; Editor serves up a reasonable premise for a comic fantasy kidpic – a chimp good enough to play professional baseball – and has no idea what to do with it. Almost painfuly modest in its ambition and accomplishment, this slow-pitch offering might tolerably amuse the under-10 crowd, but will prove borderline intolerable for everyone else.
This is not exactly the feature debut one would have expected from heavyweight socially conscious documaker Bill Couturie, best known for the likes of Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam. Then again, he did begin his career as an animator for Sesame Street.
Nearly half the picture is gone before Ed even takes the field. First 40 minutes are devoted to the tenuous baseball career of Jack Cooper (Matt LeBlanc), whose skill at firing balls through tires down on the farm has never been matched by his ability to get real live batters out for the Santa Rosa Rockets. When the owners bring cute chimp Ed in as a mascot, the manager (Jack Warden) assigns Jack to room with him.
Much of the running time is devoted to tiresome domestic scenes of Ed wreaking havoc while an exasperated Jack looks on. Baseball action is far outweighed by tedious scenes off the diamond, including a tepid romance between Jack and an attractive neighbor (Jayne Brook) that’s engineered by her young daughter (Doren Fein), who ends up hanging out with Ed.
Title character is an animatronic creation, inhabited by two actors, that seems pretty credible.