Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is a family movie about three very well-loved family pets that get separated from their loved ones. The movie captures their long and difficult journey home. When a family has to go away to the city for awhile, they feel it is the wrong place for their beloved family pets. They decide that while they are staying in the city, they will leave their two dogs and cat on a ranch with a family friend. Here, the family hopes the pets will be able to roam and play and not be limited by city life.
Confused about the situation, the animals come to the conclusion that they have been left behind unintentionally and feel something is wrong. The three decide it is in their best interest to try to make their way back home, thinking that it isn't far. Little do they know, it is a lot further than they originally thought.
On their journey, they run into many problems. These problems range from downright silly to bordering on devastation. Some of the less dangerous problems elicit much humor, particularly by the cat who is called Sassy and thinks much higher of herself than of her canine companions. The younger, less experienced dog (Chance) also provides the audience with many humorous moments. The leader of the group, an older dog called Shadow, instead provides wisdom and knowledge. Unfortunately for the trio, there are other problems that are much more dangerous, and add plenty of suspense and sadness to the mix.
Throughout their journey, the animals bond with each other on an emotionally intimate level. They learn to rely on each other, and through the use of teamwork and a learned respect for each other they overcome many harrowing and life threatening obstacles.