When you woke up this morning, did you say to yourself, “Today I’m gonna talk or today I’m gonna skate?” That question is at the very heart of the Disney Channel Orginal Movie, Brink! Disney+ is not just for kids. It’s not only saving parents thanks to Frozen 2, but it’s saving young adults like me who want to relive their favorite movies of their childhood since Disney+ carries Disney Channel Orginal Movies.
The Luck of the Irish, Smart House, Zenon, and Johnny Tsunami are all towards the top for me, but Brink! will always be in the number one spot. I’m assuming if you’re reading this (it’s too late) article, you’ve seen Brink! before, but just in case, here’s a simple summary. Erik Von Detten is Andy “Brink” Brinker, a high school inline skater whose system of beliefs revolves around “soul skating.” Brink and his three friends (Jordy, Peter, and Gabriella) believe in soul skating, which means they skate for enjoyment and for fun, not for money. When Brink’s family runs into financial trouble, Brink betrays his friends and joins their rivals, Team X-Bladz, a sponsored skating team where skaters receive payment for their performance. The team is led by Val, an egotistical, cheating douchebag who is a GREAT villain.
Last weekend, I revisited Brink! for the first time in years thanks to Disney+. Don’t worry, the movie still holds up over 20 years later. However, I had one huge takeaway and it’s something that 8-year-old me would hate.
My Take: Brink made the right move when he joined Team X-Bladz.
There, I said it. Brink had to do what was best for his family. The fact that Jordy, Peter, and Gabriella kicked Brink off his own team was mind-boggling. They never let him truly explain his actions. Brink could have committed murder and the trio would have stuck with him, but Brink decides to make some money for his family and he’s Benedict Arnold.
Did Brink betray his friends’ trust? Yes. Should Brink have been honest with his friends from the beginning? Of course. Did he make the wrong decision by joining Team X-Bladz? Absolutely not. Brink’s family was in financial trouble. His mom, a real estate agent, was struggling to sell houses and his dad, a construction worker, was on disability and there’s no guarantee he’d get his job back. Brink did not join Team X-Bladz to bond with Val. He joined because he wanted to make some money for his family. If you ask me, that’s very admirable for a high school student.
Brink didn’t join Team X-Bladz for free. He was making $200 a week. TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS A WEEK. Find me a better paying job for a high schooler who inline skates. I don’t even think inline skaters make that much in 2020. Who the hell was sponsoring Team X-Bladz? Bill Gates? Who thought it was a good idea to pay teenagers money to skate for a living? Regardless, $200 a week is not going to pay the mortgage, but it can supply Brink’s family with groceries and other small purchases. $200 a week leads to $800 a month, which leads to $2400 every three months and $9,600 per year. That’s pretty damn good for a teenager in 1998.
A lot of kids want to be professional athletes when they grow up. What’s better than getting paid to play a sport? Using that mindset, wouldn’t Brink want to be paid to continue his inline skating career? I doubt that he was going to study biology in college. What Peter and the gang didn’t understand was when Brink went to Team X-Bladz, it opened the door for their entry as well. Brink would eventually become the leader since Val sucks and would have run into trouble with the law. I’d bet my life savings that Val would get lost in a pyramid scheme or a pump-and-dump security fraud. Once that happened, Andy could have made an ultimatum to Team X-Bladz. His friends are allowed to join or Brink walks away. Do you think X-Bladx would let the Tony Hawk of inline skating walk away from their team? Not a chance. Imagine Team Pup n Suds joined Team X-Bladz to form one super team. They would never lose a competition. In this scenario, everyone in Brink’s crew would get paid to skate. The soul skating mantra would still be alive, but they’d be making money doing what they love.
Brink made the right decision to join Team X-Bladz. However, he didn’t execute his plan properly. Once Peter, Jordy, and Gabriella joined Team X-Bladz, all would have been well with the world. Don’t hate Andy for making money. Soul skating doesn’t pay the bills.
Did Andy Brinker make the right decision by joining Team X-Bladz? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @danny_giro.