"A Heartfelt Celebration of Family, Faith and Forgiveness"


What You Need To Know:

DREAMIN’ WILD is based on the inspiring true story of Donnie and Joe Emerson. While working on their father’s farm in Washington state, the two teenage brothers write, produce and release their debut album, “Dreamin’ Wild,” in 1979. Despite faithful support from their father and family, the album fails. Thirty-two years later, Donnie continues to pursue a life of music but struggles to make ends meet. While playing small gigs and barely keeping his recording studio’s lights on, he receives a call from Joe. A man tells them he believes their album is the next big hit. Donnie has a chance to fulfill his dreams, but will his obsession with music blind him to what’s most important?

DREAMIN’ WILD is a heartfelt, superbly acted, well-directed drama. It has a strong Christian, moral worldview. It tells a powerful true story about family, faith and forgiveness. The movie has several Christian references and symbols, including a moment of prayer. DREAMIN’ WILD also tells an uplifting story about music, pursuing a dream and brotherly love. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children for brief foul language and some drunkenness.


(CC, BB, L, V, N, AA, M)

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Christian, moral worldview champions family and faith, brotherhood and sacrifice is a major theme, other biblical themes include forgiveness, man realizes the most important thing in his life is his family, not his personal dream, the movie’s Christian references include a cross and a scene of prayer, and, although the family tension is intense, love, support and grace dominate the heart of the story

Foul Language:
Three uses of the “s” word

A brief depiction of a break-in, some yelling and a man references death

No objectionable sex scenes or sexual immorality, but a young unmarried couple kisses in several scenes

Upper male nudity when a man lies shirtless in bed

Alcohol Use:
Several scenes in a bar, and some friends drink beer and two of them appear to be drunk

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drug use, but there’s a brief reference to heroin as a man makes a motion to his arm in one scene; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
A brief depiction of a break-in.

More Detail:

DREAMIN’ WILD tells the inspiring true story of musicians Donnie and Joe Emerson, two brothers from rural Washington who get a chance to re-release their largely unknown 1979 debut track, “Dreamin’ Wild” in 2011. DREAMIN’ WILD is superbly acted and heartfelt, with powerful references to the father’s strong faith in God, family and his two boys. There are three “s” obscenities and scenes of drunkenness, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children and younger teenagers.

The movie opens as 15-year-old Donnie plays guitar and sings in a barn-like studio on his father built on his farm. Along with his older brother Joe, the two spend their hours not helping with their father’s farm making music.

With their father’s full support and faith, Donnie and Joe set out to produce their first album. At the age of fifteen, Donnie plays multiple instruments, produces and writes all the songs on the debut album, titled “Dreamin’ Wild.” With his brother on drums, the duo release the album in 1979 but to poor reception.

Fast forward to 2011. Donnie continues to pursue his dream of making it big in the music industry. However, Donnie and his wife can only manage to book small gigs around town and can barely keep the lights on in their recording studio.

One day, Donnie gets a call from his brother Joe, who still lives near their parents in rural Washington. Joe says there’s man who wants to talk to Donnie and Joe about their album, “Dreamin’ Wild.” The man claims they are sitting on the next big hit in the world of music. The man tries to convince the Emerson brothers to let him remaster the album and re-release it.

Donnie, who feels guilty about how much his father has sacrificed for his dream, is reluctant about going through the same letdowns that plagued his childhood. However, with some convincing from the rest of the family, Donnie and Joe agree to have their album remastered.

DREAMIN’ WILD has a strong Christian, moral worldview stressing family bonds. Donnie’s father supports his boys unconditionally, even if it means sacrificing his own wellbeing. Donnie and Joe share a unique relationship, but tensions rise when Donnie projects his feelings of failure onto his brother. However, ultimately, the bond of brotherhood is championed in a scene of uplifting love and forgiveness.

DREAMIN’ WILD is well shot, and the acting is tremendous. The pace is slow in the movie’s first half, but it picks towards the middle to reveal a heartfelt and inspiring story. The father’s faith in God, family and his two boys is especially powerful. Even when he has to sell almost all of his farmland to help Donnie pursue his dream, he does so joyfully.

DREAMIN’ WILD portrays an incredible true story that champions family, faith and forgiveness. It has almost no objectionable content aside from some brief foul language and a few drinking scenes with drunkenness. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children and younger teenagers.