5 Movies That Will Make You Believe Your Childhood Was Wasted
In the movies, growing up is full of adventure, and I’m not talking about your average building-a-fort-out-of-pillows-in-the-living-room kind of adventure.
If you happen to be a kid in a movie you will undoubtedly end up facing down the government to save the alien that showed up in your backyard or your family will accidentally leave you home alone over the holidays forcing you to ward off burglars using nothing but your wits and an elaborate series of traps. Sure, it all sounds stressful, but admit it, no matter how dangerous the situations movie kids find themselves in are, we all secretly envy them, am I right?
I don’t know about you, but my childhood was spent with my nose buried in one book after another with nary a search for buried treasure in sight. Now that I’m (supposedly) an adult, I can’t help but feel a pang of regret for all of the adventuring I never managed to squeeze in between Baby Sitter’s Club books every time I watch one of the movies on this list.
The Goonies has to be the greatest adventure film for kids ever made.
It is impossible to watch those kids find the treasure map in the attic without getting goose bumps. From that moment on the movie holds nothing back as it offers up the ultimate kid’s fantasy scenario: there’s a secret underground passage, a pirate ship and the kids get to save the day. Add to that the joys of having a friend who is like a mini-MacGyver and you have the picture of my ideal childhood. Even now I can’t stop myself from squealing “Goonies never say die!” and daydreaming about buried treasure the minute the credits roll.
Finding a pirate ship hidden away in my neighborhood is a little farfetched, but Son of Rambow features some childhood shenanigans I could have actually pulled off.
The two little boys in the film decide to make a sequel of sorts to First Blood, and their film-making exploits are as hilarious as they are dangerous. The story is chock full of nostalgia for the ’80s and cinema in general, but it’s the strong friendship between the boys that drives the story. I can’t help but think spending every afternoon making a movie with my best friend would have been more fun than rushing home to watch Nickelodeon.
If you tell me you never wanted to find a secret passageway into another world hidden in your house, I won’t believe you.
Thanks to Lewis Carroll and Alice, we have all fantasized about falling down a rabbit hole at one time or another. Coraline actually gets to do it. Sure, it’s not quite the wonderland she thought it would be (it never is) but it’s still pretty nifty…I would have to opt out of all activities involving spiders and spiderwebs though. I would rather watch the mice circus, thanks.
Most of the epic movies aimed at kids tend to revolve around little boys with a token girl or two thrown in for good measure. Growing up, this was a constant source of irritation for me. Then Now and Then happened.
I admit, it is basically Stand by Me with less drama and more girls, but I adored it all the same. The film perfectly captured the freedom and possibility that is so strongly associated with summer vacation and added in plenty of strong friendships to boot. Of course, once you show it to your daughter or kid sister be prepared for them to immediately demand a tree house. Don’t worry, that is a completely normal reaction to have after watching this film.
J. J. Abrams is an evil genius; the man somehow managed to construct a movie that is a perfect ode to everything that is wonderful about the kids’ adventure genre.
Super 8 is a throwback to the ’70s and ’80s style adventure movies (like The Goonies), but it also happens to perfectly encapsulate the spirit of childhood. You’ve got a summertime setting and a band of film-addicted misfits making a zombie movie, there’s a monster on the loose and even with all of that going on Abrams still manages to squeeze in an authentic portrayal of first love too. To sum it up: it takes everything that was fun about all of the other movies on this list and puts it all into one flawless nostalgia-fueled package with lens flairs. Maybe that was what was really missing from my childhood–lens flairs and a Michael Giacchino score.
Now that I have shared my list of films that leave me wishing I would have made better use of my clearly misspent youth, I want to hear from you. Which movies make you feel like all of your prime adventuring years were wasted?
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