Little Giants was a movie released in 1994 that told the story of a misfit group of kids who formed a football team to compete against the more popular team in their town. As a girl who loved playing sports and didn’t fit traditional gender roles, I saw myself in the characters and themes of this movie. Here are some reasons why Little Giants made me feel seen as a tomboy in the ’90s.
From the opening scene, Little Giants challenged the notion that only boys could play football. Becky “Icebox” O’Shea, the protagonist and the best player in her neighborhood, was a girl who could tackle, run, and catch like a pro. She didn’t apologize for her talents or let anyone tell her what she couldn’t do. As a young girl who played backyard football with her brothers and dreamed of being a professional athlete, I found a role model in Becky. She showed me that it was okay to be different and to embrace my strengths.
Bullying and Diversity
Little Giants also tackled the issues of bullying and diversity in a way that resonated with me. The main villain of the movie, Spike, was a privileged and entitled boy who belittled others and used his status to get what he wanted. However, he wasn’t a one-dimensional character. The movie showed that even bullies had insecurities and fears that shaped their behavior. More importantly, the movie also showed that people of different backgrounds and abilities could come together and form a team. The diverse group of kids in Little Giants, from the nerdy “Hot Hands” to the disabled “Johnny Unitas,” had their own talents and quirks but learned to respect and support each other. As someone who struggled with bullying and felt like an outsider sometimes, I appreciated the message of inclusion and unity in the movie.
Family and Friendship
Finally, Little Giants had a heartwarming subplot about family and friendship. Becky’s father, played by Rick Moranis, was a former football star who became a stay-at-home dad after an injury. He supported his daughter’s passion for football but also faced financial and emotional challenges that strained their relationship. Through the course of the movie, both Becky and her father learned to communicate, forgive, and appreciate each other. Similarly, the members of the Little Giants team formed a bond that went beyond wins and losses. They became a family that cheered each other on and stood by each other in times of need. As someone who valued her own family and friends above all else, I found the scenes of love and loyalty in the movie touching.
In conclusion, Little Giants was a movie that spoke to the tomboy in me and inspired me to be true to myself. Its characters, themes, and messages of breaking stereotypes, embracing diversity, and valuing family and friendship, made me feel seen and heard in a culture that often ignored or ridiculed girls who loved sports. Even though it’s been almost thirty years since the movie was released, its legacy lives on for me and many others who were touched by its magic.