I live in San Diego where the price we pay for amazing year-round weather is our (generally) underdog Padres and Chargers teams. As a result of being a lifelong native, I am accustomed to rooting for the “little guy.” And when it comes to the movies, there’s something so inspiring about the most unlikely of heroes rising to the occasion to make their mark.
The upcoming film Turbo, in which a snail’s dream to race cars becomes a reality, got me thinking of other characters who unexpectedly beat the odds. Here are a few of my favorite children’s movies with underdogs to root for:
At first glance, this kid is the “freak” of the bunch in school and often ridiculed for it. But when push comes to shove, Norman is needed to save his entire town from a centuries-old curse and he suddenly isn’t treated like such an outcast.
Sure, he was just a guy into science, but a mere spider bite later, Peter Parker suddenly finds himself as a web-slinging hero.
Being told he’s too little to play football wouldn’t sideline this lil’ guy’s dream! In fact, he goes on to join the Notre Dame team and touches down on some serious inspiration.
4. The Black Stallion
When a boy falls off a sinking boat, he finds himself shipwrecked with a wild horse. After forming what can only be called a friendship, the two soon train to compete in races together. This heartfelt story has tears streaming down my cheeks all the way to the finish line.
Gru is just trying to be bad, so why do three adorable girls make him look so good? After taking in the trio, audiences can’t help but root for his semischeming ways.
6. Star Wars
Listen, sister, Hans Solo’s got a furball for a friend and a ship that’s on its last legs. Can he really be everything Luke and Leia need him to be? You betcha.
7. The Bad News Bears
This Little League team finds itself in an ultracompetitive season with a broken-down coach. But their comeback has made the movie title common vernacular for every team that has a comeback.
8. The Karate Kid
He learned to “wax on, wax off,” and also how to kick some serious butt. Tired of being bullied, Daniel learns karate AND how to overcome the odds from a handyman.
Set to land in theaters this August, get ready for crop-dusting Dusty, who is both afraid of heights and partaking in an aerial race. Something tells me his dreams will come true with flying colors.
10. Leo the Lion
Though he should be king of the jungle, poor Leo is shunned for being a vegetarian in this movie that will roar into theaters later this year. Can he make a comeback among his pack? Guess we'll have to hit theaters to find out.
Remember as you beat the heat by heading to movie theaters this summer, never underestimate the underdog, but always enjoy their triumph. Now that’s the magic of movies.
Chelsea is one half of the Breezy Mama duo, a mom blog and online parenting magazine for those women who feel that motherhood doesn’t define them. To read more by Chelsea, visit BreezyMama.com or follow her on Twitter @BreezyMamaSite.