Last night I couldn’t sleep so decided to watch some films. Deciding what film to watch has always been a tough decision for me but for some strange reason I wanted to watch The Swan Princess which lead to me digging out A Little Princess and The Secret Garden. This got me a thinking on what the films me and my sister watched as kids mean to us as grown ups.
I eventually watched A Little Princess. I love the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett and remember watching the film with my sister when we were about 9 and 10 (I was born in 1990 the film was released in 1995.) What we both said we remembered the most was the cute monkey and crying. A lot. I’m 22 and I still cried when I watched it last night. Now I’m older I can see why I cried as a child, it is a sad story that even though it’s set in a different time (WWI for the movie) as a child it would scare the beejezus out of you. What if that were to happen to you? It was a great film because it teaches you from an early age that all girls are princesses, no matter your skin colour or your status.
Honestly as a child I don’t remember watching many Disney films. We instead watched animations like The Secret of NIMH and All Dogs Go To Heaven. Re-watching them as terrified me in some way. Why did my parents allow me to watch films that made us cry so much? I still love All Dogs Go To Heaven and am glad my mum allowed me to watch it, it taught you about what happens after you die in a nice, musical way while still allowing you to release your emotions. I can remember me and my sister crying when we first watched the film and yet my mum says it’s the film we watched the most.
If you don’t remember The Pagemaster where have you been? Sir Patrick Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg voice the Adventure and Fantasy books and Macaulay Culkin plays the kid. A great adventure story that could make you laugh and suddenly terrify your 6 year old self in minutes. Another real life film with some animation that made my childhood was Who Framed Roger Rabbit? No explanation needed.
Two films that may be a bit out of the ordinary for kids to watch that me and Cat watched frequently were Dracula and Nosferatu. Bela Lugosi as Dracula and F.W. Murnau’s silent version of Nosferatu. These two films shaped who we’ve become. We loved these films because they were eerie, scary (at the time) but so different to the other films we watched. And we didn’t cry.
Looking back and re-watching the films I vaguely remember from my 90’s childhood has been awesome. It just proves that todays kids don’t have the great films we did and probably never will. I mean would the kids of today happily sit and watch The Labyrinth and Fern Gully? I’m a bit apprehensive of watching Fern Gully again… I might suddenly feel the urge to become an environmentalist fairy. Not that there’s anything wrong there.
What films did you watch in your childhood? Did any affect you?