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Philadelphia 76ers in Film: Disney Edition

Philadelphia 76ers in Film

 

If Sixers players were in Disney films, who would they portray and what film would they be in? As a reminder and for the courtesy of others, please turn off all cell phones. Thank you!

Joel Embiid- Gaston from Beauty and the Beast

He’s handsome, he’s charming, he’s a mighty hunter (we’re betting the whole village stays pretty well fed thanks to him), and he’s even ready to take on a lion in a desolate jungle. Everyone loves him, according to him. He has all kinds of hero-type physical traits just so we wouldn’t forget—tallest man in the village, the mountains of muscles, the cleft chin, the piercing eyes…yet he’s even more pronounced on social media. With all those incredible traits, it’s no surprise that Joel is the Disney character you would pay to punch in the face.

Joel does everything he can to make sure everyone in the village is aware he is the villain. He is as vain as it gets and does all the things the story needs him to do…and he does it while remaining utterly convinced to the very end that he’s actually the hero. However, when he’s on your side, it’s all gravy because no one comes to close to having the better skillset and talent than Joel.

Ben Simmons-Elsa from Frozen

Ben was born with powers to manipulate the basketball and used them to entertain his family at a young age. However, Ben’s lack of control resulted in him living in fear of hurting anyone with his powers. Ben spent much of his early life shut out from the outside world. Though it pained him greatly to do so, Ben also thought it was necessary to distance himself from the NBA world, so there would be no risk of hurting it.

After his powers were exposed during his rookie season and nearly harmed several people, Ben fled Philadelphia to ensure such an incident never occurred again. In spite of his self-imposed exile and refusal to shoot the basketball, Ben found peace. Ben soon gains the confidence to experiment with his powers without the fear of causing more harm. Not long after, Ben is able to rekindle his relationship with the city of Philadelphia after learning how to fully control and appreciate his powers.

Jimmy Butler- Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story

The newest and fanciest action figure to enter Brett Brown’s locker room. You might try telling Jimmy Butler he’s just a toy, but he won’t believe you. This dude truly believes he’s a space ranger and the one and only Buzz Lightyear. Jimmy Butler might talk a big game, but he’s got the attitude and grind mentality to walk the walk. Even better, he’s got a huge wingspan that allows him to fall with style.

Real or fake, adding a space ranger to the core of the Philadelphia 76ers is a big deal. Jimmy is an important guy. He’s a hero who saves teams from losing. Jimmy has confidence and charisma oozing out of his pores and thinks he’s also a pretty amazing guy. And the other toys in Brett’s room love him for it. (Well, Markelle Fultz not so much.)

Amir Johnson- Wall-E from WALL-E

In a time not too far from now in this very galaxy on this very planet, general managers have trashed the NBA so badly that they flee into space and leave an army of Armed Machines In Reality—Earth class (that’s AMIR to you) to clean the place up. It doesn’t quite work. One rusty little AMIR remains 700 years later, trundling across the barren landscape and compacting all the trash that still exists. For years, he’s picked up the trash of countless teammates. In hilarious fashion, AMIR has an appreciation for vintage artifacts. In the words of the great Marc Zumoff, he enjoys turning garbage into gold.

AMIR is lonely, with only a cockroach and his Hello, Dolly VHS tape to keep him company. He looks to the stars and dreams of love. And—boom—one day, love appears in the form of a sleek, small point guard named TJ. He’s feisty: spends his time slapping courts and, on a couple of occasions, almost annihilating AMIR too. But AMIR takes TJ to his shelter to show off his collection of vintage artifacts in the hopes of becoming his favorite teammate.

Dario Saric- Dug from Up

We can all agree that talking dogs are hilarious. There is no character in the realm of Disney that is more lovable than Dario Saric. Dario is the drooling, squirrel-chasing personification of one of Up’s most important themes: love is all around you; all you have to do is let it in. There is no one more loyal than Dario Saric.

Dario became a very important piece to the Sixers core when he came over from Paradise Falls. In a famous quote – Dario [to Brett Brown]: “My name is Dario. I have just met you, and I love you.” Dario doesn’t care that Brett’s kind of a jerk at this stage in the narrative. He digs him unconditionally from the get-go, and his devotion never stops. You might say that he’s dogged in his pursuit to show Brett some much-needed love.

Adam Silver- Kaa from Jungle Book

Adam Silver is a huge and powerful snake, more than 100 years old and still in his prime. Adam Silver is most famous for using his serpentine hypnosis on Josh Harris to force the Colangelos upon the Philadelphia 76ers with the intent to break general manager Sam Hinkie. Adam Silver is vile and uses this power against his prey slowly and unmercifully. He is very good at verbally slithering his way into other teams’ business when he shouldn’t. Adam is one of Disney’s greatest villains of all time.

TJ McConnell- Tigger from Winnie the Pooh

Tigger is one of the most-beloved characters in the history of Disney cinema and animation. TJ plays an important role in many episodes because he challenges how we typically define a character by his actions. What he looks like—bouncy, big, growly—turns out not to really reflect his essential personality. He never intentionally does anything bad, but his size and boundless energy have a way of getting him and other characters into trouble. TJ is as feisty as it comes and has unlimited energy.

These physical attributes are so important because TJ is just starting to learn about himself. When we first meet him, he doesn’t even know how to shoot from beyond the arc. He’s missing one of the most fundamental and important parts of being a point guard—a 3 point shot. In later stories, he’s still not totally sure of his own abilities. In many instances, TJ is the hero of the story but doesn’t get the recognition. This is all fine and dandy for TJ, who enjoys being a leader off the court and off the pages.

Markelle Fultz- Dumbo from Dumbo

Dumbo has the personality of a small child. He is playful, innocent, and very fun. He loves being around his mother and suffers from a lack of confidence and self-esteem. He is naïve to the realities of the NBA and is also very easily scared. However, he is also very open-hearted and believes that hard work and the grind will eventually overcome those who tease him. While Markelle is reluctant to accept his fate, his friends and family understand his true ceiling – to become a true star of the circus.

During his rookie season, Markelle Fultz develops even more anxiety when overrun with hate and critics about the way he flies. Through trials and tribulations, Markelle eventually learns how to use his ears as wings to fly. He uses a token to encourage and increase Markelle’s confidence. Markelle is finally seen flying in the air and becomes the star everyone knew he would eventually become.

Zhaire Smith- Jack Jack Parr from The Incredibles

Zhaire Smith is the baby of all babies with superpowers. Zhaire is the youngest child in the 76ers family. His primary power is shapeshifting, but has a large number of other powers, including:

  • Levitation/flying.
  • Breaking rims.
  • Jump shots bursting into flame.
  • Superhuman strength and agility.
  • Higher intelligence

While Zhaire has immense power, he’s too young and just not ready to show his talents on the court. For the first year of his NBA career, Zhaire didn’t seem to exhibit any signs of powers, presumably being too allergic to NBA foods. In the future, General Manager Elton Brand is ecstatic when he learns Zhaire Smith has powers and babysits him for the night to create a super suit for him.

Sam Hinkie- Mufasa from The Lion King

Bold, strong, and fearless, Sam Hinkie is the very picture of nobility. He is a just and benevolent leader, who understands that the results are not better than the process. He is a family man who respects the natural world around him but refuses to accept the balance of the NBA.

At the beginning of the process, the Pride Lands flourish with Sam Hinkie as their ruler. Sam has everything a guy could dream of: a newborn son in Joel, a beautiful wife, a giant rock palace, and a right-hand man in Brett Brown. As Joel grows up, Sam tries to teach him important lessons about respect for nature and the importance of family and humility. While doing this, the harsh realities and evils of the NBA communities eventually overcome his reign and force Sam to leave the Pride Lands.

Bryan Colangelo- Scar from The Lion King

Dripping with sarcasm and cynicism, Bryan Colangelo is the typical Disney villain: we love to hate him and he knows how to persuade others. Bryan Colangelo is a coward who utilizes his family name to encompass him with immense power and strength. He is a liar and very likely a sociopath (just look at those collars).

Bryan Colangelo almost always relies on deceit and brute force to get what he wants. Blaming Joel Embiid for Sam Hinkie’s death, Bryan tells Joel to flee into exile and then orders the hyenas to murder him. Once again, Joel manages to escape. Unbeknownst to Bryan, of course. Eventually, Joel returns to Pride Rock and exposes Bryan from his multiple burner hornbill birds all across the region. Bryan and Joel have an epic fight that results in Bryan’s resignation and banishment from the Pride Lands.

Spike Eskin- Miguel from Coco

Spike is a lover of music who rebels against his father’s terrible takes on the Sixers. When a magical mishap lands him in the Land of the Dead, Spike seeks out his idol, Sam Hinkie, to help him return to the Land of the Living before it’s too late. Spike utilizes his idol’s most famous song, “Remember The Name,” as a source of inspiration and motivation to return to his family.

Spike has an ear for music and is a fast learner, as he had taught himself how to play and lead and bring together countless Sixers fans with his voice. Despite the pressures from his father, his immense love for the Sixers and music eventually bring his family together, and he is able to return to the Land of the Living.

Michael Levin- Happy from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Like all the dwarfs, Michael is true to his name. Very bubbly and bright, alongside his partner Spike, he is the most friendly and cheerful of the bunch. His gleeful attitude prompts him to giggle quite often, and his love for fringe/backup NBA players cannot be matched. Michael is also the most sociable amongst his diminutive comrades, going so far as to gleefully and politely pitch a TV show to Ben Simmons.

Michael doesn’t normally appear to be troubled; however, he is ironically quite fierce when potential danger arises for the dwarfs. Mike is the first to come up with a plan and is always optimistic. Despite the trials and tribulations of The Process, he generally upholds his pleasant reputation as the most cheerful of the seven dwarfs.

Jason Blevins

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