One of the remarkable things about the 90s was that the decade had no shortage of remarkable films. In fact, some of the best kids movies of all time were released during the decade. The scripts were sharp, the acting was spot-on, and these films found a way to make an impact with audiences everywhere. It was during this decade that The Little Giants hit theaters, slowly becoming a hit film that maintains a large following.
The Little Giants saw the O’Shea brothers duke it out with their teams for gridiron supremacy and a lifetime of bragging rights. The kids involved on each team had their own rivalry, as well, and once the dust settled, the Giants came out on top. The film is just as good as it ever was, and it deserves to be mentioned alongside the greatest sports movies that have ever been made.
Today, we’re going to shine a light on the Little Giants.
15 The Concept For The Film Came From A Commercial
Inspiration can come from many places, including commercials. As it were, the inspiration for Little Giants came from a commercial that the screenplay writers had worked on, according to ESPN. Turns out, this bit of inspiration would give way to a movie that fans enjoy over 25 years later.
14 Steven Spielberg Approached The Writers About Doing The Film
Despite having no experience, the screenplay writers for Little Giants were willing to give it their best shot. According to ESPN, this came on the heels of meeting Steven Spielberg, who was a fan of the commercial that the pair had done. He broke down the screenplay format and the rest was history.
13 The Screenplay Took A Year To Write
Who said that writing was an easy process? Banging out a screenplay can take an exceptional amount of time, even for the most gifted writers around. In an interview with ESPN, the original screenplay writers revealed that it would take over a year for them to get Little Giants written.
12 The Original Teams In The Movie Were USC And Notre Dame
There are lots of changes made during the writing process, and as it were, the teams involved in this movie wound up undergoing some changes. Before becoming the Giants vs. the Cowboys, the big game was originally USC vs. Notre Dame. This, according to ESPN, was due to the NFL’s involvement.
11 Ed O’Neill Played Football Before Becoming An Actor
Ed O’Neill has been in the movie and television business for years, but this was not always the case. During his college day, O’Neill was a defensive lineman with hopes of making it into the NFL. Incredibly, he was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers! He was, however, released before his first season began.
10 They Found The Cast Of Kids In The Midwest
Finding the right people for film roles is a challenging task, and failure to do this well can completely ruin a project. Little Giants, thankfully, nailed its casting choices. When talking to ESPN, director Duwayne Dunham said, “I wanted to find real kids, and what I had learned is: Go to the Midwest.”
9 Shawna Waldron Was An Immediate Favorite To Play Icebox
Becky O’Shea, otherwise known as Icebox, was the toughest kid around, and she was easily the best character in the film. Actress Shawna Waldron got the role and never looked back. In an interview with ESPN, casting director Janet Hirshenson said, “But she quickly became my favorite because I needed a little, non-prissy girl.”
8 Jonathan Taylor Thomas Was Originally Considered For Junior Floyd
Junior Floyd was the hotshot quarterback the Giants needed to get them to the top, and before Devon Sawa got the part, a certain 90s teen heartthrob was in contention for the role. That’s right, JTT himself was poised to land the role, but he was passed over, per ESPN.
7 The Kids Would Play Pranks On Each Other While In School
Being a kid on set comes with perks, but it can also get a bit boring, especially when school is in session. The kids on set decided to have some fun with one another by playing some friendly pranks, though some were a bit dangerous. Actor Marcus Toji elaborated on this further in an interview with ESPN.
6 Shawna Waldron Got Heat Stroke While Filming
Actress Shawna Waldron is tough, but filming under bad conditions can take out anyone. When speaking with ESPN, she opened up about getting heat stroke while filming. Waldron said, “No one was listening to me, and there was this moment where my whole body went numb and the grass came up to my face.”
5 Todd Bosley Broke His Wrist Before Filming Wrapped And Covered It Up
During the wrap party, the kids played some soccer, and Todd Bosley was playing goalie. When trying to stop a shot, he ended up breaking his wrist, and the crew had to hide it for some filming. He told ESPN, “You’ll notice I go from having short sleeves to very long sleeves, awkwardly covering up the cast”
4 Devon Sawa Was Not Liked On Set When He First Got There
Before Devon Sawa came on board, there was another actor playing Junior Floyd. Devon was late to the party, and the other kids weren’t too keen on him being there at first. He would open up to ESPN about his experience on set, noting that the first few weeks were rough when he got there.
3 The Tomboy Icebox Was Based On Director Duwayne Dunham’s Daughter, Haley
Icebox needed to be rough and tough in the film, and the filmmakers did an exceptional job in bringing her to life. Director Duwayne Dunham spoke on the character’s inspiration, telling ESPN, “And that character was based on my own daughter Haley, who in L.A. was arguably the best athlete in her age group.”
2 Kevin O’Shea Was Based On NFL Legend Mike Ditka
Kevin O’Shea is a tough coach who used to be an exceptional player back in the day. Kevin was based on none other than NFL legend Mike Ditka, according to director Duwayne Dunham when speaking with ESPN. Given the haircut and the hard-nosed style, the resemblance is a bit uncanny.
1 Director Duwayne Dunham Conjured Up The Annexation Of Puerto Rico Play
The Annexation of Puerto Rico is one of the most famous plays in history, and its legacy in pop culture isn’t going anywhere. Director Duwayne Dunham conjured up the play himself, and it would go on to be an inspiration for other NFL trick plays that have since unfolded on the field.
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