Speaking of the Past…..

by Lisa Donovan

My husband and I are having fun introducing our six year old son to our favorite childhood movies. We have both been anxiously awaiting him being old enough and mature enough to understand the content of some of our favorites from the 70’s and 80’s - but, hoorah, the time has come!

Since we don’t have a television, movies are a huge treat and a nice time for us to all sit around and just chill out for an hour or two. For awhile he was watching movies that we didn’t mind but certainly weren’t excited about. Finding Nemo can only be charming once and, like any child who find a movie that they like, he picked it for a frightening four weeks in a row.. Thank god, we are now on to movies that my husband and I get embarrassingly excited about. It all started with Labyrinth. David Bowie in a unitard singing with puppets - what’s not to love! My son ate it up. We then moved on to The Dark Crystal. I thought that it might be too scary - it was for me when I was his age. Then, on his own accord, he picked it out at the video store and we took a chance. Not only was it not scary, but he has developed an even deeper passion for puppetry from it. Frank Oz and Jim Henson revolutionized the art with this movie - it is so visually remarkable and a great story to boot. The Secret of Nimh was next - this was my all time favorite as a little girl. I can remember sitting in front of HBO every time it came on and getting sucked in. I still think that this movie has everything to do with my deeply rooted animal rights crazies - in fact, I hold it completely responsible. Two Days ago we checked out Flight of the Navigator from our library - again, another big hit. This was another one of my favorites - my brother used to watch it religiously and I got hooked with him.

Not to sound like a cynical old person but they just don’t make kid/family movies like they used to. I can remember when our entire family would sit down and watch these without anyone getting bored. I can hardly stand most of the new movies that my son wants to bring home for our weekly movie date. Of course there are the exceptions (The Incredibles, March of the Penguins) but for the most part the new movies have little to nothing to do with real fantasy and a child’s inherent need for high imagination. We were lucky as kids to have people like Jim Henson around and for Space travel to still be a thing full of wonder rather than the backpage news it has become. So much has changed in the world - how lucky we are to still have these lovely little gifts from a time when it was important to dream big and push the boundaries rather than to just be “marketable”.

Our next rehashing will be The Never Ending Story - I can’t wait to see the look on his face.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 19th, 2006 at 8:51 am and is filed under Activities, TV and Pop Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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