10 Years: “Sky High”

  
Family films or kids films are great, when you’re a kid or younger. As you get older some do manage to maintain an entertaining level that was there when you first saw it, and others don’t. It’s a weird thing that some can and some can’t, even though you know you liked a given film so much that you watched umpteen times as a kid.

The Walt Disney Studios film “Sky High”, still has traces of a cute family film, but isn’t as effective as it may have once been.

This superhero comedy film stars Kelly Preston (“Dissonance (Short 2014)”, “Casino Jack”), Lynda Carter (“Two and a Half Men”, “Smallville”), Michael Angarano (“The Stanford Prison Experiment”, “Wild Card”), Danielle Panabaker (“The Flash”, “Justified”), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“The Returned (US TV series)”, “Kill the Messenger”), Bruce Campbell (upcoming series “Ash vs Evil Dead”, “The Librarians”), Dave Foley (upcoming series (“Dr. Ken”, “The Odd Couple (2015)”), Steven Strait (upcoming series “The Expanse”, “Revenge”), Kevin McDonald (“Tiny Plastic Men”, “Odd Squad”), and Kurt Russell (upcoming “The Hateful Eight”, “Furious Seven”).

The film was directed by Mike Mitchell (“Alivn and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked”, “Shrek Forever After”) and written by Paul Hernandez, Robert Schooley (“Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast”, “Monsters vs. Aliens (TV series)”), and Mark McCorkle (“Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast”, “Monsters vs. Aliens (TV series)”).

The film originally opened on July 29, 2005.

I remember seeing this film at some point when it came out. Couldn’t really avoid it as I was still watching Disney produced films, and Panabaker was in it. However, I can’t remember if I even slightly enjoyed this film. I guess it didn’t leave much of an impression on me or I just got busy with many more films. Something. Regardless, my experience this time around was stranger than I expected.

I’m going to say it so it’s out there in the open. Can’t have anyone confused.

This was a weird film. Certainly a weird experience this time around.

It wasn’t bad, story wise, especially for a kids film. The story works, even if it’s unoriginal as ever, but again, kids film.

Along with it having a decent beginning, middle, and end, it’s got some funny bits to it too. Although I think most of the humor was actually wasted on me as what a child would consider funny, well, isn’t. I really didn’t laugh that much, even when I know I should’ve. Guess this is why so many sitcoms have laugh tracks incorporated or used live studio audiences. If they weren’t there, I doubt people would laugh that often.

I’m trying to think back on it and nothing in particular stands out. Okay, okay, yeah one thing does. The bad special effects stand out. Who would think, only 10 years later, that a company well known for using special effects to sell audiences on grand magical places, that they used to have crap special effects. I don’t know if they looked this bad then, but now they certainly scream cheap. I feel that the level of effects is what you’d see in one of the films on the Disney Channel. Or SyFy, can’t forget that network.

When I think about all that there was to enjoy, I can’t say I was excited about any of it. I could see where for a child it is, and where I possibly may have been amazed 10 years ago, but now, not so much. The action sequences, or anything that came close to a full blown action sequence, were fine. Another area perfect for kids. It was silly enough at times that some of the humor could be placed there or could come through. Having an incredibly heavy car dropped on you tends to be funny. But then, and this annoyed me even though I like the actor that played the creature character thing, it sometimes turned into an annoyingly bad episode of one of the “Power Rangers” series episodes. Jim Rash (“Looney Tunes: Rabbit Run”, “Community”), was the henchman to the villain. He’s funny now, but here it was all too silly and too much. Again, perfect for a film for kids.

While these things are important for this type of family film, there was one area that was even more important. The family bonds. The relationships between Preston, Angarano, and Russell are pretty much key to liking and caring for any of these characters. Same can be said about Angarano’s friends, but nobody cares about them. They’re a bunch of losers, all of whom were too stupid to figure out the more popular students were lying to them. It’s because of these relationships, with the family, that the obnoxious moral of the story was able to come through. I feel it was. There’s always a lesson in Disney films, even in a film that was a precursor to what the company would be making for the better part of a decade. More I think, but whatever, that’s years away.

For a film squarely aimed at the younger demographic of viewers, this film works. Okay, it may work. If, say my nephews for instance, haven’t seen this yet and they do, then they may enjoy it the first time. Afterwards, probably not. It can only be entertaining for so long and over so many viewings. It’s gotta be, in part, what made me less excited by the film this time around. Some films just can’t lure me back to my younger years no matter the people that make up the cast.

Oh! Before I forget, Carter had a very nice bit of line delivery. So sly, so clever, I’m surprised more references weren’t slipped in. Carter at the end, after all the bad guys are caught says, “I’m not Wonder Woman, you know.” HA! Which is funny, but only if you’re an adult of a certain age. I can’t even recall if I got it the first time. I did this time!

Old looking trailer:

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