Children Will Be Inspired by Christopher Reeves' "Hero"
- Lisa Rice Contributing Writer
- 2006 14 Sep
DVD Release Date: March 20, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: September 15, 2006
Run Time: 90 min.
Director: Colin Brady and Christopher Reeve
Voice Talents of: Jake T. Austin, Brian Dennehy, Whoopi Goldberg, William H. Macy, Dana Reeve, Rob Reiner, Raven, Joe Torre, Mandy Patinkin, and Robert Wagner.
Have you ever dreamed of getting out of your little box and embarking on a wild adventure full of danger, strangers, and bad guys in pursuit – all to right some wrongs for your hero and vindicate your name?
If you’re a guy, surely you’ve had a fantasy about standing behind home plate in the World Series and hitting a fastball from a famous pitcher?
“Everyone’s Hero” is a delightful animated drama that will strike a chord with such dreamers and entertain the whole family. With a star-studded cast, breathtaking animation (Wow, we’ve come a long way from "Tom and Jerry"!), and an entertaining portrayal of several sweet, inspiring life lessons, this is a movie that should draw fans from two to ninety-two this season.
Set during the volatile Babe Ruth/Great Depression era, “Everyone’s Hero” unfolds the grand adventure of ten-year-old Yankee Irving (Jake T. Austin), a little guy with a big passion for baseball. In addition to the usual collection of baseball cards and posters, he carries around – and even sleeps with – 24/7 his favorite baseball, Screwy (Rob Reiner). Screwy can talk, of course, and has loud opinions about life and a goal to be taken back to the sandlot where he fouled out, so he can “rot in peace.”
To make life even sweeter, Yankee’s dad, Stanley (Mandy Patinkin), a janitor at Yankee stadium, lets him into the locker room one night to view the names of the famous players on the lockers, especially Babe Ruth’s (Brian Dennehy), as well as the equipment they use. Yankee is particularly awed by Babe Ruth’s bat named “Darlin’” (Whoopi Goldberg) and is tempted to touch it, when suddenly he’s kicked out by a mean-but-possibly-familiar-looking security guard.
That night, the police and Yankee officials tell Stanley that the famous bat is missing, and that he is fired. Devastated, Yankee resolves to find the real thief, and he’s pretty sure he knows who that is – Lefty Maginnis (William H. Macy), pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. He convinces Screwy to go with him, and off they set for a harrowing adventure to get the bat and return it to Babe Ruth.
The packed out screening of “Everyone’s Hero” I attended was filled with children, alternately howling with laughter or gasping with horror at every turn. The movie does have its obligatory elements of bodily humor and slapstick violence, but it’s also got some white-knuckle action, as when Yankee is running between two trains and Lefty is running on top of the train, ducking one sign and bridge after another. The pacing, action, and humor are perfect for even pre-schoolers. The characters are well-developed, and many are hilarious, such as the over-the-top mean and crazy Chicago Cubs manager, who is the brains behind the heist.
My son’s favorite part was when Screwy falls down the steps, yelling, “My butt! My head! My Butt! My head!” Yes, that pretty much gives you the movie’s tone.
Apparently this movie was the dream of the late Christopher and Dana Reeves. Christopher co-directed the movie, and Dana was a voice talent for Emily Irving, Yankee’s mom. As the movie progresses, it is clear that the Reeves wanted to inspire children to value the little, almost insignificant life experiences along the road so that, if handled properly, they can all help when life calls us up to bat.
For example, Yankee almost nonchalantly lets a new friend teach him how to dodge apples and keep his eye on where a pitch originates and not where it’s going, and he casually allows a traveling team of ball players from Cincinnati to teach him to hit crazy curve balls – no matter what bumps in the road may come. Little does he know just how hugely the little lessons and warnings of life might add up to make – or break – a guy’s big dream.
As believers, we can take away some great truths from “Everyone’s Hero,” one of the best being that God uses the weak and foolish things – and people – to confound the wise and do great exploits. The movie extols the family by showing committed, pursuing parents, and it is a beautiful lesson on perseverance. Just as “Finding Nemo” taught us to “just keep swimming,” “Everyone’s Hero” shouts, “Just keep swinging!” My, we're going to be exhausted!
AUDIENCE: Children and adults
- Drugs/Alcohol: None
- Language/Profanity: None
- Sex/Nudity: None
- Violence: Plenty of slapstick violence. For instance, the Cubs Manager beats and maims the bobble-head toy image of Babe Ruth. The bad guy gets pummeled in all sorts of ways, but is able to rise back up again and continue his evil pursuit.