Okay, so 9/11 anniversaries can be a bit downbeat. I'll be positive today and mention an advanced screening I saw Saturday morning of the animated film Everyone's Hero.
Unlike most animated films, this one is a period piece. It takes place in 1936, as the Cubs face the Yankees in the World Series. (I don't know if that was the actual matchup that year, but there's no point in looking it up because this film veers from history at every opportunity.)
Yankee Irving (some kid) is the last picked player on the sandlot. His father (Mandy Patinkin) is a janitor at Yankee Stadium, and one night he lets his kid see the locker room, where Babe Ruth (Brian Dennehy) keeps his bat Darlin' (Whoopi Goldberg). When a cheating Cubs pitcher (William H. Macy) steals Darlin', the janitor loses his job, and Yankee makes it his mission to recover the bat and return it to his baseball hero. On hand for assistance is Screwie (Rob Reiner), a neglected sandlot baseball whose major league claim to fame was being hit out of the park -- in foul territory.
The Saturday morning screening was packed with kids, who watched patiently and with interest, but didn't laugh all that much. Nor did the parents. The plot is farfetched, and the anachronistic jokes do not work at all, but the film does succeed on one count: its earnestness. Adding to its respectability is the fact that this film was the final effort of Christopher Reeve (who co-directed) and his wife Dana (who produced, and voices Yankee's mother).
It makes for clean and passable family fare, but it won't add to the annals of animation... or sports movies.