~I received Disney McFarland USA for review. Opinions and stories are my own.~
Disney has always hit a home run with family movies and McFarland USA is no exception. What makes this movie beyond exceptional is that it is based on the true story of Coach Jim White who led the McFarland Cougars Cross Country Track Team. It has deep roots in what it means to be a family and the strength it takes to beat the odds.
The film begins with Coach Jim White and his family moving to McFarland, CA after he had lost another coaching position. As the only school that would take him in, they find themselves in a town his very suburban family isn’t accustomed to. Shortly after he starts teaching Life Science and coaching P.E., he notices something amazing about the boys in his class. Growing up in families with long histories of picking crops, they were extraordinary runners with speed and stamina that was unparalleled. He began the Cross Country Track Team at McFarland and the rest is history.
Although this is mostly Jim White’s story, it was the boys who had stole the film. What they had to endure to support their families and to try and make a better life for themselves was deeply inspiring. Thomas Valles, Jose Cardenas, Johnny Sameniego, Victor Puentes and Damacio, Danny and David Diaz are heroes in their own right. At the very least this film will make you think of all the families and children who are out there daily picking for generations to bring food to America and what it means to them when their children succeed at the American Dream.
Special Features include:
- McFarland Reflections: Kevin Costner, Coach Jim White and the members of the 1987 cross-country team looking back on the bonds they forged.
- “Junotos” Music Video Performed by Juanes
- Inspiring McFarland: The strength and perserverance that build the community.
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
This is my Father’s Day pick because it shares the story of great father’s who worked hard for their families, who always did what they must and were always there when it mattered the most. Coach Jim White was in many ways a father to the boys he had trained to become Cougars year after year. It would be a wonderful movie to share with an inspiring father figure in your life to show them that you believe in them too.
And as promised, here is an amazing Tamale Recipe since there are a whole lot of tamales in the movie. It really makes me want my grandma’s tamales!
You can pick up Disney McFarland USA at any retail outlet or on Amazon. It is certified awesome at Rotton Tomatoes!