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Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates|
by Mary Mapes Dodge
|Written by||Jeff Schechter|
|Directed by||Greg Beeman|
Erik von Detten|
|Theme music composer||J. Peter Robinson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||99 minutes|
|Distributor||Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
|Original network||Disney Channel|
|Original release||August 29, 1998|
Andy "Brink" Brinker and his in-line skating crew—Peter, Jordy, and Gabriella—who call themselves "Soul-Skaters" (which means they skate for the fun of it, and not for the money), clash with a group of sponsored skaters, Team X-Bladz—led by Val—with whom they attend high school in southern California.
On the first day of school, the Soul-Skaters and Team X-Bladz race on school grounds. Boomer, a skater for Team X-Bladz, is seriously injured during the race, while Brink and Val are both caught and suspended. Brink learns that his family is in financial trouble; his father Ralph has been on disability for six months. Brink secretly goes against what he believes and joins Team X-Bladz for $200 a week, as a replacement for Boomer. Ralph gets him a job at Pup-N-Suds, a dog grooming business, part time. This however, is a job which Jordy, Gabriella and Peter are aware of because Brink had told them that he's working there. For a while, he manages to keep his other job in Team X-Bladz a secret from his family and friends by assuming different costumes. However, Jordy, Gabriella and Peter discover the truth when they appear in the same skating park to skate. They catches him skating for Team X-Bladz to train for an upcoming local competition. Brink's friends feel he betrayed them and choose to ignore him upon discovering his alignment with Team X-Bladz. The Soul-Skaters and Team X-Bladz later agree to a downhill race, with Gabriella against Brink.
Although Val offers his friendship to Brink in an attempt to keep him with X-Bladz, Boomer isn't fooled by this and suspects his intentions knowing too well what he is like inside. When Brink visits him at the hospital, Boomer tries to warn him not to go through with the race as Val has something bad planned for him. Boomer encourages Brink to leave X-Bladz and go back to his friends while he still can. During the race, Val intentionally sabotages Gabriella's part of the course by tossing gravel onto the road. Gabriella wipes out big and sustains minor injuries. At this point, all of the Soul-Skaters disown Brink as their friend; they call him a sell-out and stop talking to him. When he comes to visit Gabriella at her house, her mother sympathetically tells Brink that she needs to be in bed for a while and that she respects Gabriella's wishes not to see him. As he leaves, Brink finally realizes the true meaning of Boomer's warning and why he was wary of Val too late. The sabotage and loss of his friends were Val's true intentions the whole time in order to keep him in X-Bladz. Later, Ralph learns about both the accident from Gabriella's mother and Brink's position on Team X-Bladz. In the garage, he has a heart-to-heart talk with Brink and asks him why he didn't tell the family about it. Brink finally confesses his true reasons for joining Team X-Bladz and wanting to be a somebody from it. He admits that though he got what he wanted, it has gotten him into a mess, as he has lost his friends and started becoming like Val. Ralph reveals that although the family is in financial trouble, Brink should not be skating for money and rather for fun.
Inspired by his father, Brink meets Val at the local boardwalk and quits Team X-Bladz. Brink reveals his disgust with Val for sabotaging the race and injuring Gabriella.Val calls Brink a coward and a traitor in itself, revealing that he did not have the nerve to finish the race and in the process has no friends. This leads to an argument between both boys and Brink to toss a milkshake in Val's face. As Val attempts to physically retaliate, Boomer steps in and disagrees with the claim. He calls Val out for who he is inside, reveals his own friendship with Brink and why he left X-Bladz after recovering from his injury. Boomer admits that he had witnessed Val cheating in past competitions and that he never thinks about the consequences of his own actions that come with it. Brink closes the argument by telling Val off that he is not a true skater for skating for money rather than fun and challenges him at the in-line skating competition. Val readily accepts his challenge and leaves with the other X-Bladz. Boomer walks away with Brink, thanking him for showing Boomer the meaning to skate for fun and will show his support for him. In the days before the competition, Brink meets his friends at the skate yard. After giving them new skates and equipment, Brink tells them of his plan to sponsor the team under the name "Team Pup 'N Suds." They accept Brink as their friend again.
As friends once again, they compete in the competition with their families' support. At the end, it comes down to Brink and Val in the championship race. Brink, his friends and his family celebrate the long-awaited victory. Immediately after the race, Team X-Bladz manager, Jimmy, fires Val for cheating and trying to sabotage Brink from Boomer. He offers Brink the captain position of the team. Brink quickly turns down the offer, stating he remembers that he skates for fun and not money.
- Erik von Detten – Andy "Brink" Brinker
- Christina Vidal – Gabriella Dellama
- Sam Horrigan – Val
- David Graf – Ralph Brinker
- Robin Riker – Maddie Brinker
- Patrick Levis – Peter Calhoun
- Asher Gold – Jordy
- Walter Emanuel Jones – Boomer
- Geoffrey Blake – Jimmy
- Joey Simmrin – Arne "Worm"
- Jake Elliott – B. J.
- Katie Volding – Kate Brinker
- "Give" by The Suicide Machines
- "Sooner or Later" by Fastball
- "Apology" by Clarissa
- "Come on Brink" by Mark Mason and Rick Allen
In December 2015, Dylan Kickham of Entertainment Weekly ranked Brink! at number four on a list of the top 30 Disney Channel Original Movies. Kickham wrote, "Along with the hilariously nostalgic lingo, Brink! earns its place in the pantheon of great DCOMs for mixing adrenaline, drama, and one-time Disney golden boy Erik von Detten."
In May 2016, Aubrey Page of Collider ranked each Disney Channel Original Movie released up to that point. Page ranked Brink! at number 17, writing, "It's been official pretty much since it aired: Brink! is a classic. And, it's potentially the best aggressive inline skating movie ever been committed to film – though it might also be the only one."