Everyone's Hero

Opens at Bellevue Galleria and other theaters, Fri., Sept. 15. Rated G. 87 minutes.

Tactfully credited to Christopher Reeve, this old-fashioned tale of the meek inheriting the Earth, or at any rate the outfield, was actually put together after Reeve's death by animators Daniel St. Pierre and Colin Brady, from a story that IDT Entertainment Chairman Howard Jonas wrote for his children. But you can see what Reeve, who had more reason than most to grin and bear it, saw in this Depression-era saga of Yankee Irving, a skinny little baseball fan (voiced by Jake T. Austin) riding the rails around America to return Babe Ruth's lost bat and in the process recover his own father's job minding the pitch at Yankee Stadium. The boy's Midwestern adventures, in which he gets help from some cheerful bums and spends quality time with the Negro Leagues, are fairly pro forma, and the message—plug away, be ye ever so humble, and glory will surely follow—is all but exhausted in animated children's movies. Still, what a relief that the banter emanates not from farmyard animals but from the bickering mouths of a disillusioned foul ball (Rob Reiner) and a Southern belle bat (Whoopi Goldberg). The movie's antique Rockwellian look is its greatest pleasure. ELLA TAYLOR

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