Reviewed by: Rosemarie Ute Hoffman
|Featuring||Jake T. Austin, Brian Dennehy, Whoopi Goldberg, William H. Macy, Raven Symone, Rob Reiner, Dave Reeve, Mandy Patinkin, Robert Wagner|
|Director||Colin Brady, Christopher Reeve, Dan St. Pierre|
|Producer||Morris Berger, Janet Healy, Igor Khait, Dana Reeve, Ron Tippe|
|Distributor||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation|
“What if you had one chance to be a hero? Would you take it? Or play it safe?”
“Everyone’s Hero” is a ring up—an out made when three strikes are charged against the batter! Although the animation is mediocre, the movie’s first strike is the error of inserting more than one song. Are they pitching this flick to be a musical? Second strike, it is missing the thrill baseball brings to America’s favorite pastime. The last strike is Mr. Cross (voice unknown, my guess: Robin Williams), the Chicago Cubs manager who is all fired up and full of rage. His modus operandi is to upset Babe Ruth’s winning streak by scheming to steal his lucky bat Darlin’.
Every kid can relate to the young hero Yankee Irving (voice of Jake T. Austin)—a boy filled with dreams of playing in the majors. Yet, he is stuck in reality trying to get a hit! His adventure to recover and return Darlin’ to Babe Ruth is fueled with the hope of restoring his father’s honor. An adventure filled to the brim with train hopping and meeting up with unfamiliar characters—a confident young girl, Marti (voice of Raven), a few bums, and finally meeting the “Sultan of Swats,” Babe Ruth (voice of Brian Dennehy) in a Chicago hotel. Along the way, Yankee learns the fundamental rules of baseball and thus is ready for his big debut in the 1932 World Series.
Yankee’s story unfolds in a sandlot among New York City apartment buildings during the Great Depression. There the neighborhood kids incessantly ridicule him, “Looser! You stink!” His self-esteem is next to none after being picked last for the team and striking out, and then feeling the brunt of his father being fired from his janitorial position at Yankee Stadium because of Babe Ruth’s stolen bat. In a fit of despair, Yankee tares down his posters and pennants. It is then that Yankee’s future begins to turn around. He discovers that the lost baseball he found at the sandlot is magical—only he can hear it talking. Together they decide to recover Babe Ruth’s stolen bat.
Yankee and Screwie (voice of Rob Reiner), the talking lost foul ball, do manage to retrieve the stolen bat from Lefty Maginnis (voice of William H. Macy), the pitcher of the Chicago Cubs. Darlin’, Babe Ruth’s bat (voice of Whoopi Goldberg) is magical as well and is at constant odds with Screwie. Their insults are continuous with tactless talk, such as, “Burn the bat! Rotten 2x4! Leather face! Break out my whoopin’ stick! Swollen in the head! Need stitches?” However, in the end, the two do find a commonality—their love of playing the game!
Yankee’s loving parents (voices of Mandy Patinkin and Dana Reeve) instill in him that he should never give up and always keep on swinging! Just as Christopher and Dana Reeve continue to be everyone’s hero—encouraging many who are facing adversity to go forward.
The film’s originating director and executive producer, Christopher Reeve, inspired the theme of persevering against all odds. His life and legacy are a tribute to many who are up at bat, when it is the bottom of the ninth with two outs, with the hope of getting a hit—a miracle!
“What I do is based on powers we all have inside us; the ability to endure; the ability to love, to carry on, to make the best of what we have—and you don’t have to be a ‘Superman’ to do it.”—Christopher Reeve
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9). While we wait for our miracle in this lifetime, we should be willing to contribute and benefit humanity with our talents and gifts no matter our circumstances, which is agreeable to God and pleasing in His sight. Giving of ourselves from the purest place of Christ’s strength is a miracle that many overlook. It is a great gift to share with others—the hope of life while they persevere here on Earth, reaping a harvest for all eternity—salvation—for in their season, in God’s timing, their fruits will be seen and enjoyed!
Violence: Mild / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None