A soulful, mostly successful children's movie based on the best-selling novel of the same name. Ten-year-old Opal (AnnaSophia Robb), the daughter of a preacher (Jeff Daniels), leads a lonely life in a sleepy Florida town. Her mother has long since departed, and her father has barred the doors against discussion of that. The kids in town don't show any interest, except to tease, so Opal's left to her own devices -- until Winn-Dixie comes galumphing in. Winn-Dixie is a dog, a large and shaggy mutt-looking thing (actually a rare Picardy shepherd, flown to the set from France), whom Opal saves from the pound. In short order, the smiling dog conquers the heart of Opal's father and of many of the town's eccentrics, winning Opal friends. Just as Winn-Dixie the canine draws out the people he meets, Winn-Dixie the film evokes several remarkable performances, including a moving and humble turn by Jeff Daniels. In the end, despite a tendency toward the overcooked and a climactic misstep, it succeeds.
Director: Wayne Wang
Writer: Joan V. Singleton
Producer: Trevor Albert and Joan V. Singleton
Cast: Jeff Daniels, Cicely Tyson, Dave Matthews, Eva Marie Saint, AnnaSophia Robb and Elle Fanning