A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Down and Derby has some iffy humor, with fart sounds and some slapstick Peeping Tom behavior. Lots of absurd competition that underscores the movie's message of the importance of parents and kids working together while enjoying each others' company.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Ever since he was a boy, Phil Davis (Greg Germann) has always finished second place to alpha male Ace Montana (Marc Raymond). Now as a family man living next door to both his childhood friends and Ace, Phil sees the announcement of the upcoming Pinewood Derby competition as the perfect opportunity to defeat Ace, once and for all. However, Phil's friends also want to finish first, and Ace literally wrote the book on creating the perfect Pinewood Derby car. Plus Phil's Cub Scout son would like have a role in creating the block of wood he was given. In spite of these obstacles -- and the increasing anger of his wife -- Phil stops at nothing to create the perfect Pinewood Derby vehicle. As he obsessively creates the perfect car, Phil must learn to place a higher priority on spending time and sharing victories with his son instead of settling old scores.
Is it any good?
This over-the-top comedy shows through bad example the folly of taking what should be friendly competition and turning it into an unhealthy obsession. While exaggerated for comedy's sake, the behavior on display in this movie should be recognizable to any parent who has coached a sport and kids who have played on a team.
While the humor is mostly juvenile, and the story has a few overly convenient plot turns, at its core, Down and Derby raises a deeper point about what happens when parents miss out on opportunities to make wonderful memories with their kids. Viewed in that spirit, this movie should provide an opportunity for families to discuss times they've seen parents going overboard in competitive sports and school projects, and how winning is not the sole determinant in the enjoyment of an undertaking.
Talk to your kids about ...
- On DVD or streaming: January 24, 2006
- Cast: Greg Germann, Lauren Holly, Pat Morita
- Director: Eric Hendershot
- Studio: Pinewood Derby LLC
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some crude humor and brief mild language
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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