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Derby Dogs (2012)
"Kiwi Flyer" (original title)

PG  |   |  Family  |  27 September 2012 (New Zealand)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 115 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 3 critic

Ben secretly enters the local soapbox derby with a rag-tag group of friends to best school bullies.

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Title: Derby Dogs (2012)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Hall ...
Ben
Tikirau Hathaway ...
Jeff
Vince Martin ...
Wayne
...
Karen
...
Mr. Lumsden
Myer van Gosliga ...
Shannon
Doug Colling ...
Shane
...
Shirelle
David de Thierry ...
Slug
Matt French ...
Stewie
Brittany Dick ...
Amanda
Hannah German ...
Katie
Liz Woodall ...
Hippy Information Officer
Pete Hansen ...
Stan
Hayden Waller ...
Elliot
Edit

Storyline

Ben secretly enters the local soapbox derby with a rag-tag group of friends to best school bullies.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 September 2012 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

Derby Dogs  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

NZD 1,100,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

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User Reviews

Enjoyable and funny family film
6 April 2015 | by (NC) – See all my reviews

The movie begins with an explanation of the origins of soapbox (called trolley) derby in New Zealand. Well, sort of. A man going off to war has an unfortunate incident even before he leaves home. It looks like fun, and the kids want to play too. Years later, relatives of that first man are competing in trolley derby, which has become a major event in the town of Nelson.

And one of those competitors is Ben's father, who is legendary for never winning. Ben wants to compete now, and his father is building his trolley. But he doesn't live to see his son race. Ben's mom, who takes over the father's business of washing boats, doesn't want her son to race.

So Ben has to be sneaky. He enlists the help of his mechanically talented friend Jeff, who wants Ben to help him get a date with pretty Amanda. Ben messes this up, in a manner that recalls Miles Standish and John Alden, though he doesn't mean to. This could become a problem later.

One of Ben's obstacles is the neighborhood bullies Shane and Shannon. Their father Wayne has a user car dealership and is a major sponsor of the race. His team has won four years in a row, and to Wayne, if you are not a winner, you are a loser. And there's nothing wrong with cheating, in his view, as long as you don't get caught--or you have the influence to make officials look the other way. This year, Shannon takes over from Shane as driver.

Ben also needs money to build a proper trolley. Mr. Lumsden, a nerdy teacher who wants to date the boys' mom, provides expertise, but getting the money will require dealing with a loan shark. Stewie is one of the kids at school, and he has an official looking office in what appears to be the boys' room. He's quite mature and professional, but if you don't come through when he wants to be paid back, he has an enforcer named Slug. And if you want to see what happens when you don't pay on time, there is Elliot. Nothing really bad happens to Elliot, but it's just not pleasant being him.

Ben and Jeff figure out how to make their trolley the best. But Shannon and Shane want to make sure their trolley beats Ben's, at any cost.

Will Ben and Jeff succeed? If Shannon and Shane hurt their chances, can Ben and Jeff recover? What happens when Jeff finds out the truth about Amanda?

This is a good family film. It's a little on the naughty side, with a word or two getting bleeped out and some violence of the school bully variety, and some great toilet humor. There is chicken manure and two great gags with porta-potties. And lots and lots of slapstick violence.

There are moral dilemmas to deal with, but solutions are found to these that one might not expect. Good sportsmanship is an important lesson here. And hard work, research, and determination are highlighted.

No, it's not a masterpiece, but it's an enjoyable experience.


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