Director Carroll Ballard has been responsible for some of the best general-audience films of all time, specifically The Black Stallion and Never Cry Wolf, but he never made a film as gorgeous as 1996’s Fly Away Home, which transforms a little girl’s grief into a moving affirmation of family and nature. The tears flow instantly in the opening credits, when a car accident robs Amy (Anna Paquin) of her mother and she moves from New Zealand to rural Ontario to live with her estranged father (Jeff Daniels), an eccentric inventor and artist. Father and daughter have trouble re-connecting, but they bond over the care of abandoned baby geese, which accept Amy as their surrogate mother. Without a parent to teach them how to migrate for the winter, Amy and her dad work on a homemade flying machine that will lead them to a bird sanctuary in North Carolina. Ballard makes a simple, deeply affecting emotional associations between Amy, her father, the geese, and the absent mothers and cinematographer Caleb Deschanel bathes the action in an appropriately magisterial beauty. It airs today at 2:30 p.m. on HDNet Movies.