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What Happened When I Showed My Children My Favourite Childhood Movies

by Maggie Joy (follow)
Leader of the pack to seven children, one man child husband, two dogs, four cats and two birds. Creator of The Reverse Housewife www.facebook.com/TheReverseHousewife/ . Writer at WeekendNotes. Blogger. Chocolate connoisseur.
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Letís face it, everybody gets a little nostalgic pining for childhood memories and nothing says childhood like old school movies and what better time of the year to do that than on a cold, wet, wintery day.

If youíre tired of the way todayís children amuse themselves with the demons and blood thirsty maniacs of modern television, itís time to take back the remote and take a walk down memory lane.

Forget E.T and his waddling ways or Mr Miyagiís wax on and wax off, sure they were fun and sure every man and his dog knows them, but to really capture those childhood memories take it all the way back to the classics that got swept under the carpet.

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Grab out the popcorn bowl; give the little ones permission to throw their doonas and pillows on the floor or across the couches and get comfy.

Remember when a young Bastian slipped in to a book store to escape bullies only to stumble across the book The Neverending Story (1984)? Hiding himself away he delves into the story of Fantasia, a made up land under threat and begins to wonder if he is the answer to their survival. This is one of the all-time greats of childhood movies, put this movie on and the kids will have to argue with the adults to get the best viewing spot. As a child I sat in silence as Artax sank into the muddy waters. Now, as an adult I wonder why there isnít a law against allowing characters to die in childrenís movies. Somebody pass the tissues please and stop my children laughing at me.



Some movies were so disturbingly low brow that they developed their own cult following. Howard The Duck (1986) landed in Ohio, United States of America, after his arm chair propelled him across the universe. Why Ohio? Perhaps there is a tourism guide that gets passed around the Universe because I have noticed a lot of Ďaliení stories begin in small American cities. Parents be aware, the thought of Jeffery Jonesís character Dr. Walter Jenning possessed by The Dark Overlord still sends a chill down my spine today so if your little one isnít fond of intergalactic possession I would probably give this one a wide berth.

My little darlings happily watched and laughed their way through what I had thought of as terrifying scenes. I am beginning to wonder if this new generation isnít desensitised to Hollywood horror.

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As far as classics are concerned you canít go past Ghostbusters (1984). A group of middle aged men don grey jumpsuits with little vacuum cleaners crossed with light sabers on their back sucking up ectoplasmic matter in New York City. My first experience of anything recognisably ghost like was this movie. To this day you can hear the movies theme song played on the radio or in the clubs with a roaring chant of ďWho ya gonna call?Ē . To be honest, I think the theme song had a bigger impact on my children than the movie.

When Rick Moranis harnessed himself and swung out over his back lawn in Honey, I Shrunk The Kids searching for his and his neighbours children, who had inadvertently shrunk themselves with his latest invention - who didnít hold their breath in fear that he would fall and pancake them? I not only held my breath but I crossed my fingers it would happen. Obviously I was a disturbed child. Your children however would probably enjoy the movie and appreciate the fact he did not fall. Mine take after their Mother and well quite frankly Iím currently searching for a Psychologist.

Christina Applegate was the pinup girl of the late Ď80s, early Ď90s. Suddenly finding herself the head of the household after their crotchety babysitter dies; Sue Ellen must become what she dislikes the most, her Mother! Donít tell Mom the Babysitters Dead (1991) is the ultimate ghetto coming of age. While my children trotted off in search of other things mid-movie I will admit to stealing their blankets and popcorn. I couldnít see it go to waste.

When John Lithgow ran over a giant beast of an animal with the family car in Harry and The Hendersons, he didnít realise just how much his familyís lives were about to change. How they would misjudge the impact a Sasquatch would have leaves me in wonder, but Harry certainly left his markÖ on the floorÖ and the tableÖ and the car. My little one's cacked and whooped their way through the movie before asking for it to be played again. Winner winner, chicken dinner! There had to be one!

Disclaimer- Television and movie ratings were a little more generous back in the day. Please bear in mind that a PG movie from the Ď80s has the potential to be a modern day M.

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