Disney's The Kid
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jon Turteltaub|
|Written by||Audrey Wells|
|Cinematography||Peter Menzies Jr.|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|July 7, 2000|
|Box office||$110.3 million|
Disney's The Kid is a 2000 American comedy-drama fantasy film, directed by Jon Turteltaub and written by Audrey Wells. It stars Bruce Willis and Spencer Breslin, with Emily Mortimer, Lily Tomlin, Chi McBride, and Jean Smart playing smaller roles. Walt Disney Pictures released the film on July 7 in the United States and received mixed reviews from critics. The film was based on a Twilight Zone episode, "Walking Distance", that originally aired on October 30, 1959.
Russ Duritz works as an image consultant, but he is impolite to people and has a strained relationship with his father. One of his clients is a stadium manager who is reneging on a previous promise to fund a baseball camp for disadvantaged children. When Russ makes a pie throwing video to fabricate an explanation, his coworker Amy urges him to reconsider.
When Russ returns home to find a toy plane on his porch, he assumes it is a gift from his father. However, inside he sees a strange agitated boy and chases him through the streets. After seeing the boy enter Skyway Diner, Russ walks in and finds no sign of him. Believing the experience to be a hallucination, Russ goes to a psychiatrist appointment the next day, but finds the same boy on his couch eating popcorn afterwards. The boy says that his name is Rusty and that he was originally searching for his toy plane. Starting to see a resemblance, Russ begins comparing memories and birthmarks with Rusty, and figures out that the boy is actually Russ as a kid. After a series of questions, Rusty tells Russ that he dislikes his future.
Amy finds out about the boy the next day and starts to think that Russ and Rusty are father and son. After she accuses him of keeping Rusty a secret, Russ tries to tell her the truth. However, she only comes to believe it after seeing that the two have nearly identical arguing styles. When Amy finds out that Russ lied and aired the stadium manager's tape, she gets mad at him and leaves disappointed.
Russ decides to cancel his appointments and spend an afternoon walking and driving around the city with Rusty, trying to find out why Rusty is there and what Russ needs to fix from the past. As they drive through a tunnel, Russ recalls a fight he lost with some neighborhood bullies who were abusing a three-legged dog named Tripod. They emerge from the tunnel to find themselves reliving Rusty's eighth birthday in 1968. Russ helps Rusty win the fight and save Tripod, but suddenly remembers that because of the fight, his sick mother also came to school for him that day. When they get home, Rusty's father angrily shakes and scolds him for getting into trouble and causing his mother more stress. Rusty cries and his father tells him to grow up, rubbing Rusty's eyes painfully and causing a lifelong facial tic. Russ tells Rusty that his mother will die before his next birthday, then comforts him. Russ tells Rusty that his father was angry and scared because of the huge responsibility of raising a boy alone.
The two go to Skyway Diner and congratulate each other about the fight. When a dog named Chester greets Rusty, they find out that his owner is an older version of Russ who owns planes and raises a family with Amy as his wife. Realizing that Rusty's appearance was meant to change his ways rather than the other way around, Russ returns to his time, arranges plans to see his dad, buys his assistant tickets to Hawaii, and, with a puppy, returns to Amy, who invites him into her home.
- Bruce Willis as Russ Duritz
- Spencer Breslin as Rusty Duritz
- Emily Mortimer as Amy
- Lily Tomlin as Janet
- Chi McBride as Kenny
- Juanita Moore as Kenny's Grandmother
- Jean Smart as Deidre Lefever
- Dana Ivey as Dr. Suzanne Alexander
- Reiley McClendon as Mark
- Steve Tom as Bruce, the Lawyer
- Larry King as himself
- Jeri Ryan as herself
- Nick Chinlund as himself
- Matthew Perry as Mr. Vivian (uncredited)
- Daniel von Bargen as Sam Duritz
- Melissa McCarthy as Skyway Diner Waitress
- Elizabeth Arlen as Gloria Duritz
- Zach Redo as James
- Brian McGregor as Vince
- Brian Tebbits as Herbert
- Brian McLaughlin as George
Upon its release, Disney's The Kid received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes calculated a 49% overall approval rating based on 97 reviews, with the consensus being, "Critics find The Kid to be too sweet and the movie's message to be annoyingly simplistic." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 45, based on 32 reviews, which represents "mixed or average reviews". Film critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the movie 3 stars out of 4, observing that "Disney's The Kid is warm-hearted and effective, a sweet little parable that involves a man and a boy who help each other become a better boy, and a better man. It's a sweet film, unexpectedly involving, and shows again that Willis, so easily identified with action movies, is gifted in the areas of comedy and pathos: This is a cornball plot, and he lends it credibility just by being in it."
Awards and nominations
The Kid was nominated for three awards, winning one.
|The Saturn Awards||Best Performance by a Younger Actor||Spencer Breslin||Nominated|
|Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a Feature Film – Young Actor Age Ten or Under||Spencer Breslin||Won|
|Best Family Feature Film – Comedy||Nominated|
- "The Kid (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
- "The Kid (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
- "The Kid Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
- Ebert, Roger (2000-07-07). "Disney's The Kid Movie Review (2000)". Retrieved 2014-05-23.
- "Awards for The Kid (2000)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
- Official website
- Disney's The Kid at the Internet Movie Database
- Disney's The Kid at AllMovie
- Disney's The Kid at Rotten Tomatoes
- Disney's The Kid at Metacritic
- Disney's The Kid at Box Office Mojo