Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color: Season 31, Episode 2

Hero in the Family (28 Sep. 1986)
"Disneyland" Hero in the Family (original title)

TV Episode  |  Unrated  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 65 users  
Reviews: 2 user

A teenage son of an astronaut tries to help his father after he and a chimpanzee switch brains as the result of a space flight mis-hap in which the boy must protect the "chimp" in which his... See full summary »


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Title: Hero in the Family (28 Sep 1986)

Hero in the Family (28 Sep 1986) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Collet ...
Benjamin Reed
Digger Reed
Darleen Carr ...
Lisa Reed
Keith Dorman ...
General Presser
Zoo Guard
Bernard Cuffling ...
Galleria Manager
NASA Technician
Deryl Hayes ...
Security Man
Student Council Pres (as Max Margolin)
Alicia Michelle ...
Security Man


A teenage son of an astronaut tries to help his father after he and a chimpanzee switch brains as the result of a space flight mis-hap in which the boy must protect the "chimp" in which his father and is unable to communicate with anyone vocally, plus his father with the chimp's mind from the military personnel and anyone else. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

28 September 1986 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Benjamin Reed: [finds an empty science lab and enters it to a dark room with multiple stations of refracted light showing different colors. a noise in the corner of the room startles him] Oh!
[a young brunette pops her head up from one of the stations]
Benjamin Reed: I thought I'd have this place... to myself.
Jessie: Well you don't, sorry.
Benjamin Reed: You're working on refracted light.
Jessie: How'd you know?
See more »

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User Reviews

Original Fun !

I think I'm indebted for this movie since I was a kid. It got me so wonderful time to the extent that I don't ever forget its loveliness even after 20 years of the first watching (strange that not many channels air it).

First of all it's an early, so smart, example for a Body Swap movie. I'm quite fond of this kind of imaginary comedies that filled the 1980s. Actually (Freaky Friday - 1976) sort of began it. Then this movie came out – as I knew lately – in precisely 28 September 1986. Even before "Magic Saturday", an episode of "Amazing Stories" with a Body Swap story, that was aired in 6 October of the same year. As after that, and right in the next year, the explosion started with (Like Father Like Son - 1987), (Big - 1988), (Vice Versa - 1988), (18 Again!

  • 1988), and (Dream a Little Dream - 1989). Simply (Hero in the Family)

is way better than a lot of these movies.

This time, and this time only, we have a man (an astronaut) who unintentionally swaps his body with a chimpanzee's brain, and the chimpanzee.. well you must figure it out! There are movies where the human lead finds himself in a body of a dog (Oh! Heavenly Dog - 1980), old man (Heaven Can Wait - 1978), a dumb guy (Innerspace - 1987), or a woman (Switch - 1991)! But never with a chimpanzee before.

Moreover, I believe this condition of double interchange between man and animal was unprecedented in movies till this time. As all what we've got before was works like (The Shaggy Dog - 1959) where a boy changes into a sheepdog and back again; which's nothing but funny take on (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) basically.

So it's original, and when it comes to making comic action it's fantastic. The pace was thrilling (you'll never forget the last 10 minutes I can promise you that). I love this script; it enjoyed us with several situations and mastered an unforgettable climatic sequence. I only hated when the boy didn't tell his friend about the chimp's fact unless very late.

All the cast was so good and jovial; (Cliff De Young), (Annabeth Gish), or even (Emmet Walsh) as General "Presser", and of course the talented chimp (This one can drive motorcycles pretty well !). (Mel Damski)'s direction was flawless; he was nominated for an Emmy more than once, nominated for an Academy Award for a best documentary in 1998, let alone that he directed countless TV shows suffice to say that 2 of them are ones of my favorites : (Dolphin Cove) and (Early Edition).

Overall, this movie is so cinematic TV one, it has a spree childish spirit all over it. There is a certain, nearly anonymous, magic about the 1980s' movies; where the fantasy meets the comedy meets the action so innocently and cleverly (maybe it's E.T's effect).

Anyway, I thank god that our national second channel used to air (HITF) at the afternoon of the Fridays - our weekly vacation - to be one of the most perfect movies ever aired in this timing or maybe was made for it !. It's a shame that it has been nominated for Primetime Emmy and didn't win, and it's even more shame to find, after 23 years of its production, just couple of reviews about it here in the IMDb, obviously it's a precursor and a Hero among the Body Swap flicks, however sorrowfully few who perceive that !

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