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