Despite mediocre reviews, the Netflix original movie Home team is a true story of family, perseverance and, ultimately, triumphant glory. The PG-rated family sports film follows Sean Payton (Kevin James), the disgraced head coach of the New Orleans Saints who, while serving a suspension for a national cheating scandal, decides to coach the team at his son’s Pop Warner football.
Home team joins a rich tradition of PG-rated family sports films often based on inspiring true stories featuring real-life heroes both on and off the field (or court). The underdogs come of age and find redemption, which is what makes the best of this genre of films so memorable.
Little Giants – Stream on Apple TV+
Those who grew up in the 90s know how charming and highly reusable they are Little Giants is a crowd-pleasing underdog story in which a ragtag group of unsportsmanlike soccer players form a team to take on the city’s championship team. With hilarious turns from Rick Moranis and Ed O’Neill as rival brothers, the real star has to be Becky “Icebox” O’Shea (Shawna Waldron).
The PG-rated family film was way ahead of its time by casting Becky as the star player as the only female on her team, challenging notions of masculinity and femininity in a way kids can easily digest.
The Sandlot – Stream on Disney+
Quite simply one of the best PG-rated sports movies for kids, The Sandlot is pure childhood nostalgia crystallized in celluloid. The truly inspiring underdog story follows Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry), a shy, unathletic pre-teen who moves to a new town and struggles to make friends.
When town baseball star Benny (Mike Vitar) befriends him and asks him to join the team, Smalls spends the summer of his life meeting unforgettable new friends and teammates. Much more than a baseball movie, The Sandlot talks about the importance of inclusion, friendship and creating lasting bonds that last a lifetime.
The Mighty Ducks – Stream on Disney+
Disney does PG sports movies better than most, and The Mighty Ducks is another great example of an underdog story culminating in enthusiastic cheers. As the franchise begins to offer diminishing returns, the original mighty ducks is a much better attempt at the film genre Home team want to be.
Like Home team, the Mighty Ducks serves as a personal redemption story for the coach. However, over time, the coach realizes that the success of the team depends less on his own contributions than on the result of true teamwork.
Angels in the Outfield – Stream on Disney+
A remake of the 1951 film, Outfield Angels is a spiritually uplifting underdog sports film that is sure to appeal to Home team Fans. After losing his father and being separated from his mother, young Roger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) prays for a family if the California Angels win the AL. Thanks to Al the Angel (Christopher Lloyd), heavenly angels descend and help the team succeed.
Although sportsmanship and teamwork play a major role, the film is really about keeping the faith in the face of unlikely odds and the profound impact that resilience and perseverance can have on a person’s life. young.
Kicking and Screaming – Stream on HBO Max
Besides being a team sports tale, Home team is also the story of a father about his son. It is the same Kicks and screamsthe PG-rated Disney soccer movie that pairs Will Ferrell and Robert Duvall with hilarious results.
Raised under the thumb of his ultra-competitive father, Phil is a lovable loser who wants nothing to do with sports. Yet after agreeing to coach the local youth football team, he begins to identify with his father, understand his competitive nature, and overcome his own shortcomings in the process.
Remember the Titans – Stream on Disney+
Although the film features slightly older football players who are in high school, there’s no denying the power and emotional impact of Remember the titans, a true story that could not be more edifying. The excellent Disney+ sports flick stars the great Denzel Washington as Herman Boone, a black football coach who went to great lengths to racially fit Virginia’s first high school team in the 1970s .
As gripping as the action on the pitch is, football is just part of a larger tale of underdogs fighting for racial equality and harmony in a time of legal segregation. The story is inspiring, the acting is great, and the message couldn’t be more salient.
Hoosiers – Stream on Apple+
Also defined by top performances and a redeeming arc for his beleaguered head coach, Hoosiers will always rank among the best underdog sports movies on every level. The heartbreaking true story follows Norman Dale (Gene Hackman), a disgraced coach who teams up with an alcoholic (Dennis Hopper) to turn a small-town Indiana basketball team into championship contenders.
As Dale and Shooter (Hooper) improve their team and begin to win on the court, both men also begin to conquer demons off the court, providing a path of healing through community and athletics.
Invincible – Stream on Disney+
There is no denying the true and awe-inspiring story of Invincible, another true PG-rated underdog story involving the NFL. Mark Wahlberg stars as Vince Papale, a 30-year-old bartender who fulfills his dream of trying out for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976. Against all odds, Vince makes the team and finds glory on and off the court.
Considered too old and too small to compete with the NFL’s best athletes on the field, Vince once again proves everyone wrong and overcomes every obstacle in front of him. Real-life NFL coach Dick Vermeil (Greg Kinnear) also plays a huge role in Vince’s success, as does Payton on Home Team.
Cool Runnings – Stream on Disney+
While bobsledding and football have nothing in common, the charming tone and enjoyable tenor of Disney’s underdog sports film Cool races is too heartwarming to miss. John Candy leads a stellar cast of characters who, despite a lack of experience, help form Jamaica’s first Olympic bobsled team.
Aside from the great characters, the film merges a fish-out-of-water story with an underdog sports tale to transcend the genre and become something totally new and exciting.
The Bad News Bears – Stream on Amazon Prime Video
Although it may never be rated PG today, the original bad news bear remains one of the most honest and authentic sports films aimed at children. Bullying, inclusion and even abuse are sometimes faced, but the end result couldn’t be more encouraging and festive.
Walter Matthau plays a brilliant role as Buttermaker, a pool cleaner with a drinking problem who reluctantly decides to coach the pathetically bad local little league team Bad News Bears. Through hard work and true team spirit, Buttermaker leads his team to the championship and learns about himself in the process. Richard Linklater’s 2005 remake is also worth checking out.
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