Do You Remember? #77: Angels In The Outfield

With baseball season a day away from hitting, let’s celebrate by taking a look back at Disney’s 1994 remake of Angels In The Outfield:

Angels in the outfield.jpg

Angels in the Outfield (known simply as Angels in some countries) is a 1994 remake of the 1951 film of the same name. The film stars Danny Glover, Tony Danza and Christopher Lloyd (the two latter actors previously worked together on Taxi), and features several future stars, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt (in the lead), Adrien Brody, Matthew McConaughey, and Neal McDonough. It spawned two direct-to-video sequels, Angels in the Endzone and Angels in the Infield. This film was released less than a month before the 1994 MLB Baseball Players Strike, which forced the league to cancel the playoffs and the World Series. This film features a fictional playoff race that never would have been played out in real life.

Roger, who has lost his mother, is living separated from his father. As he and his friend J.P. are one of the biggest fans of the Los Angeles baseball team he has got only two dreams: living together with a real family and let LA win the championship. As he is praying for these two things to happen some angels show up in order to help him – but he is the only one to see them and believe in them. Fortunately the coach of the baseball team sees his abilities and so LA has a run to the finals.

So…yeah, this plot makes no sense whatsoever. I mean, the original 1951 movie keeps its’ story simple and plain, the film is about a young woman reporter who blames the Pittsburgh Pirates’ losing streak on their abusive manager, who begins hearing the voice of an angel promising to help the team if he changes his ways……wait a minute, what?

Yeah, I had no idea that was the plot of the original movie, wow, how the hell do you turn that into a Disney movie?

Well, in the case of Angels In The Outfield…unfortunately, very poorly.

I mean, wow, this movie does not hold up well at all. I mean, I remember seeing this trailer and the movie several times because it was always on the front of The Lion King VHS as well as most Disney videos between 1994 and 1995, I mean, they were proud of this movie.

And I just don’t get it, I mean, the actors are perfectly fine in this, a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt is perfectly fine in this, Danny Glover is really good in this, Tony Danza is good, Christopher Lloyd has a fun role in this, you get early glimpses into the careers of Adrien Brody, Neal McDonough, and Matthew McConaughey, they are all perfectly fine in this.

There’s even a couple of funny little one-liners in there and the visuals are nicely done for the timeperiod.

But other than that, the overall story is just so ridiculously stupid once you really look at it and how Disney tries to add that whimsical and magical factor to this is just so lazy, it’s the beginning of that 90s live-action film lull that Disney went in in the latter half of the year with The Big Green, Flubber, Mr. Magoo, Meet The Deedles, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, My Favorite Martian, Angels In The Outfield was kind of that movie that started that downward trend.

The movie tries to make something work with its’ really good actors and decent direction but my god, the story is poorly executed and them trying to turn such a different movie from the 1950s into a 90s Disney movie, they just can’t make it work. As a kid, yes, it was perfectly salvageable but watching it again as an adult, it does not hold up well at all.

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Posted in Do You Remember?

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