Disney makes great movies in a variety of genres, and the underdog sports “feel good” story is really no exception. In fact, I’d argue that they have it down to a science. We can go way back to The Love Bug in the 1960’s to The Mighty Ducks in the 90’s to more recent films that adopt real-life stories such as Million Dollar Arm and McFarland USA to see how Disney really has a very formulaic approach that really works. They seem to release one or two of these types of films a year, but one thing that was interesting in Queen of Katwe was that I wasn’t necessarily expecting it.
One of the reasons that sports make for such a great topic is because almost everyone can relate to the underdog or overcoming obstacles to win something. If you watch the NCAA tournament, everyone loves the “Cinderella” teams and players that pop-up each and every year. If your favorite team is not in the Super Bowl, you’ll probably be rooting for the underdog. This is true of any type of sports activities. Everyone seems to root for the person, that against all odds, comes out a champion and that’s the exact story we have in Queen of Katwe!
I could throw in a few bad sports puns here to say that Disney really did a great job with another uplifting sports story. How about, “Disney hit a home run,” “Disney scored a touchdown” or even my very bad attempt at a chess pun, “Rook no further, Disney has done it again?” Ok, enough with that. Phinona’s story hits every element of a Disney “feel good” sports movie. She overcomes incredible odds to become a champion, and that’s a story that everyone is sure to enjoy! It’s a great Blu-ray with a lot of excellent bonus features that are detailed below:
- Queen Of Katwe: Their Story – Discover the stories behind the people who came together to bring the film to life, and how they reflect the vibrant community, culture and spirit it celebrates.
- A Fork, A Spoon & A Knight – Director Mira Nair’s short film about Robert Katende, a boy who grows up to transform a Ugandan city into a globally renowned chess sanctuary.
- In The Studio With Alicia Keys – Go behind-the-scenes with Alicia Keys for an inspiring look at the song’s recording.
- Alicia Keys “Back To Life” Lyric Video – Sing along with on-screen lyrics.
- Young Cardamom & HAB “#1 Spice” Music Video – The Ugandan hip-hop duo bring the flavor in a music video directed by Mira Nair.
- Audio Commentary – With Director Mira Nair.
- Deleted Scenes (8) – With Introductions by Director Mira Nair.
- Graduation – Robert is alone at his graduation.
- Job Application – Robert checks in on the status of his job application.
- Dancing and Rent – Phiona joins in dancing with local girls before the landlady pulls her away.
- Entering the Hospital – Harriet tries to look presentable as they rush Brian to the hospital.
- Escape from the Hospital – The family sneaks out of the hospital.
- They Can’t Go to Budo – Robert second-guesses taking the kids to the competition at King’s College Budo.
- Flood (Extended Scene) – A nearly 7-minute scene before, during and after the house is flooded.
- Phiona’s Chess Club – Phiona comes full circle as she teaches a little boy the same lessons Robert taught her in chess club.
- Audio Commentary
- Alicia Keys “Back to Life” Lyric Video
- Young Cardamom & HAB “#1 Spice” Music Video
Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of this movie. All opinions are our own.