Sky High (Disney) – 2005

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Summary:
Will Stronghold is the only child of superheroes The Commander and Jetstream. His best friend, Layla, has a mother who can talk to animals, and she, herself, has the ability to make plants grow to her will. The pair begin their freshman year at Sky High, a special high school just for kids with superpowers in their genes that is hidden away from regular human eyes on a floating island in the clouds. Many of the student’s at Sky High only have one super powered parent, but pressure is doubled for Will, having two. Unfortunately, the first day of school arrives and Will still has not begun to show signs of having any powers at all. He cannot fly as his mother can, but he fakes his father’s super strength so that his parents will not be too disappointed in him. He isn’t able to fool anyone at his school’s “Power Placement”, though, and instead of receiving a schedule of hero classes, he is placed in sidekick classes with the teens who have less than desirable powers. Layla shares her classes, since she refuses to participate in the “fascist” system of separating students according to their powers. His new “hero support” friends include Zach, who glows, Ethan, who can melt into a puddle, and Magenta, a shape shifter who can turn herself into a guinea pig.
Now, in typical teenage fashion, Will must battle bullies, try to earn points with the girl of his dreams, find out who he is, and what talents he is capable of. The biggest things standing in his way are parental pressure to uphold the family name, and standing up for what is right in a world that doesn’t always see people for the amazing individuals that they are.

Lessons:

Looking in your bedroom mirror can be very deceptive: you only see yourself through your own eyes. Not everyone sees things the same way. What you may see as an insignificant trait, someone else may see as something wonderful. Conversely, when a bully tries to tell you that you aren’t worthy, don’t believe them. All talents are valuable. Different circumstances require different talents at the time, but that doesn’t mean that your time won’t come. Sometimes, we need to grow into ourselves and our unique abilities. Other times, we need to join together with others in order to make the most efficient contribution. Friends and family can often help with this process, but it can be tricky as well. Parents, in particular, can have a certain vision of you that you may not share. This often leads to a power struggle between the child working towards independence and individuality, and the path that the parents feel would be in the best interest of their child.

(If you have additional ideas on how this film can be used for educational purposes, please let us know in the comments below.)

Quotes:

Layla: When life gives you lemons…
[Layla tries to grow a lemon, but produces an apple instead]
Will Stronghold: Make apple juice?

**********

Layla: You know how my mom can communicate with animals? Apparently they don’t like being eaten.

**********

Principal Powers: In a few moments, you will go through Power Placement and your own heroic journey will begin.
Will Stronghold: Power Placement?
Layla: Sounds fascist.
Ethan: Power Placement. It’s how they decide where you go.
Magenta: The hero track or the loser track.
Will Stronghold: There – there’s a loser track?
Ethan: I believe the preferred term is “Hero Support.”

**********

Layla: What’s embarrassing him in front of the entire class going to prove? That is so unfair.
Will Stronghold: Yeah, well if life were to suddenly get fair, I doubt it would happen in high school.

**********

Gwen: I’m a technopath. I can control technology with my mind.
Will Stronghold: Wow. All I can do is… punch stuff.
Mr. Medulla: [passing them] Yet he’ll be the one on cereal boxes. Show me the justice in that.

**********

Warren Peace: To let true love remain unspoken is the quickest route to a heavy heart.
Layla: Wow, that is really deep!
Warren Peace:  [reading off of a fortune cookie] Yeah. And your lucky numbers are… 4, 16, 5… and 49.

**********
[last lines]
Will Stronghold: In the end, my girlfriend became my arch enemy, my arch enemy became my best friend, and my best friend became my girlfriend. But, hey, that’s high school

 

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