It’s time for the one week countdown until McFarland, USA runs into theaters everywhere.The based-on-a-true story movie involves cross country running, a group of entirely inspiring kids, an epic song by Juanes, and an important lesson about support and teamwork. Before we continue, have you seen the trailer?

Either way, here it is. We’ll wait while you watch…

We know what you’re thinking. “Is this really based on something that happened in the real world?”

Yes, friends. And it’s not the only epic sports movie in Disney history that’s based on a true story. Each involves a different sport, but has the following: an underdog story, a set of almost insurmountable odds, someone who believes in their dream despite those odds, an epic motivational speech that makes you want to conquer the world, and a little bit of real life magic.

Here are some of our other favorites from years (and sports montages) past:

The Rookie

The Rookie

This moving story about a former baseball player turned coach who made a deal with his team to try out if they tried their best in a game. It has suspense, second chances, Dennis Quaid, and the directing chops of John Lee Hancock… the man behind a more recent classic Saving Mr. Banks. (Fun fact alert.)



Get ready for a never give up, story, folks. This one’s a doozy. And a delight. It’s based on the true story of Vince Papale who had a several year career with the Philadelphia Eagles. Oh, and it also involves the ever-incredible Mark Wahlberg running down the streets of Philadelphia.

Cool Runnings


What do you get when you cross a bobsled with a group of guys from Jamaica and add a dash of John Candy? This epic story that’s loosely based on a team in the 1988 Winter Olympics. All we have left to say is “Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up it’s bobsled time.”



“DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?” We do. Mostly because of this movie. Another Olympics tale, but this one involves the US men’s hockey team in the 1980 Winter Olympics and Kurt Russell. What more could you need?




The story of this Triple Crown-winning horse has epic expanses, beautiful running sequences, and Diane Lane as a take-no-prisoners lady who believes in her horse. We’re not saying we shed a tear at the end; we’re also not saying we didn’t.


Million Dollar Arm


Last year’s Disney sports epic has all the things. Handsome Jon Hamm? Check. America’s pastime? Check. Amazing soundtrack? Check.

Remember the Titans


This one is the classic to end all classics. Young Hayden Panettiere as the coach’s daughter, young Ryan Gosling, and Denzel Washington as Herman Boone delivering one of the most epic motivational speeches about what it means to be a team. It also boasts a scene in which the players sing and dance to “Ain’t No Mountain High” in the locker room.

Did we list your favorite? Tell us in the comments! And don’t forget to see the next based-on-a-true-story Disney sports epic. McFarland, USA comes to theatres Friday, February 20.

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