Young Willie Morris (Frankie Muniz) has trouble making friends in school and when his idol, Dink Jenkins (Luke Wilson), is shipped over to Europe to fight the Germans in World War II, his life couldn't get any worse. Sensing his need of a good friend, his mother (Diane Lane) gets him a puppy for his ninth birthday and his life undergoes a transformation. The talented pup helps turn bullies into friends and helps Willie earn the affection of the most beautiful girl in school (Caitlyn Wachs).
Good family films are hard to find, but this is one of the best non-animated one I've seen in years. Granted, I'm a sucker for dog movies, but this has a lot of heart and the relationship between Willie and Skip is genuine and fun. It gets a little corny on occasion, especially when Willie tangles with some moonshiners, but the message of friendship and trust between a boy and his dog overcomes any of its shortcomings.