I’m going to be doing a series of posts about films I loved when I was young that are unavailable on home video.
The Journey of Natty Gann
Disney - 1985
Directed by Jeremy Kagan
Written by Jeanne Rosenberg (who also wrote The Black Stallion and White Fang)
Starring Meredith Salenger, John Cusack, Ray Wise, Scatman Crothers, and last, but certainly not least, Jed the wolf-dog.
Natty Gann is my favorite live-action Disney family film. It’s a rousing, moving adventure/coming of age film, set during the Great Depression. It features a brave, plucky young Natty Gann (Salenger) who is separated from her father (Wise) in Chicago and forced to ride the rails across the poverty-stricken nation to try and find him. She is befriended along the way by a wolf, falls in with a gang of young thieves, has a tender romance with a fellow vagabond (Cusack), and is nearly killed in a train derailment. Performances, pace, tone, James Horner’s score, etc, are excellent across the board. The end still makes me feel things.
Kagan and DP Dick Bush, who shot Friedkin’s “Sorcerer” and Ken Russell’s “Tommy,” framed the film in 2.35 : 1. The cinematography is majestic. Currently the film is only available to view is an embarrassingly unwatchable full frame transfer on DVD. It actually looks like the image on the DVD was sourced from an earlier VHS image. This same transfer is what’s available to buy on iTunes/Apple TV.
I have reached out to Disney and will continue to do so to see that this wonderful film is made available on Blu-ray in its proper aspect ratio.
Anyone else out there a fan of Natty Gann?