If he can't be an athlete, Judge Brett Cullum can always be an athletic supporter.
Boys don't Double Dutch!
The Disney empire (aka The House of Mouse) cranks out all sorts of family friendly product. Jump In! came from the television movie division affiliated with the Disney Channel. This one's about an aspiring young boxer named Izzy Daniels (Corbin Bleu, High School Musical) whose father wants him to win the Golden Gloves title. Yet one fateful day, Izzy is asked to substitute for someone on a double dutch team, and he finds out he has a talent for it and really likes it. Better still, the girl he's crushing on (Keke Palmer, Akeelah and the Bee) is also a double dutcher. What's a tough dude to do when all he wants to do is dance among the ropes rather than in the ring? The school bully finds out, and so does his disappointed father. Both begin to ride Izzy hard, and he begins to doubt whether he should continue on the path to jump rope-dancing glory. Seems Izzy has to learn to find his own way, and chase his own passions.
Jump In! is fine family entertainment that revolves around the rather impressive sport of Double Dutch. The jump rope scenes are spectacular, so it's too bad the film's story is trite and predictable. That won't stop kids from having a good time, but the parents won't find this one compelling. For a cable TV movie I give it high marks for production values, even if the plot is a predictable treatment of an oft-told tale. I wish the plot was infused with as much energy as the jump rope routines. Kids will walk away with the message "it's okay for boys to do girl things and vice-versa" and good lessons on team work. Jump In! is appropriate for younger viewers and the story isn't complicated. The cast is a great collection of young talent with Bleu and Palmer doing the heaviest lifting as the leads.
The DVD sports a fullscreen transfer that looks great. It's obviously a television movie, but being only a few months old its colors and saturation hold up well. There's nothing wrong with the transfer other than the fullscreen choice when there is a widescreen print used by Disney for HD viewings. There is a nice, music-infused surround mix. Extras include a seven-minute featurette on the making of the movie and a five-minute tutorial on jumping rope. Both of these are presented in a non-anamorphic, 1.78:1 aspect ratio. There are also two music videos featuring KeKe Palmer and T-Squad.
Jump In! is about the Double Dutch and a boy who has to follow his own passions despite what others think. You've seen this sort of thing before in other sports movies, and it sticks close to established formulas. Kids will like it despite the clichés, and the Disney production provides a great look at impressive jump rope routines. The DVD has a smattering of extras that should please fans. In the end it's a nicely produced TV movie from Disney. Jump In! did extremely well in the ratings on television, drawing over eight million viewers when it first aired; there are many supporters out there.
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