Based on a Book?:
This is a story told through the eyes of the dog and the comical voice of Josh Gad.
At the beginning, a puppy is born. As the puppy grows, it questions the meaning of life. The visuals are crisp, bright, and clean. The puppy is darling.
But then, something terrible happens. I won't reveal what it is, for the sake of preserving the movie's story. The puppy dies.
Then, joyously, the puppy comes back as a red retriever. The puppy lives in a pound. The puppy escapes and finds a home with a boy named Ethan, who names the puppy Bailey.
As Bailey grows, he develops a strong, loving relationship with Ethan. He also develops funny quotes, such as "Why did I eat so many meat logs?"
The setting of Bailey's story is gorgeous, especially in the scenes taking place in the countryside.
But then, Ethan meets a girl named Hannah. Bailey likes Hannah.
In one of the scenes, Ethan's dad has an argument with Ethan's mom. The argument turns into a fight.
One day, Todd, the antagonist, lights Ethan's house on fire. Ethan breaks his leg. I was hoping Bailey would bite Todd severely like he did in the book, but it never happened.
Afterwards, Ethan goes off to an agricultural college. Bailey hops through fields to follow Ethan. Bailey hopping through these gorgeous fields was my favorite scene. Also very good acting from the dog and excellent lighting.
When Ethan is off at college, Bailey is feeling tired. One day, he looks so still he is dead. Ethan's mom takes him to the vet. Bailey dies.
Then, he comes back as a female German Shepard named Ellie. She is very cute. She is trained to be a police dog.
She and her owner search for a kidnapped twelve year old girl. They go under a bridge and find the girl close to drowning. Ellie saves her.
Then, she is shot and killed.
She comes back as a corgi of unknown gender. The owner of the corgi is a woman named Maya. They went to the park a lot. The corgi is adorable and Maya is a pure person.
Maya meets a man she has college with. They go on a date and he proposes to her. They marry and have kids.
The corgi dies of old age.
Finally, the dog comes back as a puppy in the hands of a woman. She cannot take care of him (he was a gift from her boyfriend), so she gives him to somebody else.
The new owners name the puppy Waffles. They tie him to a fence. He lives in a hideous yard with lots of junk and never plays. Waffles becomes a dog.
A man puts Waffles in a truck. He drives near the woods and drops Waffles off there. Waffles believes the man will come back, but he does not.
So, Waffles wanders around town. He meets a dog named Carly and a girl he believes was Hannah, Ethan's girlfriend.
We find out that she is not Hannah, but related to her. Hannah is older than she is.
Waffles finds Ethan's house. The house is cheap and ugly, but the nature surrounding it is beautiful.
Ethan answers the door and feeds Waffles. He takes Waffles to a shelter.
But eventually, he returns to adopt Waffles. He gives him a collar and names him Buddy. He marries Hannah and Buddy discovers the meaning of life.
This movie is different from the book. For example, in the book, the first puppy does not die immediately. The puppy names its siblings Fast, Hungry (runt who dies), and Sister. Also, Ellie is not shot, she drowns while rescuing a first-grade boy from sewage water because he hid under a manhole while playing Hide and Seek. The corgi did not exist in the book. Its story was borrowed from some of Ellie's story in the book. Waffles was named Bear in the book and was visited by an old lady who feels sorry for the poor dog.
This movie is a beautiful story of the bond between dog and owner. But it also delves into life's meaning.
I had to take a star away because there was animal abuse behind the scenes. When Ellie was about to go into the water to rescue the girl, the dog who played Ellie did not want to. Ellie was forced to go into the water and almost drowned.