There is a recipe out there somewhere to make a valiant woman's story without sacrificing her male counterpart. They almost made it here, but the "let me clean up your mess" feeling of the story doesn't quite make it. Still, it's message is good enough to accompany it's remarkable visuals. I am going to assume no one will need to say "she persisted" someday. They will just say the protagonist persisted.
If they had kept the story with the two leads, it would be a fine film. Neill can do this role in his sleep, and Dennison is more engaging than most Disney kids. Unfortunately they go a little too often to the well of hijinks with House's welfare worker who acts as though she were Sheriff Buford T. Justice. This kind of humor works when one is 10, maybe, but it gets old quick here.