It's 1899, and the ragtag orphans who deliver the news to New York City stage a protest when publisher Joseph Pulitzer raises the price they must shell out for their supply of papers. Can they unite the oppressed and fight the powers that be? Inspired by a local trolley workers' strike, newsie Jack Kelly (Christian Bale) sets out to organize the boys into a union, with David Jacobs (David Moscow) as the outfit's brains and Jack as its spokesman.
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- Kenny Ortega
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1Subtitles
French, Spanish (Neutral)Closed captioned
YesLanguage and sound
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 StereoOther features
Color; interactive menus; scene access; audio commentary with the filmmakers; storyboard-to-scene comparison with audio commentary; sing-along feature; making-of featurettes.
Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this Disney production features a tough, New York street-level milieu, in which confrontations frequently threaten to culminate in fist-fighting, and often do. There are menacing scenes of adults threatening to beat children using clubs and chains, and a rivalry between different subsets of kids looks somewhat like street gangs. One boy smokes cigarettes. There is a strong pro-union (and anti-management) sentiment throughout.
- Sexual Content
- A scandal headline about a nude corpse, and that's about it.
- Much fist-fighting and beat-downs, some incorporated into dance choreography (think West Side Story), some not (as in a bare-knuckle boxing match). Often grown men threaten to beat kids. Kids attack back with slingshots.
- "Damn" and "dumbasses" uttered.
- Social Behavior
- While Jack deceives his friends (and himself, to a point) about his past, and is coerced into quitting the strike, he eventually does the right thing, especially when his friend David is threatened. While it's never made clear in the dialogue, there's a sense of the melting-pot of New York, with Irish, Jewish, and African American kids overcoming their gang-like divisions to unite in the strike. Adults are mostly meanies, although a few high-placed ones come to the rescue in the end. There are only a few girls in the story, but they stand with the good guys.
- References to newspapers of yesteryear, most of which don't exist now.
- Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol
- Raffish boys smoke (and steal their cigarettes and cigars), and a little child drinks beer to win a bet.
- Age appropriate
- Not an issue
- Depends on your kid and your family
- Not appropriate for kids of the age most likely to want to see it