I had a dog growing up. He was exactly like Old Yeller, except he was way smaller and instead of fighting off wild animals he played with grasshoppers and peed on our garden vegetables. (I stopped eating the rhubarb.)
So this movie wasn’t quite as riveting as I remembered from childhood. But there are some intense scenes where Old Yeller fights raccoons, wolves, bears, and wild hogs. Heck, if Simba was King of the Pride Lands, then Old Yeller was Supreme Grand Chancellor of the Midwest.
Or, in case that analogy didn’t do it for you: If fearless strength was A.C. Slater, then Old Yeller would be a curly mullet and sweet dance moves.
I forgot that literally half of the Swiss Family Robinson was in this film. And speaking of the cast, I learned that they were reassembled by Disney six years later to make a sequel about Old Yeller’s son called Savage Sam…Yeah, I don’t want to see it, either.
OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: Old Yeller was dead the whole time! …Wait, never mind, that was Bruce Willis. (Still, for a rabid dog, it was a good day to die hard.)
I like what the father says to Travis at the end of the movie:
“Now and then for no good reason a man can figure out, life will just haul off and knock him flat… But it’s not all like that. A lot of it’s mighty fine, and you can’t afford to waste the good part fretting about the bad. That makes it all bad…. I know, saying it’s one thing and feeling it’s another. But I’ll tell you a trick that’s sometimes a big help: When you start looking around for something good to take the place of the bad, as a general rule you can find it.”
There are awful things going on in the world right now. But there are a lot of great things, too. In the words of Thomas S. Monson:
“This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways. We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude.”
Happy people recognize their blessings, especially during the most difficult times in life. In fact, the most important time to be grateful is when we feel the most abandoned.
“And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?” – Alma 26:2