Disney's The Kid

USA 2000

Reviewed by Rob White


Our synopses give away the plot in full, including surprise twists.

US, the present. Russ Duritz is an image consultant about to turn 40. He bullies his secretary Janet, provokes his girlfriend Amy and dismisses his father's attempts at bonding. One day he finds a boy in his house: by an act of time-travel it's his eight-year-old self, Rusty. Russ thinks Rusty is a wimp; Rusty thinks Russ should be married and own a dog. Rusty is being bullied. Russ takes him to a client, a boxer, to learn to fight. At the boxer's wedding Rusty proposes to Amy, but Russ laughs it off. Russ tells Rusty how his life will turn out and works out that if he can remember his childhood the time-travel will be reversed. As they talk in his car, Russ remembers a fight with a school bully.

Suddenly he and Rusty are in Rusty's time, just before the fight. Using his new boxing skills, Rusty beats the bully. His father is furious at Rusty because the fight is stressful for Rusty's dying mother. Russ takes the tearful Rusty to a diner at an airport. There they meet 70-year-old Russ who's a pilot, is married to Amy and is accompanied by a dog. Back in his own time, Russ buys Janet a holiday, is reconciled with his father and goes to Amy's house with a puppy.


In Disney's The Kid a crease in time allows Russ Duritz, a successful image consultant, to be visited, on the eve of his fortieth birthday, by Rusty, his eight-year-old younger self. Hollywood time-travel comedies - notably the Back to the Future series and Peggy Sue Got Married - do various kinds of work: they are science-fiction spin-offs more or less enchanted by their paradoxical premise, baby-boomer nostalgia exercises that rosily illuminate the 50s and 60s and morality plays where family suffering is smoothed out in the impossible collision of the worlds of childhood and adulthood. The Kid, unlike Back to the Future, spends little time on the intricacies of time-travel. Director Jon Turteltaub (Instinct) and screenwriter Audrey Wells (The Truth about Cats & Dogs) take no delight in probing the paradox of how time looping back on itself might change the future. Their film doesn't even bother to include a humdrum device that supposedly engineers the travel. Instead a red plane careens above Russ' car, signalling the crease out of which Rusty will emerge. The Kid lacks the basic invention that in similar films tends to distract from the pathos of the premise.

Russ has to confront the dreams that he had when he was Rusty. Rusty's view of life, of course, wins out in the end, but not before the story has forked in two directions. First Russ travels back to Rusty's schooldays, when he was bullied and when his mother was terminally ill. Trained to box by one of Russ' clients, Rusty wins the schoolyard fight that Russ had originally lost. But this moment of victory leads only to Rusty's father being called to the school. Russ watches the ugly scene between father and son unfold and his adult eyes see the complexity of the situation. Rusty returns to childhood, Russ to his present where he's reconciled with his father and girlfriend. Before Russ and Rusty separate there's the second forking in which they encounter their older self at a radiant 70: Russ at 39 is thus only an aberration in Rusty's realised dream of life. This final contrivance literalises the film's underlying pattern of wish-fulfilment so there's no room for ambiguity, no sense of an unpredictable future. The fact that lives aren't like this is less important than the fact that the film shuts out any psychological interest in order to handcuff itself to the most banal interpretation of the idea that 'the child is father of the man'.

The Kid works only intermittently because it tries to speak to children in the adult voice of nostalgic fantasy. It is sunny and antiseptic, which means it avoids at all cost reflecting on what life will have in store for both Russ and Rusty now they know their own future.


Jon Turteltaub
Jon Turteltaub
Christina Steinberg
Hunt Lowry
Audrey Wells
Director of Photography
Peter Menzies Jr
Peter Honess
David Rennie
Production Designer
Garreth Stover
Marc Shaiman
©Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Production Companies
Walt Disney Pictures presents a Junction Entertainment production
Executive Producers
Arnold Rifkin
David Willis
Bill Johnson
William M. Elvin
Associate Producer
Stephen Eads
Production Co-ordinator
Daren Hicks
Production Manager
Bill Johnson
Location Manager
Ralph Coleman
2nd Unit Director
David R. Ellis
Assistant Directors
William M. Elvin
Ken Wada
David Ticotin
Andrew Michael Ward
2nd Unit:
Dennis Maguire
Jayson Merrill
Script Supervisors
Thomas Johnston
2nd Unit:
Heather Harris
Marcia Ross
Donna Morong
Gail Goldberg
Jacqueline Carlson
ADR Voice:
Barbara Harris
2nd Unit Director of Photography
Gary Capo
Camera Operators
Robert Presley
Richard Cantu
2nd Unit:
Ian Fox
Chris Moseley
Steadicam Operator
Robert Presley
Space Cam Operators
Aerial Unit:
Steve Koster
Ron Goodman
Visual Effects Editor
Pamela Choules
Visual Effects Supervisor
James E. Price
Visual Effects
Secret Lab
Special Effects
David Blitstein
Gary Schaedler
2nd Unit:
David Simmons
Graphics Designer
Kim Lincoln
Art Director
David S. Lazan
Senior Lead Set Designers
Lauren Cory
Paul Sonski
Set Designers
Charisse Cardenas
Gary A. Lee
Beck Taylor
Sloane U'ren
Set Decorator
Larry Dias
James Oxford
Costume Designer
Gloria Gresham
Costume Supervisor
Mitchell Kenney
Key Artists:
Julie Hewett
Melanie Hughes
Carrey Gibbons
2nd Unit, Artist:
Richard Snell
Make-up Ageing Effects
Gerald Quist
Department Head:
Bonnie Clevering
Roxanne Wightman
Title Design
Brian King
Buena Vista Imaging
Orchestra Conductor
Pete Anthony
Pete Anthony
Jeff Atmajian
Frank Bennett
Harvey Cohen
Jon Kull
Pat Russ
Location Music Supervisor
Harold Wheeler
Executive in Charge of Music, Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group
Kathy Nelson
Music Editors
Stephanie Lowry
Stephen Lotwis
Score Recordist/Mixer
Tim Boyle
Music Programmer
Nick Vidar
Production Music Recordist
Rick Norman
Music Playback Operator
Earl Martin
"Young at Heart",
"Yester Me, Yester You, Yesterday" - Kevon Edmonds; "Up, Up and Away" - The 5th Dimension; "Romanza" - Robert Cornford; "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" - Jackie Wilson; "ABC O&O Theme"
Sound Mixer
Peter J. Devlin
Judy Nord
Re-recording Mixers
Terry Porter
Mel Metcalfe
Dean A. Zupancic
Supervising Sound Editor
Mark Mangini
Co-supervising Sound Editor
Kelly Cabral
Dialogue Editors
Kimaree Long
Richard Dwan
Lauren Stephens
Sound Effects Recordist
Eric Potter
Effects Editors
George Simpson
Donald Flick
Aaron Glascock
Marvin Walowitz
Jim Christopher
Richard Anderson
David A. Whittaker
Jennifer Mann
Jeannette Browning
Doc Kane
Laura Graham
Mary Smith
Michelle Perrone
Solange S. Schwalbe
Hilda Hodges
Catherine Harper
Robert Zubia
Don Givens
Boxing Coach
Darrell Foster
Stunt Co-ordinator
Jack Gill
Aerial Unit
Aerial Co-ordinator:
Cliff Fleming
Stearman Stunt Pilot:
Craig Hosking
Bi-Plane Pilot:
Steve Hinton
Pitts Pilot:
Neil Loovy
James Gavin
Rick Shuster
Dirk Vahle
Animal Co-ordinators
Boone Narr
Carrie Simpson
Bruce Willis
Russ Duritz
Spencer Breslin
Rusty Duritz
Emily Mortimer
Lily Tomlin
Chi McBride
Jean Smart
Deirdre Lafever
Dana Ivey
Dr Alexander
Daniel Von Bargen
Sam Duritz
Stanley Anderson
Bob Riley
Susan Dalian
Juanita Moore
Kenny's grandmother
Esther Scott
Deborah May
Vernee Watson Johnson
newsstand cashier
Jan Hoag
newsstand tourist
Melissa McCarthy
Sky King waitress
Elizabeth Arlen
Gloria Duritz
Alexandra Barreto
flight attendant
John Apicella
hot dog vendor
Brian McGregor
Reiley McClendon
Brian Tibbetts
Brian McLaughlin
Steve Tom
lawyer Bruce
Marc Copage
lawyer Jim
Rod McLachlan
lawyer Seamus
Scott Mosenson
wedding guest
Brian Fenwick
governor's aide
Dusan Fager
governor's other aide
Toshiya Agata
sushi chef
Joshua Finkel
Lou Beatty Jr
general manager
E.J. Callahan
Daryl Anderson
Janet's husband
Darrell Foster
best man
Michael Wajacs
security guard
John Travis
chef Mike
Larry King
Larry King
Jeri Ryan
Nick Chinlund
Larry King's guests
Stuart Scott
Stuart Scott
Rich Eisen
Rich Eisen
Harold Greene
Harold Greene
Kevon Edmonds
wedding singer
Julia Waters
Maxine Waters
Stephanie Spruill
backup singers
Matthew Perry
long-haired client
Buena Vista International (UK)
9,379 feet
104 minutes 13 seconds
Dolby Digital/DTS/SDDS
In Colour
Prints by
Last Updated: 20 Dec 2011