Director: Daniel Petrie
Like all good Gen-X'ers, I grew up in the aftershocks of the baby boomers, and Lassie - the very clever collie - was certainly a character and concept we knew of, if not through direct experience, then by osmosis. I guess there was a book, originally (1940). Our canine hero starred in wildly popular movies beginning in the 1940's (it's where Roddy McDowall got his start as a lad) and television - running for a cool 20 years, from 1954-1974. Plus several more movies and TV shows over the years people who are not huge Lassie fans probably are unaware of.
I know! That's a lot of Lassies.
The artificial monoculture created via mass media and limited outlets did, at least, give us a chance to have some familiar talking points, and you never knew where they'd coalesce. Personally, I didn't watch Lassie in reruns. Or the movies.* For most of us, Lassie was one or two jokes about kids falling down wells and dogs alerting us to calamity. Maybe we whistled the theme song at our dogs.
This 1994 film is more or less an original story, but if you know anything at all about Lassie from the TV show, etc... this movie carries on quite a bit of the world's bravest, smartest, wisest dog *and* best friend to a boy who needs one. This dog seems like it's ready to pick locks and drive cars. Three cheers for Lassie.