The Walt Disney Company, that corporation that for many of us basically spells out our entire childhoods, owns Marvel. Yup, you heard right. Disney, known for sugary sweet cuteness and happily-ever-after owns a publishing company that deals with comic books that regularly feature adult themes. But this isn’t actually the first time that Disney have broached the super hero genre. One of the most memorable accounts of it came in 2005, with the fun family flick: Sky High.
Sky High follows the son of the two biggest heroes – the Commander and Jetstream – Will Stronghold, as he begins his freshman year at the school for super heroes, the titled Sky High. Will is there along with his friends, Layla the peaceful hippie girl who can control plants, Zach who can glow, Magenta who can become a guinea pig, and Ethan who can… melt. Okay, so those powers aren’t actually all that cool. To be fair, they’re all in the “Hero Support” classes, sidekicks to call them by their other names. Least they’re better off than Will though. Despite being the son of two of the greatest heroes around, he doesn’t seem to have inherited either of their powers. How is he going to handle this year at Sky High, avoiding wannabe supervillains, the son of his father’s arch-nemesis, and possibly maybe getting a girlfriend too.
Okay, so from the basic summary, you’ve probably figured it to be some coming-of-age light comedy aimed at the young teens crowd, and just so happening to be focused around superheroes because in 2005 we were beginning to see the upsurge of the superhero movie again. And, well, yeah, you’d be right. Quick comparison if I had to make one of the top of my head, I guess, would be… X-Men meets Harry Potter. Yeah, I know, you’re grinning at the fun image that puts in your head, aren’t you?
This movie was made by the creators of hit Disney cartoon Kim Possible, and the influence really does show occasionally. Even more noticeable is the huge names that were cast in the film, including the retroactive recognition factor of Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Gwen Grayson. Thankfully, and possibly surprisingly considering the age group aimed at, the majority of the characters are pretty well rounded, and the creators seem to be aware of the Laws of Superhero Science, if going by some of the casting decisions to what powers they were assigned. No, but seriously, the attention to little details in this movie is what makes it so enjoyable to watch.
Well, that and the best twist that has ever twisted in any kids movie ever. And I sincerely mean that. And no, I’m not going to tell you the great twist, you’ll need to go watch the movie to get that. Overall, Sky High is a flick that was – despite getting good reviews – sadly underrated, and seemingly forgotten in the Disney back catalogue.
I suspect there’s hope though. Like I said at the beginning, Disney own Marvel now. It is this writer’s hope that Sky High may see continuation in comic form.
A girl can hope, alright?
Z McAspurren (The son of Will’s dad’s arch nemesis? Warren Peace. Yup. They really know subtle.)