The first thing you need to know about Disney’s film Jump In is that it stars Corbin Bleu of HIgh School Musical fame. And he’s dreamy. So say my daughters. The next thing you need to know is that Keke Palmer from Akeelah and the Bee is also in this film. And she’s pretty dang cool too.
But the most important thing you need to know is that it is all about Double Dutch Jump roping. And Double Dutching, is cool. Really really cool.
To be honest, the actual tale that is told in Jump In is an age old one. There’s a little romance, a rivalry, a score to be settled, an impossible dream, and a boy who has to learn to follow his heart – even when he fears the judgment of others. Classic stuff. And potentially boring in the wrong hands. But in the hands of the Disney masters, this tale comes alive in full color. With great music and fast action. The pace never slows. The acting is good but it’s the kids and their talent at the sport of Double Dutching that keep you riveted to the screen.
I have to say though, what I like best about this film are its after effects. Since it originally aired on the Disney Channel, the film has managed to influence kids coast to coast, beyond the screen and way past the inner city. At my local suburban California school, the K-5 children have been forming jump rope teams. My own 6 yo was one of the first to set her alarm for 6 am to practice. She had to get a bigger backpack to hold her two enormous 16 ft ropes along with her schoolbooks. She wanted to have a double dutching birthday party. This is a kid who complains about having to go back upstairs for a sweater.
It’s not just our school. At schools and playgrounds from coast to coast you are suddenly likely to see ropes flying and kids, both boys and girls, enjoying a new sport. Their bodies are moving, the music is playing, the rhymes are flowing and they are having so much fun, they have not even realized that they are exercising. With such positive messages about gender, and such a great physical influence on our kids, theres much to love about this upcoming Disney Video release. The special “Freestyle Edition” due out tomorrow includes extra behind the scenes footage, sing alongs and instruction on how to do the dance moves, that any beginning Double Dutcher will sure find inspiring. So give that chocolate dealing rabbit a little competition this week and pick up a copy of “Jump In” for your kids Easter basket. It’s sure to make them, and you, very hoppy!
And if you really want to impress your kids with your knowledge of the film, you might want to mention to them that Corbin did all his own stunts and footwork, and that his real life dad David Reivers played his father. Then dust off some of your own moves. Just make sure to take off the bunny suit first.