Everyone's Hero is a 2006 Canadian-American computer-animated sports comedy family film, directed by Colin Brady, Christopher Reeve (who was working on this film at the time of his death), and Daniel St. Pierre, with music by John Debney. The majority of this film was produced by IDT Entertainment in Toronto with portions outsourced to Reel FX Creative Studios. It was distributed by 20th Century Fox, and released theatrically on September 15, 2006. Everyone's Hero earned $16 million worldwide during its theatrical run. The film stars William H. Macy, Rob Reiner, Brian Dennehy, Raven-Symoné, Robert Wagner, Richard Kind, Dana Reeve, Jake T. Austin, Joe Torre, Mandy Patinkin, Forest Whitaker and Whoopi Goldberg.
In 1932, the dawn of the Great Depression, a young baseball fan Yankee Irving (Jake T. Austin), whose father Stanley (Mandy Patinkin) works as a janitor for New York City's Yankee Stadium, dreams of playing for the Yankees but can't even play sandlot baseball well enough to avoid being picked last. One day beside the sandlot, he finds a talking baseball he names Screwie (Rob Reiner).
While father and son are in the stadium, a thief steals Babe Ruth's famous bat Darlin' (Whoopi Goldberg). Yankee's father is blamed and accordingly fired. The true thief is Lefty Maginnis (William H. Macy), a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. Lefty works for Cubs owner Napoleon Cross (Robin Williams), who desires to see the Cubs defeat the Yankees during the 1932 World Series.
Stealing the bat back, Yankee decides to return it to Ruth--and thereby exonerate his father--by journeying across the country to Chicago, where the next World Series' games will be played. Darlin' is able to speak, as does her counterpart Screwie, who she constantly argues and bickers with (though near the end, they finally become friends). Much of the plot is driven by Lefty's comic attempts to retrieve the bat from Yankee, with slapstick results. Other scenes involve Yankee meeting others who will help him in his quest: several hobos (Ed Helms); Marti (Raven-Symoné), an African American girl; her baseball player father Lonnie Brewster (Forest Whitaker); and in Chicago, Babe Ruth himself (Brian Dennehy).
A series of improbable coincidences allows Yankee himself to bat for the Yankees, resulting in the archetypal home run (technically, a series of errors after an infield pop-up that allow him to round the bases). This restores the morale of the Yankees, who score 7 more runs to take the lead and win the World Series. Cross tries to talk Babe Ruth out of accepting the victory, saying that Yankee is too young to be a counting player. This leads to the arrest of Cross, and also Lefty. Yankee also successfully exonerates his father. Yankee returns home, now knowing what is truly important in baseball.
Jake T. Austin as Yankee Irving,
William H. Macy as Lefty Maginnis,
Robin Williams as Napoleon Cross (uncredited),
Rob Reiner as Screwie,
Whoopi Goldberg as Darlin,
Brian Dennehy as Babe Ruth,
Raven-Symoné as Marti Brewster,
Mandy Patinkin as Stanely Irving,
Dana Reeve as Emily Irving,
Forest Whitaker as Lonnie Brewster,
Cherise Booth as Rosetta Brewster,
Ritchie Allen as Officer Bryant,
Jason Harris Katz as Announcer (credited as Jason Harris),
Ed Helms as Hobo Louie,
Ray Iannicelli as Conductors/Umpire,
Gideon Jacobs as Bully Kid Tubby,
Richard Kind as Hobo Andy / Maitre'D,
Marcus Maurice as Willie,
Will Reeve as Big Kid,
Ron Tippe as Hobo Jack,
Robert Wagner as Mr. Robinson,
Joe Torre as New York Yankees manager,
Jesse Bronstein as Sandlot Kid #1,
Ralph Coppola as Sandlot Kid #2,
Conor White as Bully Kid Arnold,
Additional voices by Ritchie Allen, Rochelle Hogue, Sondra James, Matthew Laborteaux, Greta Martin, Christie Moreau, Sean Oliver, Charles Parnell, Dennis Pressey, Tyler James Williams and Cornell Womack.
With the exception of Ruth, none of the film's characters are based on real people. However, there is a scene near the end where Ruth is at dinner, and talks to a man named Lou, probably a representation of Lou Gehrig. The film takes a largely nostalgic tone in its presentation of 1930s American life, though the Great Depression is alluded to, as is the existence of separate Negro Leagues. (Marti's father is a member of the Cincinnati Tigers, though the team was actually founded two years later, in 1934.) The announced morals of the movie are to "keep swinging" (that is, never give up), and the importance of family. The actual events of the 1932 series, though dramatic, were not followed in the film (perhaps because of rights issues over depictions of the game). For example, the Yankees swept the Cubs in the series, but in the film, they lost three games to set up the classic game 7 scenario. In one point of the film, Screwie refers to Superman, which is anachronistic due to the fact that Superman did not appear until 1938, and the film is set in 1932, though the reference is clearly intended as a nod to late co-director Reeve, who played Superman in several films.
Everyone's Hero was released on DVD on March 20, 2007 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The movie was released on Blu-ray on March 5, 2013 and is exclusive to Walmart stores.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $6.1 million in 2,896 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #3 at the box office, behind Gridiron Gang and The Black Dahlia. By the end of its run, Everyone's Hero grossed $14.5 million domestically and $2.1 million internationally, for an approximate total of $16.6 million worldwide.
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 51%, based on 20 reviews, which indicates "mixed" reviews. Another aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes, scored the film 41%, based on 68 reviews.New York Daily News, positive review, "Whoever wanders into the theater should leave a winner". L.A. Weekly, positive review, "The movie's antique Rockwellian look is its greatest pleasure". Entertainment Weekly, positive review, "Everyone's Hero re-creates Depression-era America with surprisingly agreeable anachronistic panache, but a sassy ball and bat don't cut it as compelling cartoon characters, and the not-so-human humans never quite do either (Babe Ruth looks like Shrek)". New York Post, mixed review, "Everyone's Hero, a tame CGI cartoon for the simple-minded: the very young, the very old and Yankee fans". TV Guide, negative review, "An anemic adventure that epitomizes generic feature animation".
In the United States, Cartoon Network aired Everyone's Hero on April 12, 2008. In Latin America, Cartoon Network Latino aired the film on November 23, 2011. In Asia, Disney Channel premiered May 29, 2012. It also aired on Disney XD in the United States on April 8, 2013 as well as March 7, 2014.
The soundtrack, released on the Columbia Records/Sony Music Soundtrax labels, features tracks by the star of the film Raven-Symoné, Grammy-winners Wyclef Jean, Brooks & Dunn, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and various other artists.
The Best - John Ondrasik - 3:49,
Keep On Swinging - Brooks & Dunn - 4:12,
Dream Like New York - Tyrone Wells - 3:44,
Chicago (That Toddling Town) - Chris Botti featuring Lyle Lovett - 2:16,
The Best Day of My Life - John Randall featuring Jessi Alexander - 3:13,
Keep Your Eye on the Ball - Raven-Symoné - 2:27,
What You Do - Wyclef Jean featuring Kontrast - 3:12,
Swing It - Brooks & Dunn - 3:34,
Take Me Out to the Ballgame - Lonestar - 2:43,
The Bug - Mary Chapin Carpenter - 3:48,
The Tigers - John Debney featuring Paris Bennett - 1:46,
At Bat - John Debney - 3:44
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license