Directed by Duwayne Dunham. Starring Rick Moranis, Ed O'Neill, Shawna Waldron, John Madden. (1994, PG, 107 min.)
REVIEWED By Brian Baker, Fri., Oct. 21, 1994
Little Giants offers nothing new in the way of children's entertainment. If you have ever seen a sports movie for kids, you already know exactly what is going to happen and when it will occur. Other than that, Little Giants is a pretty good film. Moranis stars as Danny O'Shea, a man who has lived in the shadow of his Heisman Trophy-winning older brother Kevin (O'Neill) for 30 years. When Kevin decides to put together a winning pee-wee football league, Danny is ecstatic because his daughter Becky (Waldron) is the best player in town. Unfortunately, Kevin decrees that football is a sport for men and Becky is not picked. Also not chosen are all of Becky's friends, who are either too small, weak, overweight, or uncoordinated. So, Danny forms a team of all the outcasts which he then pits against Kevin's in the film's climactic showdown. Moranis, recently typecast as an off-beat but kind-hearted father figure, goes all the way with his role as the off-beat but kind-hearted father and coach. O'Neill, best known for his role as the annoying father on Married With Children, excels as the annoying father and coach. Boy, allow these two actors to stretch their wings a little and they just carry the whole film. Little Giants also benefits from appearances from some football greats, including John Madden. (Be warned though, this interesting scene gets all of five minutes of screen time.) The film is not above resorting to bathroom humor to get laughs. The overweight child (Why do overweight kids in movies have to eat all the time?) is able, on cue, to pass gas that could knock out a mule at 20 paces. Although, on the whole, it is pretty tame stuff. Little Giants is a funny and entertaining little film that suffers from a blatant lack of originality.