A couple of days ago, I was reading one of the newer blogs I’ve come across (which has quickly become one of my favorite), joggingdad.com. He wrote a blog about some of his favorite movie scenes in memory of Roger Ebert. After reading it, I thought about some of my favorite movie scenes and realized the ones that have withstood the test of time and always put a smile on my face are mostly those from movies I saw as a child. These days, they just don’t make movies like they used to. We are content in watching a movie once, and moving on, never to worry about it again. I think this is why digital viewing has taken off and DVD/Blu-Ray sales have diminished. Movies simply don’t have that charm that they used to have, which asked for a second, third, fourth and tenth watch for almost anyone who was lucky enough to have seen them. How many times have you seen ET? Aliens? Total Recall (Original)? How many movies that come out these days can illicit the same tear jerking response that the closing scene to Terminator 2 demands… EVERY single time you watch it? Movies these days, they’re just not the same.
And so, that brought me to thinking about the movies that I still hold dear, still love to throw in for background ‘noise’ while doing chores or reading, or get friends together to watch just for the nostalgia. So I put together this little list the movies that I can’t wait to share with my little lady.
First and most importantly, for anyone who knows me you probably knew this one was coming, but it has to be “The Goonies.” I’ve cherished this movie ever since the first time I saw it, and I’ve seen it over 100 times without a doubt. When I was younger, I could say the lines with each character from start to finish. I would get excited (and still do) when the Fratellis break out from prison, laugh hard as ever when Chunk does the truffle shuffle, and feel for Sloth when Chunk comes across him chained up in the basement and offers him a piece of his Baby Ruth. This is a timeless tale of kids being kids, overcoming all odds, and going on an amazing adventure that teaches them lessons about friendship and life, while taking them through some entertaining twists and turns. One of the best lessons I’ve learned from media was from this movie. The Goonies taught me that it was okay to be different. You didn’t need to be the popular, good looking, picture perfect kid to go on an adventure and to be successful. Anytime I ever felt like I was an outsider, or different, I reminded myself that I wasn’t. I was a Goonie. And you know what? Goonies never say die! This is the film I can’t wait to share with my daughter the most. I can only hope she appreciates it and enjoys it as much as I do.
Second on my list would have to be the Labyrinth. Does this one really need that much of an explanation? It’s a wild romp through the goblin king’s domain. There’s puppets that come alive, musical interludes, animals that talk, and a million other things that capture a child’s imagination. It entertains. It makes you laugh. It makes you scared. And the ending, like any good ending, can make you cry. It’s such a wonderful combination of real and fantasy. I can’t wait to share this adventure with her.
The Princess Bride is next on my list. This movie is a classic fairy tale. The grandfather reading the story to his grandson is such a perfect scene to me. It’s wonderful to see the book he’s reading come to life, which is what I hope all children will learn. That you can read about a far away land where giants, dragons, and misfits run rampant, and for all you know, it’s 100% real. It’s imagination running free. I want my daughter to read about distant worlds, or alternate realities where things are different. Where heroes and kings, werewolves and unicorns, and all kinds of crazy things exist. I want her to free her mind from conventional thought, to explore her own imagination, and to create, however she chooses, her own worlds where whatever she wants to happen, does.
Last on my list is Big. The often said, but rarely listened to, advice of “Don’t grow up too quickly,” is hammered home in this 80’s gem. How many scenes from this movie are classics? The piano scene in F.A.O. Schwartz. The scene where Josh proves to Billy that he’s really Josh by singing/dancing ‘Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Pop.’ Or the one where Josh and Susan end up at his apartment, and let their inner kid’s go by jumping on the indoor trampoline? This movie holds everything that is dear to a child and reminds them not to grow up too quickly. Which is easily one of the things I’m already thinking about, even though my little lady hasn’t even been born yet. Of course, it also teaches them that even in adulthood, there’s always time to remember what it was like to be young and innocent, and there is no shame (rather, it’s encouraged) in reverting back to those tendencies every now and then to remind yourself what life is really about. The simple things.
What about you? Have any movies you’ve shared with your little ones that you used to treasure as a child? Have any new ones you would recommend or like to share? Leave a comment and join the conversation!