Whenever a new animated or computer-generated movie comes out, my grandson is the first one on the phone to make sure that Nana and Papa intend to take him. It’s one of the little rituals that we absolutely love. However, we missed this when it came out on the big screen. As soon as my grandson saw that it was going to DVD, I got the call with a tiny little voice pleading “Nana, can we get it, PLEASE! Of course, I picked it up its first day out, and we made a date to watch it the same evening.
“Everyone’s Hero” is a really cute movie. It’s not a “Shrek” cute, but it is a fun film to watch. The movie centers around a little 10-year-old boy named Yankee Irving (voiced by Jake T. Austin). He seems destined to be a New York Yankee fan with his name and the fact that his father works for the Yankees.
Yankee’s hero is, of course, the bigger than life Babe Ruth (voiced by Brian Dennehy). He dreams of being a home run hero just like the Babe. However, there is a small problem. He can’t actually hit the ball; or throw the ball, or even catch the ball. Consequently, he has a terrible time getting chosen to play baseball even with the neighborhood kids.
After a particularly frustrating day trying to prove his worth as a ballplayer, Yankee finds an old baseball on the sandlot, hidden under an old car. He, of course, picks it up and takes it home but he can’t believe his ears or his eyes when the ball – – named Screwy (voiced by Rob Reiner) – – starts talking to him.
Screwy, too, has a sad baseball story. It seems that although he made it to the major leagues and was chosen to be pitched, he immediately fouled out and landed under the old car where Yankee found him; destined to just rot away.
Even though the two new friends think they are as done with baseball as it is with them, they find out quickly that isn’t the case. When Yankee discovers that Babe’s Ruth bat, Darlin’ (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg) is missing, he figures out who took it. Since his dad gets fired because the bat was stolen during his shift at the stadium, Yankee decides it is up to him to find and bring Darlin’ back to Babe.
As I said, this is a cute movie. It will definitely appeal to baseball fans and a cross-section of other sports enthusiasts as well. In that respect, it should equally interest kids and adults. But it is also a simple, heartwarming movie that parents and grandparents will like watching with the little ones.
The real moral of the story, however, is the importance of not giving up on your dreams. If at first, you don’t succeed, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start again; something that is important to teach children and to serve as a reminder to adults.
There is also a bit of a history lesson here with the introduction of a famous Negro League team – – the Tigers – – into the story. It is this fabulous group of highly talented players who actually manage to teach Yankee how to play ball. Arguably, this may actually be the best part of the whole film.
While the story is predictable, the characters are easy to relate to and fun to watch. The overall look and feel of the film are absolutely wonderful. Robert Kurtz and Jeff Hand have woven something that is utterly delightful to watch.
Christopher Reeve directed the film and his wife, Dana Reeve, voiced the character of Emily Irving, Yankee’s mother. This is the project that Reeve was working on at the time of his death. It was delayed for obvious reasons. Upon Reeve’s death, a tribute was added to the film bowing to his legendary status as the man of steel. It’s toward the end of the film so watch closely and don’t miss it.
This is a pretty good ensemble cast with everyone pulling their weight pretty much equally; although honestly, I think Reiner and Goldberg come close to stealing the movie. William H. Macy’s villain, Lefty McGinnis, the Chicago Cubs pitcher who actually stole Babe’s bat, treads dangerously close to being too much but stops short of crossing over the line. His counterpart in the theft, Mr. Robinson, however, as voiced by Robert Wagner is an absolute hoot!
Brian Dennehy as the Babe doesn’t have a lot to do but makes the most of the role. Raven-Symone is adorably cute and on the mark as a little girl – – Marti Brewster – – who befriends Yankee. Forest Whitaker plays her famous baseball father, Lonnie Brewster.
There are a couple of touching songs in this movie as well that help to put lovely finishing touches on the film. This is definitely a film worth watching and if you have kids, even worth adding to your movie library. I give it three and one-half out of five stars.
“Everyone’s Hero” is 90 minutes in length and carries a G rating that you enjoy on 123movies.