| File:Little giants movie.jpg |
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Duwayne Dunham|
|Produced by||Arne Schmidt|
|Written by||James Ferguson |
|Starring||Rick Moranis |
|Music by||John Debney|
|Editing by||Donn Cambern|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date(s)||October 14, 1994|
|Running time||75 minutes|
Danny O'Shea (Rick Moranis) has always lived in the shadow of his older brother, Kevin (Ed O'Neill), an Irish American Heisman Trophy winner and a local football hero. The brothers live in their hometown of Urbania, Ohio and Kevin coaches the local "Pee-Wee Cowboys" football team. Despite being the best player, Danny's tomboy daughter Becky (Shawna Waldron), nicknamed Icebox, is cut during try outs because she is a girl. Also cut are Becky's less-talented friends, Rashid Hanon (who can't catch anything), Tad Simpson (who can't run) and Rudy Zolteck (who's overweight and quite flatuent). After being ridiculed by the other players who made the team, she convinces her dad to coach a new pee-wee team of their own.
At first, Danny is reluctant to do so, but later accepts in an attempt to show Urbania that Kevin is not invincible, and that there is another O'Shea in town capable of winning. Kevin mockingly reminds him of the "one town, one team" rule and with the help of the locals, they decide to have a playoff game to determine the lone team that will represent Urbania. Among Becky, Hanon, Tad, Rudy and Nubie (an intelligent boy who becomes assistant coach), Danny also gathers other children that have never been given a chance and dubs the team the "Little Giants." One such player is Junior Floyd (Devon Sawa), a strong armed quarterback and son to Danny's childhood sweetheart, Patty (Susanna Thompson). Becky slowly develops a crush on him and struggles with her new found feelings as a girl.
Two old-timers, Orville (Harry Fleer) and Wilbur (Dabbs Greer), fan the flames of the rivalry between the brothers by reporting to both Danny and Kevin that a new star player, Spike Hammersmith (Sam Horrigan), has just moved to Urbania. Danny succeeds at recruiting him by tricking his overzealous father, Mike (Brian Haley), that he is the famous "Coach O'Shea", but this is a problem as Spike proves to be rude, arrogant, and refuses to play on a team with a girl. The deception is later discovered and he switches over to Kevin's more well-structured Cowboys. Kevin also encourages his own daughter, Debbie (Courtney Peldon), to be a cheerleader and later convinces Becky that a quarterback will want to date a girl, not a teammate. Realizing it is her best chance to win over Junior, she decides to quit the team and pursue cheerleading.
Just as Danny's "Little Giants" start to lose hope, a bus arrives carrying John Madden, Emmitt Smith, Bruce Smith, Tim Brown, and Steve Emtman. The NFL stars teach and inspire the young players into believing they can win.
On the day of the game, Kevin chastises Danny into making an impulsive bet. If Danny wins, he gets Kevin's Chevrolet dealership; if Kevin wins, he gets Danny's gas station. Facing a 21-point halftime deficit, the Giants are lifted when Danny asks them to individually recall a time when they had a proud accomplishment and reassures them that all it takes is "one time" to beat the Cowboys. With this, the Giants begin to make a big comeback with a series of outstanding and unexpected plays. Realizing that Junior is the main threat to them, Spike, under orders from Mike, injures him by spearing him with his helmet after the whistle, which even Kevin considers disgraceful, unsportsmanlike conduct. Witnessing from the sidelines, an enraged Becky drops her pompoms and suits up for the game. She immediately makes an impact when she forces a fumble after a jarring hit on Spike. Other Giants make touchdowns in tandem with overcoming personal problems, such as one player overcoming his fear of dropping passes and making a completion, or another one running towards the goal line when his little-seen dad has come to watch him play. In the game's closing seconds with the score tied at 21 all, the Giants make a goal line stand on 4th down and stop Spike. With time remaining for one final play, their offense step back onto the field and use a trick play Nubie calls "The Annexation of Puerto Rico". Kevin shouts out the actual name of the play as it occurs, shouting "Fumblerooski, Fumblerooski!" The play takes up all 99 yards using three different ball carriers towards a Giants touchdown.
Afterwards, Danny says that rather than have the Giants solely represent Urbania, he will merge the Cowboys into them and that both he and Kevin can coach the team. He and Patty rekindle their childhood romance and he agrees not to hold Kevin to the pre-game bet on the condition that the Urbana water tower be changed from "Home of Kevin O'Shea" to "Home of The O'Shea Brothers", reflecting a much earlier promise of Kevin to Danny from their childhood that one day both their names would be on it.
- Rick Moranis as Danny O'Shea
- Ed O'Neill as Kevin O'Shea
- Shawna Waldron as Becky "Icebox" O'Shea
- Susanna Thompson as Patty Floyd
- Devon Sawa as Junior Floyd
- Brian Haley as Mike Hammersmith
- Sam Horrigan as Spike Hammersmith
- Frank Carl Fisher Jr. as Patterson
- Mary Ellen Trainor as Karen O'Shea
- Courtney Peldon as Debbie O'Shea
- Alexa Vega as Priscilla O'Shea
- Todd Bosley as Jake Berman
- Matthew McCurley as Nubie
- Joey Simmirin as Sean Murphy
- Jon Paul Steuer as Johnny "Viper" Vennaro
- Troy Simmons as Rashid "Hot Hands" Hanon
- Marcus Toji as Marcus "The Toe"
- John Madden: Former NFL Coach for the Oakland Raiders and former commentator for ABC, CBS, NBC, and at the time of the film's release, Fox Sports. Madden is also well known for his popular football video game franchise entitled John Madden Football. A Pro Football Hall of Famer.
- Emmitt Smith: Former NFL running back for the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals. The all time leading rusher in NFL history, and also scored over 100 touchdowns. A Pro Football Hall of Famer.
- Bruce Smith: Former NFL defensive end for the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins. The all-time leading sacker with 200 quarterback sacks. A Pro Football Hall of Famer.
- Tim Brown: Former NFL wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Steve Emtman: Former NFL defensive lineman for the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, and Washington Redskins.
The film had a low budget, and was able to recoup with $20 million earned in box office sales.
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