Excellent for Family Movie Night
We watched this DVD with our two boys (ages 10 and 7). They play little league baseball and LOVE all things baseball and they really enjoyed it. This was an excellent family film.
Yes, it is sentimental, but honestly, when most movies aimed at kids feature emotionally disturbed comic book superheros with "moderate" violence and "just a little sex", the throwback to old Hollywood sentimentality is a welcome change. We enjoyed this story which celebrates the innocence of children.
I could critique some of the sub plots and minor inconsistencies, but with a movie like this you need to suspend disbelief and lose yourself in the story, in the same way kids do.
Cheech Marin does a surprisingly great job as the priest. My kids groaned when I brought this DVD home for them (it hadn't received any hype on "Nick" or any other network) and ended up watching it twice they loved it so much.
The film presents a great opportunity for a conversation about racism and provides, at a level appropriate to my boys' ages, an example of that terrible time in our nation's history. And to keep it light, some of our national character is redeemed when the underdog Monterray Industrialists become a crowd favorite.
The major themes of the film are, overcoming adversity through faith and perseverance, and redemption (for two of the adult characters who turn to drink to ease their personal suffering).