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The Journey of Natty Gann Rating:

Set in Chicago during the Great Depression, this inspirational story is about a young girl's (Meredith Salenger) search for her father after he is forced to suddenly travel west to take a job. Along the way, she befriends a wild wolf and a young drifter (John Cusack). The Journey of Natty Gann is an engrossing family adventure story filled with historic realism and starring a heroine who uses her courage, perseverance, and ingenuity to overcome countless obstacles on her epic journey.

"Natty is, as written, an old-fashioned tomboy heroine whose feistiness is rivaled only by her spunk, and she ought to have a lot of appeal, especially for little girls." - NY Times Review

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A sleeper when released in 1985, The Journey of Natty Gann has since become an enduring family classic. While following a familiar Disney formula (the perilous adventures of a girl and her pet wolf), director Jeremy Paul Kagan adds something fresh at every turn, aided by a first-rate cast and beautifully scenic locations. Then-promising newcomer Meredith Salenger is perfect in the title role--a scrappy kid in Depression-era Chicago who travels cross-country to the Pacific Northwest, hoping to find her father (Ray Wise), who had been forced to leave her with an awful landlady while he took a logging job in Washington.

Natty befriends the wolf and a fellow drifter (John Cusack, in an early role), and her journey is a memorable one, intense and realistic but still appropriate for kids. Although Salenger's subsequent film career has been modest (she later graduated cum laude from Harvard), Natty Gann remains a worthy claim to fame. -- Jeff Shannon

Product Details

Media Type Movie
Recommended Age 9 and up
Actors Meredith Salenger, John Cusack, Ray Wise, Lainie Kazan, Scatman Crothers
Director Jeremy Kagan
Running Time 101 minutes
Studio Walt Disney Video
Release Date May 21, 2002
Language English