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Film / Up, Up and Away!

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Left-to-right: Bronze Eagle, Scott, Steel Condor
Up, Up and Away is a 2000 Disney Channel Original Movie directed by Robert Townsend. The film is about a boy who comes from a family of superheroes but is concerned that he isn't developing his Puberty Superpower as expected.

Scott Marshall is the middle child of two famous superheroes: Bronze Eagle/Jim Marshall has the standard Flying Brick powers, and Warrior Woman/Judy Marshall (has Super-Strength and excellent combat skills). His older brother Adam (Silver Charge) has Super-Speed and Technopathy. Even his baby sister Molly has already developed X-Ray Vision and Eye Beams. Scott himself is rapidly approaching his 14th birthday. No superhero has ever developed his powers after that age, so Scott is worried that he may turn out to be a Muggle Born of Mages. In order not to disappoint his father (who is his greatest hero), Scott pretends to have developed Super-Strength (by rigging a door to fly off its hinges when he opens it) and flight (he goes outside, throws a ball at the tree, and runs away). His grandfather, a retired hero called Steel Condor (a typical Flying Brick, although his age means that taking a cab is faster than flying), isn't fooled and tells Scott to tell his parents the truth. At the same time, Scott is having typical teenage problems at school and is fighting for the spot of the soccer team captain with a potential Love Interest Amy.

Meanwhile, an Animal Wrongs Group called Earth Protectors are conducting a campaign of environmental awareness in Scott's school. They provide computers to the school and distribute CD-ROMs about the environment. However, the CD-ROMs, in fact, contain a hypnotic program that its creator Nina sees as a means to save the environment while her partner Malcolm wants to use it to become extremely rich.

Malcolm manages to capture Scott's parents and brother using their Weaksauce Weakness, aluminum foil. Using foil, he weakens them, while using the program to brainwash them into his personal super-Mooks. Scott, Randy (his best friend), and Amy arrive and manage to defeat Malcolm without any powers. Adam erases Amy's memories of the events but allows Randy to keep his memories, so that Scott has someone to talk to. Scott and Amy agree to become co-captains, while Randy suggests to Scott that he should become a Batman-like hero with Randy as his sidekick.

The film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Animal Wrongs Group: While Nina genuinely cares for the environment, her methods (using Mass Hypnosis on children) are decidedly unethical. Malcolm just wants to be rich and dupes Nina into helping him. He even convinces her that robbing banks is necessary to fund her crusade. Nina is also blind to the fact that Malcolm couldn't give a crap about the environment and later admits that there were many warning signs (e.g. drinking out of a styrofoam cup, wearing a leather belt).
  • Badass Normal: At the end of the movie, it's mentioned that there are heroes without superpowers. Randy suggests that Scott become one. Also, Scott is the one who saves the day despite his lack of powers (in fact, since he doesn't have superpowers, he's not affected by aluminum foil).
  • Battle Couple: While Bronze Eagle and Warrior Woman usually work alone, they end up stopping the same crime together, both annoyed that the other took so long to get there (Jim was driving kids to soccer practice, and Judy had a business meeting).
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Nina's original intentions regarding the Earth Protectors software.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Averted. Both Superman and Spider-Man exist in the film's 'verse. In fact, Spider-Man and Mary Jane visited Jim's parents last week, and the former left spiderwebs all over Doris's carpet. Steel Condor has a long-standing rivalry with Superman due to similar abilities.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Scott's soccer skills end up being instrumental in defeating the Big Bad.
  • Computer Equals Monitor: Used twice. When Adam is attempting to hack into a bank teller's computer, he does it through the monitor. Later, Scott stops his parents and brother being turned into Superpowered Mooks by hitting one of the monitors with a soccer ball.
  • Cool Bike: Warrior Woman's motorcycle is able to move at Super-Speed.
  • Decided by One Vote: Averted. As there is an even number of players on the soccer team, half the team votes for Scott and the other for Amy. Amy then votes for Scott, causing him to vote for her. As they're tied, the coach makes them co-captains.
  • Eye Beams: Molly has the typical Superman laser beams, which she uses to prank Scott. According to him, she had the ability at the age of 2. It's a wonder she didn't set the house on fire.
  • Flight: Bronze Eagle and Steel Condor can do this, although the latter is too old to do so effectively (cars on the highway are shown to be passing him). Scott pretends he can. According to Warrior Woman, flying is the hardest power to master.
  • Flying Brick, Like Superman (his long-time rival), Wonder Woman and Supergirl, Bronze Eagle and Steel Condor has Flight, Super-Strength, and Nigh-Invulnerability. However, unlike Superman, Steel Condor ages normally, and his abilities degrade over time (it's faster for him to take a cab than fly).
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Scott's other reason besides not disappointing his family.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Jim gives the usual "emergency at work" excuse early in the film when finding out about a robbery. Except the kids he's driving point out that he's an orthodontist and wonder what sort of emergency that could be.
  • Informed Ability: Doris's (Scott's grandmother) Voluntary Shapeshifting.
  • Just in Time: Scott manages to knock out Malcolm's brainwashing computers with seconds left before his family is mind-controlled to be Malcolm's Mooks. The family suffers no ill effects.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Given their Weaksauce Weakness, the Marshalls must feel this way at every supermarket.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Adam's electrical manipulation allows him to erase memories, which he does to Amy after the Big Bad's defeat.
  • Late to the Party: Due to his age (he can fly but very slowly), Steel Condor arrives to the Big Bad's lair just after he is defeated.
    Steel Condor: I knew I should've taken a cab!
  • Love Interest: Scott likes Amy, but they have an adversarial relationship, as both want to be the captain of their school's soccer team. After Amy finds out about Scott's family, she admits that she likes Scott too. However, Adam erases Amy's memory of the events (including her admission). They seemingly go back to fighting one another until each one votes for the other as captain. The coach makes them co-captains instead.
  • Mass Hypnosis: The Earth Protectors' program is used to do this to school children. Malcolm wants to enhance it to apply to everyone.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: Scott doesn't have any powers, unlike everyone else in his family.
  • Power Incontinence: Scott pretends to get Super-Strength by rigging a patio door to fly off its hinges when he opens it.
  • Puberty Superpower: No superhero has ever received his or her powers after the 14th birthday. Adam got his powers shortly before that, while Molly got her Eye Beams when she was 2.
  • Rubber Man: One is present at Scott's birthday party. He stretches his hand to tap on Judy's shoulder from across the room. His blue and white costume, familiar hair, and the name "Reed" hint at him being one of -the- most famous elastic super-heroes.
  • Secret Identity: Naturally, all superheroes have them, although they all appear to know one another personally. Several dozen heroes show up to Scott's 14th Birthday and call each other by name (i.e. not superhero name). They also have regular jobs (Jim is an orthodontist, and Judy has an office job) and engage in typical family activities.
  • Super-Reflexes: Implied to be one of Judy's Required Secondary Powers, given that her bike has Super-Speed and she doesn't crash it.
  • Super-Speed: Adam (Silver Charge) can run around the world in under a minute. Warrior Woman's motorcycle is also shown to zoom away at an incredible speed, leaving a red streak in the air behind it.
  • Super-Strength: Bronze Eagle, Warrior Woman, and Steel Condor have this. Scott pretends to have this.
  • Superpowered Mooks: Malcolm plans to turns Scott's parents and brother into these. Why? So they can rob banks for him.
  • Technopath: Adam (Silver Charge) can manipulate electric and magnetic fields, which he can use to hack into computers (although, the one time he tries in the film, he gets overexcited and fries it) and even induce Laser-Guided Amnesia in people.
  • Theme Naming: Both Jim and his father named their superhero identities after birds-of-prey (no, not those). Presumably, had Scott actually developed flight, he would've continued the tradition.
  • Title Drop: Both Bronze Eagle and Steel Condor utter the title phrase when taking off. Scott says it when pretending to fly.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When trying to spot Scott in the sky, Jim has false positives on a bird, a plane, and a UFO. He promptly ignores all three. You'd think a superhero would be concerned about a possibly alien object.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Superheroes (or, at least, Scott's family) are vulnerable to aluminum foil, which glows green in their presence and saps their energy. Early in the film, they freak out when Randy brings a loaf of zucchini bread wrapped in foil as a gift from his mother. Scott's family treat it as a bomb and bury the bread in the backyard.
    • They didn't just bury it. They drop it into a large garbage can, then buried the container itself. they weren't taking any chances.
    • Scott's lie is almost exposed during recess at school, when his brother comes to visit. Amy crumples some foil and throws it at him in a "think fast" manner. Scott is about to catch it, when Adam catches it first. He nearly passes out from the power drain before dropping the foil and warns Scott that he has to be careful now.
    • Randy doesn't know about the weakness and pretends to be a superhero when faced by some Mooks. Being Genre Savvy, one of them grabs some foil and hands it to Randy. Trying to be tough, Randy grabs it and tries to chew it, only to mess up his dental filling. Sure, he's hurt, but not in the way a superhero would be, so the bad guys aren't fooled.