Homeward Bound II sticks close to formula that worked so well in the original film.
Michael J. Fox and Sally Field are on board again to provide voices for, respectively, Chance, an exuberant bulldog, and Sassy, a finicky cat. Ralph Waite fills in for the late Don Ameche as the voice of Shadow, the retriever who comes off as equal parts elder statesman and sage mentor. Fox and Field get all the funny lines, and they make the most of them. But Waite provides just the right note of grizzled, avuncular wisdom.
Screenwriters do a reasonably persuasive job of contriving another forced separation between the animals and their human owners. This time, the claustrophobic Chance breaks free of a carrying case just before he’s loaded onto the airliner carrying the family to a Canadian holiday. Sassy and Shadow follow him off the runway and onto the highway, for another incredible journey home.
Animal coordinator Gary Gero does an impressive job of running his four-legged thespians through their anthropomorphic paces. And the matching of animals with human voices is inspired.