No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie

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No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie
Directed byTroy Kotsur
Produced by
Screenplay byTaly Ravid
Based onA character created by John Maucere
Starring
  • John Maucere
  • Michelle Nunes
  • Zane Hencker
Music byH. Scott Salinas
CinematographyJeff Gatesman
Edited byJames Cude
Production
companies
Mariposa Creativity, LLC
Distributed byDeafNation
Release date
October 19, 2013
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States
Language

No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie is a 2013 family-friendly[1] drama film directed by Troy Kotsur and produced by Douglas Matejka and Hilari Scarl, with music score by H. Scott Salinas. The film stars John Maucere as Tony/SuperDeafy and Zane Hencker as Jacob Lang. The film tells the story of a deaf actor who portrays a superhero on a children's television show and wants to help a young deaf boy who gets bullied at school. The film is open captioned in English.[2]

Background[edit]

Gallaudet University Professor Sharon Pajka says:

SuperDeafy is the star of a popular children's television show who dresses in blue with a bright yellow cape and green briefs. His hair is a giant pompadour wig with two distinct pieces sticking out on both sides jokingly "for balance". The emblem on the front of his chest is SuperDeafy's name sign, a crossed double hand "I Love You". He's goofy and animated; the show focuses on teaching ASL (American Sign Language) along with a good dose of charades that children, deaf and hearing, adore.[3]

Deaf comedian, actor, and ASL advocate John Maucere has been performing the SuperDeafy character in the deaf community around the world since 2004,[4][5] and perhaps as early as about 1998.[6] Maucere has thus become well known in the deaf community internationally.[7]

Troy Kotsur directed a number of webisodes of the SuperDeafy program prior to No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie.[8][9]

There are some short SuperDeafy videos online here.

Plot[edit]

Eight-year-old Jacob Lang is having a hard time in school, where he is in a class of hearing kids (Jacob is deaf). Although he's trying to learn lip reading, he has difficulty understanding and being understood. He knows ASL but his classmates don't. He longs to fit in and be accepted as an average kid, but that's not happening. Jacob's teacher is recommending that he be put in a class of deaf kids to help his social development and communication skills. Jacob's mother agrees, but his father insists that Jacob will be more "normal" by remaining with hearing kids and becoming more proficient at lip-reading. Jacob is feeling helpless and depressed.

Jacob finds escape from his problems in a TV program named SuperDeafy that is especially for deaf kids. SuperDeafy is about a deaf superhero who gets into comical situations with a police officer. Jacob identifies with SuperDeafy because he, too, is deaf; he fantasizes about being a superhero and surmounting his problems via imagined superpowers.

Tony Kane plays SuperDeafy in the TV program and is deaf in real life. Tony, like Jacob, is having problems due to the self-centeredness and lack of empathy of others. Jacob's teacher, Jenny, is dating Derek (Officer Norm), Tony's supporting character on SuperDeafy. She asks Derek and Tony to come to the school and talk to the school for Diversity Day.

Tony and Derek go to the school for the event, however, Derek upstages Tony by making fun of Tony for being deaf in front of the whole school. This gives a poor image of deaf people, leading people to believe deaf people are a joke and dumb. After, Jenny confronts Derek in the school parking lot telling him how inappropriate his behavior was. Tony meets Jenny in the parking lot and it is apparent that Tony falls in love with her. That night, Tony quits being SuperDeafy.

Jenny and Tony fall in love, and he goes on with his life without SuperDeafy. Jenny asks Tony to talk to her class since she sees Jacob is having a difficult time. He does so, and talks to the kids about what it means to be "normal". Tony explains that being normal simply means being one's own unique, authentic self.

Jenny and others have a meeting with Jacob's parents and discuss their recommendation to move Jacob into the deaf kids' class. Jacob's dad is still resisting this idea, but over the following weeks he gives it further consideration and changes his mind (and also decides to learn ASL).

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

No Ordinary Hero is the first film in the history of SAG (Screen Actors Guild) commercial feature films to be directed by a deaf director and to be executive-produced exclusively by deaf executive producers.[1][10]

The movie was filmed on location in Los Angeles and Burbank, California.[11]

The film is rated PG for mild thematic elements.

Release[edit]

The world premiere of No Ordinary Hero took place on October 19, 2013 at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana.[12]

The film was released on DVD by KimStim, Inc. on August 18, 2015.[13]

Reception[edit]

Colleen Foy, who played Jacob's mother in the film, said this in an interview:

[Jacob's] family was clearly a very important part of the film, because we have two stories going on at the same time. We have a family and a depiction of their lives, and then SuperDeafy and his life. And that moment when both of those paths cross, that's when the magic happens. The family story really does establish a beautiful reality that deaf people experience. Really, I'm very proud of this film. It was just an awesome film and it's important for the film world to show audiences and [let deaf people] see depictions of basically their own story put into a feature film. And realize that they aren't alone out there in the world, so it's important for that reason,[14][15] and we need more characters that show diversity so that way more people can see this for themselves and be inspired and see that they are indeed normal and not alone out there.[16]

Movie reviewer Richard Propes says that No Ordinary Hero is "a must see for parents who desire to have their children grow up celebrating the differences that exist between us."[1]

Reviewer Amos Lassen says that the film "seeks to inspire, but it does so in a realistic way as many of the laughs involving Kane do center around the many challenges he faces living his daily life in a world that doesn't always understand those who appear to be 'different'."[17]

The Amazon.com (a commercial website) webpage for No Ordinary Hero lists 40 customer reviews of the film, as of 2016-12-31.

Awards and honors[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Propes, Richard. ""No Ordinary Hero: The Superdeafy Movie" Plays Heartland Film Festival". The Independent Critic (film review). Retrieved 2016-12-07.
  2. ^ Liz Tannebaum. "DST Entertainment: Exclusive Interview with Liz Tannebaum". DSTidbits (Interview). Interviewed by Jasun Hicks. Retrieved 2016-12-06. No Ordinary Hero is open captioned in English
  3. ^ Pajka, Sharon (2014-09-18). "No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie Screening at Gallaudet University" (film review). Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  4. ^ "Superdeafy and John "Leno" Maucere Headed to the Hoosier State". PRWeb. 2004-04-30. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  5. ^ "Calendar 2004". Michigan Coalition for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People. 2004. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  6. ^ Kuzert, Modela (2013-09-02). "No Ordinary Hero: SuperDeafy Movie". San Francisco News. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  7. ^ "Stand up på tegnspråk" [Stand-Up in Sign Language]. Avisa Nordland (in Norwegian). 2012-11-15. Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  8. ^ Troy Kotsur, Paul Raci, and Stephen Sachs (June 2012). "Cyrano on Poets Cafe" (Interview). Interviewed by Lois P. Jones. Retrieved 2016-12-12.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) Interview was on KPFK radio.
  9. ^ "SuperDeafy Webisode #10". DeafNation. 2009-03-19. Archived from the original on 2012-08-08. Retrieved 2016-12-12.
  10. ^ Schmitt, Pierre (June–November 2015). "The SuperDeafy Movie: Chroniques des Héros Ordinaires". Art'Pi! (in French). Art'Sign (9): 40–41. ISSN 2118-5948. Retrieved 2017-02-06. Il est le premier film réalisé et produit par des Sourds reconnus dans le milieu professionnel américain.
  11. ^ "Full cast and crew - final crawl" (PDF). 2014-06-23. p. 6. Retrieved 2016-12-06. Filmed on location in Los Angeles and Burbank
  12. ^ "No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie - World Premiere at Heartland this week". October 2013. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  13. ^ "No Ordinary Hero: The Superdeafy Movie". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2016-12-08. Studio: Kimstim; DVD Release Date: August 18, 2015
  14. ^ Mekonnen, Mulat; Hannu, Savolainen; Elina, Lehtomäki; Matti, Kuorelahti (October 2016). "The Self-Concept of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing and Hearing Students". Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. 21 (4): 345–351. doi:10.1093/deafed/enw041.
  15. ^ Chapman, Madeleine; Dammeyer, Jesper (2016-11-23). "The Significance of Deaf Identity for Psychological Well-Being". Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. doi:10.1093/deafed/enw073.
  16. ^ "DeafNation Screening: Meet the Celebrities". DeafNation (video). Interviewed by Joel Barish. Retrieved 2016-12-06. Colleen Foy appears at 19 minutes into the video.
  17. ^ Lassen, Amos (2015-06-27). "'NO ORDINARY HERO: THE SUPERDEAFY MOVIE' -- To Believe in Oneself" (film review). Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  18. ^ "SuperDeafy film to be shown on campus". Gallaudet University. September 2014. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  19. ^ "From the KimStim Collection - No Ordinary Hero: The Superdeafy Movie". Icarus Films. Retrieved 2016-12-08. Best Film, 2014 Dov Film Festival
  20. ^ "From the KimStim Collection - No Ordinary Hero: The Superdeafy Movie". Icarus Films. Retrieved 2016-12-08. Best Film, 2014 Temecula Valley Film Festival
  21. ^ "No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie". The Dove Foundation. August 2015. Retrieved 2016-12-08.

External links[edit]