What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this inspiring sports drama about a Mexican Little League team that made it all the way to the World Series is a fine pick for most kids. There are a few themes that might be too difficult for kids under 7 to understand, like the discrimination the boys face when playing in Texas or the Midwest. Because it's set in the '50s, when Jim Crow laws were still the norm in the American South, the team has to deal with "whites only" signs, being called "wetbacks" and watching the sole black player of a team eat separately from his white teammates. One of the boys has a cruel, seemingly alcoholic father grieving the death of an older son, and the coach also gets drunk after being called a "towel boy." There are also a couple of scuffles between characters, although no actual punches are thrown. There's also a strong religious theme in the film, since the kids are strict Catholics. Also, kids learn about overcoming odds, working as a team, and relying on faith when confronted with obstacles.
- Families can talk about the David vs. Goliath theme in the film. What do the Monterrey boys have to overcome to compete in the World Series? How are the American teams "Goliath-like"?
- Why are underdog stories so appealing? Name some of the best underdog-themed sports movies.
- There are lots of Biblical references in the movie. How does the kids' faith affect their playing?
- How is racism treated in the movie? Is it difficult to consider what it was like when there were "white's only" signs on bathrooms and elderly men were derisively called "colored" by white men? How did the kids react to the African American boy who must eat separately from his team? What would you have done?