Everyone's Hero (2006)

Genres - Children's/Family  |   Sub-Genres - Family-Oriented Adventure  |   Release Date - Sep 15, 2006 (USA)  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - G
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It would be easy to dismiss Everyone's Hero as a corny children's tale about talking baseball equipment -- that is, if it weren't the project Christopher Reeve was working on when he died. He didn't get very far into it, but since Reeve is one of three credited directors, Everyone's Hero has been transformed into a kind of final signature from the beloved actor-director. Truth be told, only a real cynic could frown too harshly on this movie. It walks the fine line between sweet and precious, but mostly just feels old-fashioned, as the digital animation is a good five years behind the modern pace. Perhaps this is appropriate for a film set in 1932, whose task is to get a 2006 audience interested in Babe Ruth and Depression-era baseball. That 2006 audience turned out not to be interested, if the anemic box-office totals are any indication, but purists and Yankee fans might well get a kick out of the way Everyone's Hero romanticizes baseball's roots. The period design is lovingly created, and the young boy's quest to return a lucky bat to Babe Ruth is enough narrative propulsion to keep things moving along. (Though it's hard to imagine how the slugger could get too attached to any one piece of lumber, given how bats tend to shatter in the course of their normal use). The journey that's actually more interesting, using Toy Story logic, is that of Screwie the talking baseball (voiced by Rob Reiner), who achieved his dream of "reaching the Majors," only to be fouled out of the park and abandoned in a sand lot. With additional voices provided by such heavyweights as Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams, Everyone's Hero has enough major-league talent, but its minor-league execution confines it to the role of underdog.