Sunday, August 9, 2020


Stephanie Bradt: Andy “Brink” Brinker is the title character of the 1998 DCOM, Brink! He is played by Erik Von Detten, apparently Disney’s go-to for a stereotypical California boy, just like the one he plays in The Princess Diaries three years later. Brink is a skater boy who likes to use made up words such as “chornage,” which is Skater Boy for “chores.” Brink and his friends call themselves “soul skaters,” but Brink is the only one who seems to have the annoying California voice, hair, and mannerisms.

The rivals of the soul skaters are Val and his Team X-Bladz, mean skaters who have a sponsorship (of course). Brink is a good person, but he kind of sells out to join Team X-Bladz for $200 a week. He wants to make it big in skating because he wants an identity, but he also has the sympathetic motivation of fixing his family’s financial woes. Brink is further alienated from his friends when one of his group gets hurt due to Val cheating during a race. Brink feels bad and has a heart to heart with his dad and decides to go back to skating for the right reasons. His dramatic exit from Team X-Bladz consists of throwing milkshake into Val’s face, because Disney. Brink makes it up to his team and once again joins them to compete against Team X-Bladz. Of course, the games culminate in a final, dangerous downhill race: Val vs. Brink. And of course, Val is a jerk and tries to cheat his way to victory, but Brink and company come out on top, while Val’s douchey antics are caught on camera. 

Brink! had pretty good sports action, as well as some wholesome moments. It has a good message of friendship with the good guys ending up happy and the bad guys getting what they deserve. In other words, a solid Disney Channel Original Movie.

Some other thoughts:

  • According to Wikipedia, this movie is loosely based on a novel an 1865 novel about a Dutch speedskater named Hans Brinker! Where has this book been all my life?!
  • The banker from Horse Sense and Even Stevens dad, is now a boring science teacher. This guy might be in every Disney thing ever.
  • I liked the dad because he was funny and sarcastic, but still a good dad. I shared his frustration with his son’s poor use of the English language. 
  • This is yet another movie where schoolkids have a sponsorship. Kids watching these movies back in the day must have thought that this is something common or easy to achieve.
  • Brink is 110% California surfer/skater/valley dude, yet his friends seem quite nerdy other than the whole skater thing.
  • I loved the melodrama when Gabriella got hurt. When Brink visits her to apologize, she is in bed in her dark bedroom in a deep depression. She took a bad spill onto the pavement, but really? Now she is bed-ridden? She’s not dying. And then like five minutes later, she is back to competing like nothing ever happened.
Jordan Bradt:  It took me forever to watch this movie, because my son instantly hated it.  He's 3, and I guess rollerblades aren't his thing yet.  I had to watch it in small increments with him, and eventually he wandered off.  He missed out on the end.  Oh well.

This was another solid DCOM.  It had some good values regarding friendship, honesty, and family relationships.  The dad and Bring didn't get along, but Dad kept trying to connect with Brink.  We got to understand Dad's reasoning.  He wasn't one-dimensional.  Their relationship was realistic.

I only had a few issues:

  • How easy is it to get a sponsorship?  It basiclaly fell into Brink's lap.  Is that common for teenagers?  
  • Why was Bring the only guy to talk like that?  It felt weird.  They were in California, and it would have felt more well-rounded if at least one other person talked like that.
  • The Soul Skaters were jerks to people around them.  Jumping over diners?  Ruining their food?  They were great skaters, but not the best of people.  
  • Like what Stephanie said above, Gabriella's accident was weird.  She got hurt.  It looked painful.  Did she need to be bedridden?  She got right back up!  

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