The popular memoir by Pulitzer prize-winning author Willie Morris became this family comedy-drama about a boy and his dog. Young Willie Morris (Frankie Muniz) is a shy eight-year-old in 1942 Yazoo, MS, who is more comfortable reading than playing sports. A target for local bullies, Willie's only real pal is his older next-door neighbor Dink Jenkins (Luke Wilson), once the town's living sports legend and a big brother figure to Willie, an only child. When Dink is shipped overseas for service in World War II, Willie's mother Ellen (Diane Lane) finally forces his gruff father Jack (Kevin Bacon) to allow into the family a pet dog, a Jack Russell terrier named Skip. The smart and playful Skip gets his owner into a series of adventures on the baseball field and with a band of moonshiners, quickly turning Willie into a popular, accepted kid who even wins the affections of the school's prettiest girl, Rivers Applewhite (Caitlin Wachs). In the meantime, Dink returns from war branded a coward for an incident that occurred in combat but finds an unexpected ally in the normally taciturn Jack, a fellow veteran. Harry Connick Jr. narrated as the adult Willie; the role of Skip was played in later scenes by Moose, the pooch star of television's Frasier.
by Karl Williams synopsis