Run Time: 107 minutes
Director: Duwayne Dunham
After not being selected for the town’s little league football team, a group of misfits ban together to prove that they deserve a spot on the field.
- Threatening and demeaning language, mild swearing
- “Dork,” “wimp,” “losers,” “damn,” “spaz patrol,” “hell,” “dip head,” “dirt balls,” “bezerko Barbie doll,” “ape,” “fart boy,” “crap,” “piss”
- Strangling, wedgies, shoving, fake guns, real guns, kicking
- Minimal kissing
Drugs and Alcohol: 0 poos
- Becky, aka “Icebox,” is a very active female character and is depicted as one of the strongest players on the team. During the majority of the movie, Becky does not conform to traditional gender roles regarding femininity. For example, Becky is messy, eats a lot of food, and dresses like a “tomboy.”
- Danny, Becky’s father, is depicted as sensitive and caring, which goes against traditional gender roles regarding masculinity.
- Many of the boys on the team are bullied for being nerdy and un-athletic, but by the end of the film, they are the victorious ones. This shows that a person does not have to conform to traditional gender roles regarding masculinity in order to be a successful athlete.
- There are many minor characters of color and they do not adhere to racial stereotypes. For example, Black Americans are often stereotyped as being naturally athletic, but the film does not appear to perpetuate this stereotype.
Sexual Orientation: N/A
- There are many body types shown.
- Being likened to a “girl,” or being accused of feminine expression in general, is an insult in playing the game of football (a sport that has been coded as very “masculine”).
- Becky thinks that she has to conform to traditional gender roles regarding femininity to be accepted and considered beautiful by Junior (Becky’s love interest). For example, Becky becomes a cheerleader to appear more feminine so that Junior will find her attractive.
- It appears that Becky decides to enter the final game primarily because Junior sustained an injury because of the opposing team.
- Spike, who is depicted as an ideal football player, is hyper-masculine. For example, Spike will do anything to win, including hurting an opponent.
- Kevin O’Shea adheres to traditional gender roles regarding masculinity. For example, Kevin owns his own car business, was a star football athlete, only cares about winning, and chooses not to recruit Becky for his team because she is a girl.
- There are no major characters of color.
- There are no variations of sexual orientation.
- No characters appear to have a visible disability.
- Rudy is fat-bodied and his actions adhere to stereotypes of fat-bodies. For example, Rudy is depicted as grotesque as he farts regularly, is shown always eating fatty foods, and is nicknamed “Gas Man.”
- Jake is scrawny and also depicted as grotesque. For example, Jake blows snot bubbles, has huge glasses, and is very fragile.
Suggested talking points
- Kevin O’Shea adheres to a capitalistic mentality in which winning is everything. As illustrated in the film, the emphasis on winning by any means possible can hurt others and can ultimately be one’s demise.
- One of the main problems with the film is that it depicts nerdy kids and fat-bodied kids as comedic and un-athletic. Does this stereotype still persist? Can you think of any movies that challenge this stereotype?
- Once puberty hits, children are expected to adhere to strict gender norms and thus rarely participate in co-ed sports. Do you think that girls and boys should be able to play sports together no matter the age?
Keywords: sports, gender, gender roles, progressive, body, movie, little giants, football, family, movie, three paws, 3 paws, race, ethnicity