You know, it’s that time of year where Disney release a live-action film that isn’t a Marvel film and is always based on an inspiring underdog story. It’s a very niche market for the studio who is literally raking in the pennies from The Force Awakens but has been a staple of our cinematic lives. The Mighty Ducks, and, more recently, The Million Dollar Arm – they’ve all had varying levels of success.
Now there’s Queen of Katwe, which looks to smash the expectations of Disney’s non-superhero, non-Star Wars, feature films.
Based in the slums of Uganda, the impoverished 10 year old Phiona lives a determined but struggling life. Her mother Harriet is fiercely trying to keep her family with a roof of who sell vegetables in the markets, When Phiona stumbles upon a chess team and their training, she is invited by Coach Robert Katende to develop her skills in concentration, strategy, and risk taking. Through her success is chess, Phiona is opened up to the world of learning and education but as she begins to break away from her family, her mother is reluctant to let her go.
The film has stars Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo as well as introducing newcomer Madina Malwanga. So with such a stellar cast, the film has a lot of promise. But can it rise above recent inspiring movies that have panned?
Queen of Katwe has no official UK release but is out September in US.