August 29, 1998 – The Disney Channel Original Movie Brink! Premieres
“We skate for fun. We’re soul skaters.”
On August 29, 1998, the Disney Channel Original Movie Brink! premiered. The film is considered a loose, modern adaptation of the 1962 made-for-television Disney film Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates, although the backdrop is inline skating in California rather than ice skating in Holland. The film was directed by Greg Beeman, produced by Bernadette Caulfield, and written by Jeff Schechter. It starred Erik von Detten as Brink, Sam Horrigan as Val, and Christina Vidal as Gabriella.
Andy Brinker, known by others as “Brink,” and his friends Peter, Jordy, and Gabriella, call themselves “Soul Skaters” – those who skate for fun rather than make a profit. Their free-skating attitude clashes with a sponsored team known as the X-Bladz, led by their classmate Val. Although it goes against what Brink believes, he decides to join the X-Bladz once he finds his family is in financial difficulty, hoping to earn enough money to help. His friends don’t realize what Brink has done, but when they do, they feel betrayed, and challenge the X-Bladz to a downhill race.
The X-Bladz win, thanks to Val cheating and causing Gabriella to fall and wind up seriously hurt. The Soul Skaters disown Brink, calling him a sell-out. After seeing his son work so hard to help his family, including working at a dog-grooming store called “Pup’N Suds,” Brink’s father decides to help his son and the Soul Skaters prepare for a local competition and revenge against the X-Bladz. The Soul Skaters accept Brink back in, and end up sponsored by the dog-grooming store. At the competition, it comes down to Brink and Val, with Val again trying to cheat. Brink wins, and Val is kicked out of the X-Bladz for cheating. Although Brink is offered the chance to become the captain of the X-Bladz, he turns it down to go back to his friends and their attitude of skating for fun, not profit.