Fly Away HomeSeptember 13, 1996
A father and daughter decide to attempt to lead a flock of orphaned Canada Geese south by air.
Release Year: 1996
Rating: 6.8/10 (10,313 voted)
Stars: Jeff Daniels, Anna Paquin, Dana Delany
Amy is only 13 years old when her mother is killed in an auto wreck in New Zealand. She goes to Canada to live with her father, an eccentric inventor whom she barely knows. Amy is miserable in her new life…that is until she discovers a nest of goose eggs that were abandoned when developers began tearing up a local forest. The eggs hatch and Amy becomes "Mama Goose". The young birds must fly south for the winter, but who will lead them there? With a pair of ultralight airplanes, Amy, her dad and their friends must find a way to do it…
Writers: Bill Lishman, Robert Rodat
Thomas "Tom" Alden
Michael J. Reynolds
A family of orphaned geese who lost their way. A 14 year old kid who will lead them home. To achieve the incredible, you have to attempt the impossible.
Release Date: 13 September 1996
Filming Locations: Auckland, New Zealand
Opening Weekend: $4,708,044
(15 September 1996)
(12 January 1997)
Did You Know?
According to the credits, the military aircraft were from New York. The F-16s belonged to the 174th Fighter Wing of the New York Air National Guard, and the C-130Hs belonged to the 914th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve. They were not, however, located on the same base. The F-16s come from Syracuse, NY, and the transports were located at the time at Niagara Falls, NY.
Incorrectly regarded as goofs:
Though based on events which happened in 1988, the film is not set then, so perceived anachronisms are irrelevant.
Amy? It's your dad.
I came down from Canada. I've come to take you home.
Mum died, didn't she?
I got sucked into a movie on the satellite dish the other day, 'Fly
Away Home.' It's a story about a young motherless girl (Amy) who
rescues some wild goose eggs and basically becomes their mother. The
story evolves as the goslings grow into young adult birds ready to fly
south. Since they never had parents the geese haven't learned to fly.
The girl's dad thinks he can get them to fly by following him in his
ultra-light. But they will only follow Amy. So dad teaches her to fly.
Soon the geese are flying. Next, dad and Amy hatch a plot to fly south
and have the geese follow them. We know this actually happened when 2
scientists did something similar.
One of the reasons I was sucked into this wonderful family movie was
the photography. It is National Geographic quality. In fact I was so
impressed with the cinematography that I had to look up who did it:
Caleb Deschanel. The setting, a farm in Southern Ontario, allowed him
to become intimate with the geese and the natural setting. Another
reason I couldn't stop watching the movie was the stunning performance
by Anna Paquin, the 16-year old girl who played Amy. I remembered her
from the movie, 'Piano.' She played Flora, the daughter of Holly
Hunter. I'm sure they picked Paquin to do that part because of her
speaking ability. Holly Hunter played the part of Ada, a woman who
couldn't talk. She communicated with sign language through her
daughter. Paquin was so good in her part that she won the Oscar, quite
a feat for an 11-year old.
The story, 'Fly Away Home' is touching because she's not the kind of
Hollywood-trained child actor you find in most movies. A surprising
thing happened as I watched Amy and her geese. I could sense a
startling serenity from her as the bond had developed between them. I
wondered how she could manage that. She was only a 16-year old actress
then but she conveyed a mothering instinct that goes back to the
ageless beginnings of life on this planet. When the goslings were
following her around, much of the photography was from ground level.
Later when they were all flying, the photography was right there in the
flying formation. You were seeing the birds, in flight, right next to
you. The beauty of motion was unbelievable. I thought, 'How could
anyone shoot these creatures?' There is beauty in seeing them fly.
There is beauty in seeing them in their habitat. But the overwhelming
beauty is in their living. They deserved that life. It made me think of
this sad planet and the billions of creatures that have died because of
the human race. Here was a story that went against the slaughter. When
Amy and her birds arrived at their destination in Chesapeake Bay I had
So I'm a soft touch.