The Luck of the Irish (2001 film)

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The Luck of the Irish
Disney - The Luck of the Irish.jpg
Promotional poster
Written byAndrew Price
Directed byPaul Hoen
StarringRyan Merriman
Alexis Lopez
Timothy Omundson
Henry Gibson
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Don Schain
Running time86 minutes
DistributorDisney-ABC Domestic Television
Original release
  • March 9, 2001 (2001-03-09)

The Luck of the Irish is a 2001 American Disney Channel original movie. It has been shown in reruns each March on the Disney Channel around St. Patrick's Day.


Kyle Johnson (Ryan Merriman) a popular basketball player in junior high school who has never known about his heritage, learns that his high school is putting on a special event called Heritage Day, a celebration for everyone of different heritages. He asks his parents, but they're reluctant to tell him the truth about where their family came from, insisting they were from Cleveland, Ohio. Over the weekend, Kyle and his best friend, Russell Halloway (Glenndon Chatman) attend an Irish carnival. Afterward, strange things happen: Kyle starts shrinking, his hair turns red, and his ears become pointed. His mother (Marita Geraghty), starts speaking with an Irish accent and confesses that their family is Irish. She changes her hairstyle, starts making Irish foods and eventually shrinks to only a foot tall. At school, during science class, Kyle realizes his lucky gold coin was stolen when the fake coin he was wearing stuck to a magnet he was using.

It turned out that the gold coin Kyle wore was the O'Reilly lucky coin. A magic coin, when in the possession of the youngest family member, allows all the leprechauns in the family to pass as normal human beings. But since the coin is gone, the family is down on their luck now, and reverting to their true forms. At first, his mother believes her 200-year-old father, Reilly O'Reilly (Henry Gibson) stole the coin, and they decide to go to his potato chip factory to get it back.

Kyle's father (Paul Kiernan) explains that his grandfather disowned his mother for marrying a human, and they not only left Cleveland, but also changed their original last name from Smith to Johnson so he wouldn't be able to find them. After Kyle meets his grandfather, and explains what happened to the gold coin, he tells Kyle that it was a "far darrig," an evil leprechaun named Seamus McTiernen (Timothy Omundson) who stole the coin.

With the help of his best friend, Russell, Kyle and company are transported to Ireland to engage Seamus in several traditional competitions such as wrestling and step dance, managing to tie in the final score. When Seamus uses trick wording to try and win, Kyle makes one last bet with him to play a competition of his choosing as a tie breaker, to which Seamus accepts. Kyle and Russell find themselves in a basketball game with Seamus and his forces on the opposing team, commanding a strong lead thanks to the coin's luck. Russell gains confidence and improves when Kyle's grandfather gives him a fake magic lucky coin and tells him it's real, giving Kyle the realization he can make his own luck through hard work. Working together Kyle and Russell catch the score back up and shoot a winning shot despite Seamus growing in power and showing his true form. Victorious and winning the bet, Kyle has Seamus forever trapped in Lake Erie. He then wakes up and realizes he is late for Heritage Day, on the day he does an Irish folk dance and leads the crowd in singing: "This Land is Your Land" with his parents and grandfather in the audience proudly joining in.



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