In this childrens adventure drama, 12-year old Buddy (Jacob Fisher), with the help of his mom (Joey Lauren Adams), sister (Emma Roberts, niece of Julia Roberts), best friend Edgar (Cache Williams) and local veterinarian (Barry Tubb), raises a steer named Hokey with plans to enter him in the 2001 Junior Steers competition at the Big Texas Fair. After they work hard to raise enough money to get Hokey in the competition, the steer ends up being chosen as the Grand Champion and brings in a record-setting $775,000 from Mr. Blanford, a wealthy Texan (Bruce Willis). But when Buddy finds out that Hokey is to become barbecue, he kidnaps the steer and has Blanford, the Grand Champion runner-up and Texas law enforcement on his trail across Texas. Cameo appearances include Julia Roberts; country music stars Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, George Strait, Robert Earl Keen and Charlie Robison; and rodeo star Tuff Hedeman.
In an early scene, Buddy and his sister pray aloud before going to bed. This sets the tone for a family film that includes some valuable themes and lessons for children. The key characters are a family that is financially poor and yet happy and full of life. Buddys mom says, My familys always been rich. We just have not had any money. When Buddy wrestles with whether he should accept the $775,000 or take back Hokey to spare him from slaughter, his mother tells him that the choice is his. When the runner-up in the Grand Champion competition learns that if Hokey is not returned soon that he will be named Grand Champion, the runner-up attempts and appears willing to resort to violence to make sure Hokey doesnt show up. The films questionable element is a woman who wears low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage. But overall, this is a refreshing, Huck-Finn type of tale that parents should be thrilled to have their kids see.Preview Reviewer: Greg Shull
Distributor: American Family Movies
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