Miles Scott (Batkid) and Eric Johnston (Batman) save the day. (Warner Bros.)
Miles Scott (Batkid) and Eric Johnston (Batman) save the day. (Warner Bros.)

We are all fairly familiar with the organization, Make-A-Wish. For the most part, these people work hard to give seriously ill children a chance to do anything they want. Some ask to go to Disneyland. Others want to meet their favorite baseball player. But what do you do when your client wants to be Batman for a day? You give him the world.

Batkid Begins is directed by Dana Nachman and was written by Kurt Kuenne. It is a thoroughly entertaining documentary that follows 5-year-old Miles Scott, a cancer survivor, and the large group of people who went to work making his fantasy a reality. Initially, the project wasn’t supposed to be that big. Make-A-Wish thought if they could get 200 people to volunteer, that would work out just fine. They wanted a crowd after all. Instead, what they got were thousands of volunteers wanting to help.

In a very short time frame, the Make-A-Wish people were able to recruit a “Batman” (Eric Johnston) to lead the younger “Batkid” (who in turn recruited his friends to be villains and his wife to become a damsel in distress), find a Batmobile, get the city of San Francisco to transform itself into Gotham City and to shut down many streets for the day, get the local news to create “breaking news” stories, recruit the mayor to play, etc., etc. etc. Soon, she was getting calls from celebrities and from people from across the country wanting to fly in for the occasion and shout “Help us Batkid!”

Especially touching are the scenes between Scott and Johnston, who served as his mentor. The two became fast friends. One scene in particular that is amazing is when little Miles looks out a window and watches a sea of fans chanting and dancing. He turns to “Batman” and asks, “What are they doing?” Johnston replies, “They’re dancing. They’re dancing for you.” It is truly amazing how many people not only helped, but wanted to help and create this fantasy world for a little boy even for just one day.

Though the running time of the film is about 15 minutes longer than it needs to be, it moves at a brisk pace and has some nice touches like having the family tell their story about when Miles was diagnosed with Leukemia at 18 months old and how he went through two years of chemo therapy in the form of a comic book.

By the end of the film, you’ll be exhausted just like the real people who made it all happen, but you’ll be inspired to step out of your comfort zone and reach out to help others. Note: Though this story is about a 5-year-old, young children probably won’t get too much out of watching this film, but this would be excellent introduction to older children in how serving others can actually be fun and rewarding.

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