(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Cool Runnings. Snippets of the film's score by Hans Zimmer play throughout)
Doug (vo): Isn’t the term "based" such a great word? As in, "This is based on a true story"? Cool Runnings definitely exploited that word when it was telling the story of Olympic Jamaicans who actually made it into a bobsledding competition. I get the feeling this film could’ve been a really dramatic, really fascinating story if it was done by, like, Touchstone or Paramount or something. But, because it’s Disney, [Speaks in a goofy voice] we gotta play out the goofy and funniness of these guys trying to make it in the Winter Olympics. [Speaks normally] And would the film have been better if it didn’t deal with that corny point of view? Probably, but at the same time, I kind of like the corny point of view in this. Yeah, I’m really torn about this, because on the one hand, it is silly and the Jamaicans are more like the Ninja Turtles in their personalities and how colorful and goofy they are. But at the same time, I kind of like the Ninja Turtles and...oh, let’s look at the story.
Doug (vo): A Jamaican wants to run in the Olympics, but when an accident happens, literally tripping him up, it looks like his chances are gone forever, until he finds out there’s another way to get in, through bobsledding. There’s only two problems. One: They’re in Jamaica, and nobody can do bobsledding. And two: He doesn’t even know what a bobsled is. But, as luck would have it, an old drunken bobsledder, played by John Candy, happens to be in the neighborhood, and they keep pestering him and pestering him until he finally agrees that he’ll try to train them. They get a team together, do their best to try and learn how to do it on hills without ice, and sure enough, John Candy says they’re ready to go. When they get to the Olympics, of course, everybody laughs and mocks them and thinks they can’t go anywhere, and at first, they don’t. They start to choke. But then, on the second go, they start to actually do a really good job and everybody is suddenly on their side, all building up to the final competition.
Doug (vo): As a kid, I loved this movie. I love how goofy everybody does, I love how colorful they were, I love how they all had distinct personalities, I love how they have their own little backstories, like one wanted to live in Buckingham Palace, even though he wasn’t aware it was Buckingham Palace. But as an adult...wait. One wanted to live in Buckingham Palace, even though he didn’t know it was Buckingham Pal...what? You got bullies in this movie that are played by the Germans which, yeah, on the one hand, is kind of funny in how silly it is, but on the other hand...really? The ending, which I won’t give away, is actually a very heartfelt and inspiring ending, but, yeah, even that goes a little too corny. It’s just...I don’t know. There’s a very fine line of an audience that will like this movie. You have to be ready for that corniness, you have to be ready for the slow clap and the dramatic turn and the really corny, goofy moments with the really corny, goofy music playing, and...
[John Candy's character, Irv Blitzer, is shown in several scenes]
Doug (vo): Okay, let’s say you’re not a fan of that. Is there anything in this film that is redeemable? Well, once again, as with practically any role that he’s in, John Candy is fantastic. Every time you see this guy onscreen, you always shout, "Man, did he leave too soon. Why didn’t we appreciate him more when he was around?" He just took every role that he did so seriously, whether it was a comedy or a drama or something in-between like this. He captures the pain and weight of a guy who cheated in the Olympics originally, but then wanted to come back, he wanted to do it because he felt it was right and he wanted to give other people a chance, he wanted to do it because that’s what the Olympics are. And you hear that in every breath that he takes.
[Several more clips, mostly showing the main characters, the four Jamaicans, are shown]
Doug (vo): But aside from that, is the film worth checking out? I guess it’s sort of like Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. If you can accept that Disney is above the title and that the actual story it's based on is not gonna be represented that well, you can still find a relatively entertaining movie, even if there are a lot, and I mean a lot, of corny Disney-isms. But to all the actors’ credit, they do what they need to do pretty well. When they need to have the funny moments, they’re pretty funny and over-the-top, and when they need to have the dramatic moments, they do that fine, too. Are the side stories really forced and contrived? Yes. Did they probably not happen? Most likely. But you do get a lot of heart from these guys, and you can definitely feel it onscreen.
Doug (vo): So, it’s definitely a mixed bag. For me, the film is harmless and allowed for some fun humor and even a few inspiring moments, even if they are really corny. It’s kind of like those old 80s movies that you watched that you know are really hokey, but you can’t help but enjoy because there’s just so much passion behind it. I think it’s sort of the same case here. I think that should give you a general idea if this is a film you’re going to enjoy or not. And even though the silliness of it can be a little teeth-grinding at times, I can’t find myself saying I didn’t actually enjoy it, I did. I enjoy the cheesy lines, I enjoy the annoying one-liners, and I enjoyed it because there’s still a lot of heart behind it. Yeah, there’s a lot of faults, but in my heartfelt nostalgic mind, [Imitates a Jamaican] there’s no problem, mon. [Speaks normally] See? It’s so corny, it’s even having me say lines like that.
[The film's final scene, showing a picture of the Jamaicans and Irv celebrating their triumph at the games, is shown]