Little Giants 20 Year Anniversary: Where Are They Now?

Matt Haupert@@matthaupFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2014

Little Giants 20 Year Anniversary: Where Are They Now?

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    It has now been 20 years since The Annexation of Puerto Rico made Danny O'Shea (Rick Moranis) and a band of misfit kids the heroes of Urbania in the beloved sports film Little Giants.

    Moranis and his co-star, Ed O'Neill, are another two decades older, and the kids who took the field are all grown up.

    As you're about to see, starring as a child in a movie does not a Hollywood career make.

    In 2014, the lovable kids that made up the Giants and the Cowboys are not all still making movies—and they're definitely no longer playing football.

    One went on to voice a popular character on Hey Arnold! for several years.

    One became the face of a semi-famous glam rock band.

    One is a respected World of Warcraft blogger.

    Indeed, the band of bullies and misfits that we fell in love in 1994 have gone down an incredibly wide range of different life paths.

    But in our hearts, they'll forever be remembered together as the cast of Little Giants.

Devon Sawa: 'Junior Floyd'

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    The golden armed, toilet paper-throwing prodigy Junior Floyd, played by pre-teen heartthrob Devon Sawa, kept right on rolling after the completion of Little Giants. Sawa hit it even bigger the next year with Casper, then won a Saturn Award for Final Destination in 2001.

    Sawa's prowess on the football field in Little Giants apparently translated to his real-life acting career, as he has been one of the most successful of the cast's alums. Sawa peaked in the early 2000s, but he's still doing plenty of acting today. In addition, he's about to start raising a little giant of his own, as his wife just gave birth to the couple's first child.

Shawna Waldron: Becky "Icebox" O'Shea

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    "Icebox" has come a long, long way since her tomboy days.

    Actress Shawna Waldron, who played the hard-hitting, tough-as-nails Becky in Little Giants, has stayed in the acting business, but she started playing a very different type of role once she grew up. Waldron's biggest post-Little Giants hit came in 2008, when she starred in Poison Ivy: The Secret Society as a seductive college student involved in scenes far more lewd than what you might have expected out of boyish little football star.

    Perhaps she's finally started going by "Becky" instead of "Icebox."

Troy Simmons: Rashid "Hot Hands" Hanon

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    Note: Video contains NSFW language.

    In 20 years, Hot Hands has become Hot Handz—and other than that, there hasn't been much of note involving Troy Simmons, who played the butterfingers wide receiver Rashid "Hot Hands" Hanon in Little Giants. Simmons disappeared from the movie scene and hasn't developed an acting career quite like Sawa and Waldron.

    Fortunately—or unfortunately?—he hasn't disappeared from entertainment all together, blessing us all with his rapping ability by contributing to at least one song, shown in the video above, under the name Hot Handz.

    You'll notice that in the title of the video, he's referred to as "Hot Handz (from the movie Little Giants)."

    The fact that he's still referencing his performance in a movie from 1994 is far from the only lue that Simmons is not on his way to becoming the next 50 Cent.

John Paul Steuer: Johnny Vennaro

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    John Paul Steuer, who played Johnny "Viper" Vennaro, has gone on an interesting ride since the release of Little Giants.

    Steuer was playing Quentin on the ABC sitcom Grace Under Fire, but his mom thought it was a bad idea and made him quit after the show's star, Brett Butler, flashed the poor kid on set—just one example of her less-than-exemplary behavior.

    This wouldn't be the end of John Paul, however.

    Steuer would grow up to make the natural transition from sweet little child movie star to glam rocker as frontman of the band Soda Pop Kids, who have since broken up.

Todd Bosley: Jake Berman

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    Todd Bosley's journey into adulthood has been what you could call very random.

    Bosley has stayed in the film and TV industry, but just barely.

    He appeared in a few funny episodes of Scrubs as Howie. He dabbles in stand-up comedy. He makes weird YouTube videos with Little Giants cast mate Marcus Toji. He's also played a bunch of little roles in a bunch of little movies and TV shows along the way.

    No, Bosley never really hit it big as a movie star. But he hasn't disappeared, either, and that counts for something.

Sam Horrigan: Spike Hammersmith

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    Sam Horrigan wasn't exactly channeling Daniel Day Lewis or Leonardo DiCaprio in his performance as Spike in Little Giants, so it isn't much of a shock that he never went on to win any Academy Awards or star in any big critically acclaimed movies.

    What is a shock is that Horrigan, as evidenced in the video above, grew into a man who was just as obnoxious and self-absorbed as the antagonistic boy that he had played so many years before.

    Horrigan has played small roles in a number of movies and television shows and competed on the fourth season of the CW show Beauty and the Geek.

    One interesting bit of trivia: Remember two slides ago when John Paul Steuer dropped his role on Grade Under Fire? Care to know who went on to replace him?

    A little fella named Sam Horrigan.

Marcus Toji: Marcus

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    Note: Video contains NSFW language.

    Click play on the video above. 

    Finished? Great.

    Little Giants has now been ruined forever.

    Yes, that is, indeed, sweet little Marcus and awkward little Jake Berman, uniting forces again as full-grown adults in this disturbingly awkward sketch comedy video.

    Fortunately, this isn't the most lucrative performance Toji has made since Little Giants.

    Though he has seemingly gotten less and less successful throughout his career, peaking in 1996 with his performance in Jingle All The Way (and nobody wants to say they peaked with Jingle All The Way), Toji has made appearances in a couple notable television shows, including It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Weeds.

Mathew McCurley: Nubie

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    Anyone ever heard of the term "typecast?"

    Turns out actor Mathew McCurley is every bit as nerdy as the character Nubie that he portrays in Little Giants. In the movie, he's the mastermind behind the brilliant Annexation of Puerto Rico trick play that ultimately gives the Giants the victory.

    As a full grown man in real life, he's the mastermind of, well, online gaming. McCurley offers insights on World of Warcraft in the installment of his video blog series shown above, and according to his Twitter page he is now a Social Media and Community Specialist at Riot Games.

    At this point, it is unclear whether or not McCurley has been able to successfully translate The Annexation of Puerto Rico into a World of Warcraft move to help ensure his continued success.

Christopher Walberg: Timmy Moore

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    Turns out Christopher Walberg was just getting started when he played the adorably clueless Timmy Moore in Little Giants.

    Soon after completing the movie, Walberg was voicing the memorable character of Stinky in the popular Nickelodeon series Hey Arnold!, which ran for several years and was eventually turned in to a movie.

    But alas, Stinky too eventually had to come to an end, which led to bigger and better things for Walberg.

    Well, maybe not bigger. And probably not better, either. But it did lead to things. Things like shredding it with the band H-beam, a band that gained medium low popularity in the underground rock scene in Nashville.

Alexa Vega: Priscilla O'Shea

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    Alexa Vega, who portrayed the young Priscilla O'Shea in Little Giants, arguably went on to the most successful acting career out of the entire cast.

    Vega first hit it big—really big—when she starred in every movie of the Spy Kids franchise, then continued rolling along, again making headlines when she showed off her "bad-girl" side in the 2013 film Machete Kills.

    Still only 25 years old, Vega is churning out movies frequently and recently had a highly publicized wedding in Mexico.

    Life is good.

Susanna Thompson: Patty Floyd

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    Since Susanna Thompson was already a full-grown adult and a working actress by the time she played Patty Floyd in Little Giants, her path in the past 20 years has been significantly more predictable.

    Thomposon just kept on acting, and has appeared in movies such as Dragonfly with Kevin Costner.

    The past decade has not been too kind to Thompson, as she seemed to hit her career peak around the beginning of the century. Nevertheless, she continues to make her money acting today, if mostly under the radar.

Joe Bays: Harold Butz

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    Joe Bays hit it big five years after he played the intensely unlikeable Harold Butz in Little Giants.

    In 1999, Bays played Dom Portwood in Office Space, a role that proved to be far and away the peak of his career.

    In 15 years since then, Bays has sort of just floated along in Hollywood, working consistently in Hollywood but rarely playing roles more notable than  ones like the Jazz Club Manager in Spiderman 3 or the Race Starter in Stuart Little.

Rick Moranis: Danny O'Shea

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    When Little Giants was released, its star, Rick Moranis, who played the lovable head coach Danny O'Shea, was a comic legend who had already starred in such Hollywood hits as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Little Shop of Horrors alongside Steve Martin.

    Little Giants, however, would be one of the last times we got to see Moranis shine on screen.

    Three years later, in 1997, he retired from acting and has remained retired ever since. His wife had died years earlier, and Moranis decided to shift his life's focus to raising his children and giving them a normal, wonderful childhood.

    But Moranis would not be completely finished yet:

    In 2013, he released the album My Mother's Brisket and Other Love Songs, which includes the song in the video above. The album is a collection of comedy songs inspired by his Jewish upbringing.

Ed O'Neill: Kevin O'Shea

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    And then, finally, there's Ed O'Neill, who needs no introduction.

    O'Neill was a Hollywood star when he played Kevin O'Shea in 1994, and 20 years later he hasn't lost a step, now the centerpiece of popular sitcom Modern Family, for which he has been nominated for three Emmys.

    Most of the cast's stars are not still shining quite as bright as O'Neill's, but it's no matter.

    20 years later, the kids from Little Giants remain forever frozen in our minds exactly as we saw them when the movie was first released two decades ago.

    Think I'm a genius? An idiot? Let me know on Twitter.


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