Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) is about to start his first day of high school. He's attending his parent's alma mater, and the pressure to live up to their legacy is huge. See, his parents (Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston) happen to be the biggest superheroes known to mankind. As The Commander and Jetstream, they routinely work together to save the world. But Will has a big problem; he has no super powers of his own.
Will is quickly put in the Sidekick's class, a huge dishonor he tries to keep from his parents. Even so, he quickly makes friends and begins to settle in, even attracting the attention of the beautiful student body president, something unheard of for a freshman in the Sidekick class, or Hero Support if you prefer.
Danger lurks around every corner, however. Will has an arch nemesis on campus and someone is watching the Stronghold's secret lair. Will Will develop any powers to help cope with these problems?
This movie is supposed to be mindless fun for the young and young at heart, and it succeeds mightily. All the actors do a great job, especially the mostly unknown teen cast. The adults in the film have fun with their rolls. Everyone's trying to do a good job but have fun at the same time, and that spirit draws you into the film. I especially enjoyed Lynda Carter's brief appearances as the school principal, and she gets the best line out of the entire movie.
The plot, on the other hand, is fairly predictable for anyone who has seen a Disney family film before. I had most everything figured out before it happened, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the movie for one minute. Being a high school movie, it has many cliches from that genre as well, but with a clever superhero twist. The special effects are decent and help draw you into the film.
The DVD is nothing special, but it gets the job done. The wide screen picture and full surround sound are great. Extras include a music video (Bowling for Soup with "I Melt with You"), bloopers, behind the scenes, stunts, and an alternate opening. Of these, the only one really worth watching is the alternate opening. It's fun and helps fill in a couple plot points from the movie better.
This is the perfect movie to watch with the family or after a long week when you just want to relax. It takes itself just seriously enough to be fun but not so seriously that it becomes overly cheesy.
on March 17, 2006
OK, I admit it. I am a fan of superhero movies! This was a good one. Not perfect... it is too predictable. However, the kid actors are great. Kurt Russell seemed a bit wooden to me, but the other adults did a great job, and really seemed to be enjoying themselves. A prime example is "Coach Boomer," Bruce Campbell. You'll recognize a lot of other faces here.
My wife and daughter loved this movie too. Our daughter is four, now, and was scared during some of the more intense moments. It is rated PG for some violence. No swearing or sex, of course. This is Disney, after all.
So, all in all a really enjoyable movie. I hope to see a sequel.
on January 23, 2006
It is always a struggle to find a movie at the video store for "family movie night" that both of my elementary school daughters will enjoy and I will, if not enjoy, be able to tolerate. I have certainly appreciated the effort that many studios have made to make kids' films more enjoyable for parents. When my younger daughter chose "Sky High," I was not terribly optimistic, but Disney actually did a pretty good job making it sort of fun for this GenXer. More importantly, the younger crowd LOVED it.
Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano), the son of two superheroes, Commander (Kurt Russell) and Jetstream (Kelly Preston), is about to start high school. Will is not going to just any high school. As the son of superheroes, he will go to Sky High, where he will follow in is parent's footsteps. However, Will has a secret. He does not have any super powers, so he is relegated to classes for "Sidekick's," and that is obviously a disappointment to his famous father. At Sky High, Will must deal with everything a "normal" kid must face while growing up, but, through a series of typically teen-age blunders, discovers he must also face his parents' greatest nemesis, Royal Pain (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). The future of Sky High and of the entire world depends on Will.
Disney used a lot of great tricks to transcend the generational gap in "Sky High." For GenY, some of the costumes, acting, and special effects were very much reminiscent of the wildly popular, live-action, Saturday morning television show, "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers." What boy born after 1978 was not secretly in love with the Pink Power Ranger portrayed by Amy Jo Johnson? (Confession: When my little sister watched "Power Rangers" a couple of decades ago, I was sort of into the Pink Power Ranger myself!) Royal Pain's costume, body movements, secret hideout, and general evil demeanor are a dead-ringer for "Power Rangers" genre. For Gen X, a wonderful little trick that I had not seen before, although I have to imagine it has already been employed, is the use of classic, coming-of-age anthems, like, among others, "I Melt The World," "Save It For Later," "Voices Carry," "Everybody Wants To Rule The World," "And She Was," but had them recorded by contemporary artists. Heck, I think the entire soundtrack is comprised of `80's remakes. (I still think The Talking Heads' version of "And She Was" is superior to that of Keaton Simons, but what would a six-year old care?) For both Baby Boomers and some early GenXers, the casting of Kurt Russell is sort of an interesting bookend to Russell's Disney career. I remember going with my parents to local single screen cinema to see Disney's "The Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes" and "The World's Strongest Man" with Kurt Russell playing the teen-age lead. Appearances by the original television "Superwoman," Linda Carter, as well as "Kids in the Hall," Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald go a long way to make "Sky High" ironically humorous for the adult audience. Nicely done.
A film completely appropriate for the younger crowd with just a little cartoonish violence, "Sky High" is a thumb's up for both kids and parents. This is the kind of movie that made Disney what Disney was. If we see more "Sky High's," Disney will very soon once again become the entertainment powerhouse it used to be.
I rented Sky High for the kids and it turns out I was probably the one that liked it the most. Sky High is the place where future super heroes go to school. There, they learn how to be heroes (or side kicks) and go to classes like Mad Science and PE (save the civilian is a popular game).
Will Stronghold is a typical kid trying to live down the fame of his two superhero parents. Kurt Russell is great is the cocky dad who wants and expects his son to be a great super hero as well. Kelly Preston is pretty but really doesn't have much to do.
Will goes to school knowing he has yet to develop any superpowers. Some of the best moments are when each kid has to display his powers and then be assigned to the hero or sidekick track. Most adults will enjoy all of the super hero jokes. The plot revolves around a typical high school movie plot of the boy falling for the popular girl and ignoring the girl who really likes him.
The plot never gets too serious and instead plays for the jokes. The cast was great, from the high school bad guy Warren Peace, the cute Lela (played by Danielle Panabaker sp?, sure to be a future star), Russell, and cameos by Bruce Cambell and Wonder Woman herself Linda Carter).
Your kids will enjoy this movie and so will the parents. There is nothing offensive in this movie so it is safe for all audiences.
on September 22, 2012
This is one of the better movies I've seen. It is very family oriented, and also a good fun time. I have probably watch this movie at least 50 times. It satisfies that inner hero within yourself.
As it is a superhero movie, I do not wish to give away the plot. But it is sufficient to say that there is one and you will enjoy it. The acting is very good, and you will care about the characters by the end of this film.
This movie is also very creative. They went to a lot of trouble creating a diverse set of characters as well as a cool villain. They paid much attention to detail. Anybody that has ever read a comic book, or rooted for the underdog, will enjoy this movie.
Even though this is a children friendly movie, this movie also has enough for adults. It is witty, and well written. The characters of the parents feel just like regular parents.
I can easily recommend this movie to all viewers.
I've got love for any film that'll showcase Spandau Ballet, and SKY HIGH is pretty generous in showcasing one of my childhood anthems, "True." Besides, SKY HIGH is worth many repeat viewings. As I recall, this offering from Walt Disney Pictures demonstrated strong legs at the box office. And why not? It is hugely entertaining. For Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano), peer pressure is a mother and he's not at all looking forward to this year's first day of school. Will Stronghold is the third generation child of a family of superheroes. His parents are Steve (Kurt Russell) and Josie (Kelly Preston), successful real estate brokers... who also happen to be the world's greatest caped crusaders, the invincible Commander and Jetstream, mistress of super-sonic flight and unarmed combat. Will is enrolled in Sky High, a hi-tech learning establishment ideal for molding tomorrow's super-powered crime fighters. Sky HIgh is his parents' alma mater. So expectations are off the charts.
Will isn't about to tell his parents that he doesn't have any superpowers, that he's either a late bloomer or maybe even a never-was.
Sky High is "kept aloft by the latest in anti-gravitional propulsion," meaning that this unusual academy is accessed by a rocket-propelled school bus. The students all have some sort of special ability but, other than that, Sky High is like any other school. There are cliques and social politics and acne and teen angst and awkwardness. Will Stronghold's first day is pretty sad, especially when the "power placement" session - which determines whether you're a "hero" or a "sidekick" - swings around and Will arrives at the moment he'd been dreading, exhibiting his lack of powers. A dumbfounded Coach Boomer (Bruce Campbell, more abrasive than the Sorting Hat) promptly labels him a sidekick and designates him to Hero Support, a course taught by the now middle-aged All-American Boy, who used to be the Commander's sidekick. Mr. Boy is terrifically played by Dave Foley.
Michael Angarano doesn't at all look like a teenaged pin-up model, and this lends an immediate appeal and a realness to his role. You like him even when he pulls those bonehead slip-ups. In Hero Support, Will ends up hanging out with a shabby bunch of sidekicks so dubiously powered even the Legion of Substitute Heroes bully them for lunch money. There's a guy who glows (a hilarious Nicholas Braun). Another guy who melts into a puddle. A girl who shapeshifts into a guinea pig. The only one with serious powers is Will's best friend, Layla, who can manipulate plant life. Except that Layla, deeming the hero-sidekick system to be unfair, refused to demonstrate her talent. Ergo, sidekick.
What's school without an unattainable crush? Will quickly falls for Sky High's most popular girl (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). He also gets the stink eye from another freshman, the incendiary Warren Peace (Steven Strait), son of a hero and a super-villain (except that this super-villain parent used to be one of the Commander's foes).
There are clever bits and, thankfully, not too many contrived bits. I love the scenes in the Hero Support class. The big bad's true nature caught me by surprise. Tonally, SKY HIGH tilts towards the lighthearted. Even the superhero action sequences are laden with humor, although that doesn't take away from the spectacle of the fighty fights. Thru character development and a solid script, the story allows you to get to know these lovable underdogs. Another strength of the film is that the cast - consisting of teens and established actors - performs seamlessly as a whole. The school faculty is peppered with iconic figures. Cloris Leachman cameos as the X-ray powered school nurse. And, most awesomely, Lynda Carter plays Sky High's Principal Powers. And she is still gorgeous. Meanwhile, Kurt Russell, with this movie (his 11th big screen Disney release), takes over Dean Jones' longstanding spot as Disney's most featured live-action male lead. It makes you realize that Kurt Russell grew up in front of our eyes. I just watched THE COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES a few weeks ago, and I can't help but think that, forty years ago, Kurt Russell would've been playing the Will Stronghold role, instead of the beaming dad. Correction, "beaming" dad until the Commander learns that his son's a sidekick. Who hears Spandau Ballet music. Still, it's another element to relish in this film, the father-son relationship between the Commander and Will Stronghold.
The DVD's extras:
- Alternate Opening - a flashback sequence set in 1985 featuring Jetstream, the Commander, and All-American Boy battling Royal Pain & Stitches (00:03:20 minutes)
- Super Bloopers (00:04:19 minutes long)
- "Breaking Down the Walls: The Stunts of SKY HIGH" (00:07:00)
- "Welcome to SKY HIGH" - A featurette which takes you behind the scenes with the cast & crew (00:15:18)
- Bowling for Soup's Music Video "I Melt With You"
on October 7, 2013
I accidentally stumbled onto this on a Disney channel, and laughed myself silly through it. I could tell that there were deleted scenes in the on-air version, so I bought the DVD to enjoy the entire movie.
I'm still surprised at all the actors they got for this. So many roles for people who have been a part of previous superhero movies and TV shows. Such as Lynda Carter of Wonder Woman, Kurt Russell of Snake Plissken, Bruce Campbell from Evil Dead, and Cloris Leachman of Young Frankenstein.
It didn't disappoint. I really enjoyed the scenes I didn't get to see before. The ensemble cast worked together great. Great special effects, as well. One of the DVD extras is showing how they did some of the stunts, and wow. The kids were really brave to try some of it! I'm not sure I would have.
I read later that the kid's contracts had a part saying that they would do a Disney series if Disney decided to produce it. Sadly, that never happened. I, for one, would have liked to see what they would have done with the series with all the kids in this. Some of whom have gone on to quite a few adult juicy roles, showing they had, and still have, plenty of acting chops.
This is a movie I definitely recommend for plain good fun!
(Writer of this review is not in any way related to Ron Wilson, Bus Driver. Hehee)
on July 19, 2015
I love this movie. Its cute and fun and its not as cruel and mean as some of the newer teen movies. No crazy romance thing, where two girls will kill each other over the guy and do mean things to each other. Just regular teen angst. Its a good movie to teach kids about knowing what they are capable of and that apparently being better at something doesn't make you better in general. The parents aren't idiots either, am I the only one who has noticed that a lot of teen shows and movies these days seem to make the parents complete idiots. His parents are not even crazy unfair, which is also a problem with newer shows. Ive seen some new ones that literally have the idiot parents overreact to the dumbest crap and not at more serious things. Who writes these things? AnyWho- I love this Movie, it so much fun to sit around and watch, like alot of things from the 1990's and early 2000s.
on September 4, 2015
I loved this movie and it made me laugh very hard. What made me laugh harder were some of the critiques I have either heard or read. Now I know most people are most likely will not read this and I will be surprised if I even change any ones outlook but I still have to say it.
This movie PORTRAYS a COMIC BOOK!!!!
It is not meant to be serious like any of the Marvel movies. I was just a light hearted summer release laugh. Watch it a few times and see how many jokes there are like when he tells his son that most only have one super human parent not two...his fingers are backwards. It is just a comic book. Watch it with that mind set I bet you will enjoy it much more.
OK so off soap box enjoy!!
on July 12, 2015
Sky High is one of those too-few movies that are as much fun for adults as for kids - especially if you like superhero movies.
It's basically a teen family comedy, in which the parents are superheroes expecting their son to take over the family business - but he's too afraid to tell them that he doesn't have any superpowers. Even worse, he's going to a high school for superheroes - so he's been relegated to the sidekick path. Sorry, 'hero support'.
There is almost no violence, no swearing, no nudity of any kind, no suggestive anything - it's really great for kids, both of mine love it.
Basically, imagine a cross between 'Mystery Men' and '10 Things I Hate About You' starring Hiccup from 'How to Trian Your Dragon'. If that sounds good to you, you'll love this.