So lately I’ve been watching a lot of kids movies. Not just because I’m a big kid at heart, but because the Force of Nature is often seeing, what are to me, classic kids movies for the first time. So with all this exposure I thought it timely to write-up my top 5 list of kids movies. Ones that deserve another viewing. As with my previous horror movie article there are just two rules I’ll be following;
1: The movie has to have had a general cinema release. That’s it. I’ll end up dealing with straight to television or DVD movies on their own at a later date.
2: They have to be a movie which I have, or would have paid to go see at least twice in the cinema.
So I hope you enjoy my thoughts and find yourself thinking about re-watching these movie. Enjoy.
5: The Goonies. (1985)
What can I say about the Goonies? It has it all, pirates, treasure, crooks, traps, gadgets, and Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) before he grew up and had a torrid non-physical onscreen love affair with Mister Frodo. The Goonies tells us the story of a small group of kids, who are about to be forced to move out of the homes hey love by greedy developers. They find a pirate’s treasure map, and go off in search of it in the hopes of rescuing the lives they all love.
Along the way they run across a family of violent Italian crooks, some truly horrible death traps, Samwise has his first boy on girl kiss (which leads inevitably to the arms of first Mister Frodo, and later Rosie Cotton. Poor Samwise, he’s a very confused little hobbit.), pirate booty, and depending on the cut you get to see there may even be a giant octopus. I recently watched The Goonies again for the first time in ten years, and was really surprised by how much I still enjoyed it. It’s a good adventure story. It’s funny, surprisingly well acted, and has quite a funny script. It was also the movie which really launched the careers of Martha Plimpton, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin and of course Samwise Gamgee.
- I still have such a crush on Martha Plimpton and it all started with The Goonies. (image via howtomakeitinamerica.com)
4: Gremlins. (1984)
Okay I’m fudging a little with this one. Gremlins is technically a horror/comedy and has I believe a PG-13 rating. But how could any list of kids movies be complete without the adorable little Gizmo? Gremlins is a weird little movie. It’s hard to categorize. Is it a horror? A comedy? A satire? A monster movie? Or is it just all about waiting for the next shot of either Gizmo, or the delectable Phoebe Cates? Well regardless you can definitely say that it’s fun.
- Gizmo the Mogwai. Cuteness personified. (image via images.mylot.com)
A boy gets a cute little pet, a Mogwai, named Gizmo for Christmas. He breaks the rules for caring for Gizmo and unwittingly unleashes a wave of horrible little monsters, gremlins, on his town. During the race to save civilisation as we know it we see gremlins stabbed, kicked, kicked into a fire, blown up, and my favourite blown up again in a microwave. It’s a little violent this movie. Though no more so than some of Spielbergs other family movies of the time.
So why should you watch it now?
Well the special effects have held up extremely well. The story is still as good today as it was 27 years ago. The cast is nothing short of brilliant. The Force of Nature loved it last week, even if we did have to stand in her way for certain scenes. And of course it has Gizmo. Oh and the sequel is well worth a watch too, even if only for the wealth of cameos.
3: Santa Claus – The Movie. (1985)
I saw this movie in the cinema the year it came out. I can truthfully say that I don’t remember a single second of it. No idea why, it’s just been erased from my mind. (I suspect I was witness to an alien encounter and ended up being neurolised, but more on that later.) But a few years later in primary school, on the last day before the Christmas break they showed this movie again. I loved it. I still do.
This isn’t just a Santa Claus – The Movie, this is Santa Claus – The Superhero Movie. Seriously, it starts with Santa Claus the origin story.
- The pre-superpowered Mister Claus, and the Missus too. (image via cf1.imgobject.com)
The origin. An older medieval couple with no kids are in a sled returning home from passing out wooden toys to the good little girls and boys who live near them. They start to freeze to death, only to be rescued by frikkin’ elfs. Including one elf played by Dudley Moore i one of his funnier roles. Okay so origin story done with. You have the build up to the movies sense of peril. So Patches, played by Dudley Moore, is sick of the old-fashioned techniques used in the workshop, but when his updates are spectacularly unsuccessful he up and leaves to make his fortune.
Enter the villain. John Lithgow plays our villain who manipulates Patches into servitude, sort of. Well anyway he’s not nice, and tries to cover up some nasty shit.
Re-enter the hero. Santa Claus shows up with a couple of kids to save the day, and does so by…look just watch the damned movie. It’s not Laurence Olivier in Henry V, but you won’t regret watching it, especially if you watch it with a happily squealing five-year old.
- *sings* “Heeeere I come to save the day!” (image via 2.bp.blogspot.com)
2: Shrek Forever After. (2010)
In what’s supposed to be the final Shrek movie, (Yeah right!) Shrek unwittingly creates an alternative universe where he was never born. Far, Far Away is under occupation by witches, and the ogres have formed a resistance army. Led by Princess Fiona doing her best combined impression of Red Sonya and William Wallace.
That’s the plot dealt with. So why watch it?
Well the first Shrek was a masterpiece. Hilariously funny, with brilliant performances by all the cast, and the CGI animation was simply amazing. Unfortunately the next two sequels were just more of the same, but with performances which were often sub-par. However with this fourth movie they finally get the recipe right again. Okay let’s put it this way, if I had to pick my favourite Shrek movie it would be the last one. It’s the funniest, has the best story, and the best performances. It also has Princess Fiona in leather armour.
And I can’t be the only one who thinks that Ogre Fiona is way hotter than human Fiona, so leather armour is just a bonus. Or am I?
1: Men in Black. (1997)
Remember I mentioned being neurolised earlier? That’s right my number 1 kids movie I wish I could see again in a cinema is Men in Black. This had Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith at their best. Jones being the gruff crotchety git I imagine he often is in reality, and Smith not being completely up his own ass while putting his own family into his pictures.
- I knew it, that’s why I don’t remember seeing Santa Claus – The Movie in the cinema. (image via collider.com)
You raped the Karate Kid, Will Smith, raped it, and then put it in the wrong goddess damned country, with the characters played by the wrong goddess damned actors, nepotism is never pretty Mister Smith. DAMN YOU WILL SMITH!
*Cough* Moving on. This movie was made back when Will Smith was actually funny. It follows a new recruit to the most secret agency on Earth. A group who protect the world from the threat of extra-terrestrial violence. The villain is of course the biggest cockroach in movie history. (I could be wrong on that. There’s a lot of monster movies I haven’t seen yet, so maybe there’s one “The Cockroach who ate the World” out there somewhere.) And it has the beautiful Linda Fiorentino in what I think of as her weirdest part ever, a sort of creepy, but very sexy pathologist. Anyway the world’s in danger and Will “I rape classic movies” Smith, along with his new partner have to save the day.
- I really did mean the biggest cockroach. (image via images.dailyfill.com)
Why watch it?
Because it’s absolutely awesome. It’s funny, action packed, surreal. It’s a live action cartoon. It has Linda “Nommy” Fiorentino. But most of all because it’s one movie that will have both you are your own personal little Force of Nature sitting there with big grins pasted on your collective faces from beginning to end.