18 February 2008 | card54
Great movie on many levels
Miracle in Lane 2 works on several levels. First and most noticeable, it is a wonderful movie about overcoming obstacles, being persistent, working with mentors, etc., etc. Everything we come to expect from this genre.
It is also a good disability awareness movie, suitable for a wide audience. The movie demonstrates the way 2 groups of people typically respond to persons with disabilities; those who "get it" and those who don't.
"Miracle" reflects, in Disney's soft-edged style, some of the challenges faced by children with physical disabilities, their parents, their siblings and the larger public. It deals with some touchy subjects with sensitivity AND a dose of reality.
Based on fact? Yes. Factually correct? Well, the writers took a lot of license with the details of how the All American Soap Box Derby works. That's secondary to the story, however. Suffice it to say one won't learn much about the way AASBD operates from this flick, other than kids building and competing in gravity-powered racers. You will learn more about the issues mentioned above.
That said, there was enough factual correctness that when my stepson, a wheelchair user most of his life, was motivated by this film to compete himself, we were able to make contact with the gentleman who (still?) manufactures the hand brake used by Justin. Last I heard, it remains the only "non-standard" component permitted on any standard AASBD racer.
BTW, Not only did my stepson compete locally, he became a Vermont State Champion and competed in the 2002 World Championships in Akron. While we were there, he spent some time with the real Justin.