Newsies is a 1992 Disney live action film musical starring Christian Bale, David Moscow, and Bill Pullman. Robert Duvall and Ann-Margret also appeared in supporting roles. The movie has a cult following surrounding it despite its initial failure at the box office. The film marked the directorial debut of Dirty Dancing choreographer Kenny Ortega and featured the music of composer Alan Menken.
Although the film was not originally intended to be a musical, it contains twelve songs and multiple dance sequences (for which the young cast trained for approximately 10 weeks). Musical highlights include "Carrying the Banner," "Santa Fe," "Seize The Day," and "King of New York."
Newsies was not a commercial success (at the time it was one of the lowest-grossing Disney live-action films in the studio's history), but gained fans when it was released on VHS and was played on the Disney Channel. It has since gained a modest yet enthusiastic cult following and was released on DVD in 2002.
Newsies is based on the story of the Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. Jack Kelly (Christian Bale) is a newsboy (not to be confused with a "yuppie" and/or "guppie") selling newspapers for Joseph Pulitzer (Robert Duvall) and his paper, the New York World. David Jacobs (David Moscow) leaves school temporarily and joins the newsies to help his family while his father is out of work because of a broken arm. Shortly afterwards the price of newspapers to the newsboys is raised by 10 cents per 100 papers by joint decision of Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst.
Feeling they will be unable to bear the added cost, Jack Kelly organizes a strike with the aid of David Jacobs. As the protagonist, Jack Kelly struggles with his past as he forms an important friendship with David and his family. Along the way the boys are aided by newspaper reporter Bryan Denton (Bill Pullman) and vaudeville performer Medda (Ann-Margret), as well as being hindered by Snyder, warden of "The Refuge" juvenile detention facility (Kevin Tighe), and Pulitzer.