Realizing I had accidentally forgotten about the LAMB’s Summer Blog-a-thon event starting today, I searched for a way to celebrate my childhood film experiences while keeping to the theme of my Oscar nominations blog. Thing is, there aren’t many kid-friendly movies nominated for Best Picture. Luckily, I found eight films that had affected me as a kid and I would recommend for children:
Beauty and the Beast- I remember seeing it in theaters and being very weirded out at the mention of Gaston’s chesthair in song. Belle was finally a Disney princess I couldn’t completely despise; she read books, just like me, and therefore couldn’t be too stupid. I think I was most thrilled when the Beast gave her the library; I still want a huge library.
Marry Poppins- Who didn’t watch this as a kid? Half the fun is that first taste trying to say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It was such a sense of jubilation when you could finally just let it roll off the tongue with ease. And every time you got to hold the umbrella, you secretly hoped you’d just fly off to London.
Babe- This came out when I was ten and I didn’t I even tried to embrace this wonderfully cute film. I think I was afraid it was too cute for big bad me. But I do remember always letting my guard down during the scene where Babe is trying to sneak around the house and ends up covered with paint. It just draws you in.
Jaws- I think my dad made sure I saw Jaws at an early age. It instilled a fear of swimming in anything deeper than a blowup pool. But there was also a respect for the water and a love for fishing that came along too. Every kid should see Jaws while they’re still easy to scare. It’s a lifetime experience your children will one day thank you for.
Star Wars- This film affected my family so much that my brother is named Lucas. You just can’t make that up. And what kid didn’t have lighsaber fights or jump on each other’s backs claiming to be Yoda?
E.T.- This may be one of the movies I watched the most before the age of ten. I also remember that flying bike scene being inspiration for learning to ride a bike. Part of me really thought I could just invite E.T. over so we could fly around in hoodies and turn my toys into some communication contraption. When we had to first dissect frogs in school, my first thought was “Back to the river! Back to the forest!” Unfortunately, they were already dead and couldn’t be saved.
The Wizard of Oz- The memory I have the most about The Wizard of Oz is all about my late grandma. I don’t know how, but so many times when I would be visiting her the Wizard of Oz would come on tv. She always knew some little fun facts about the movie and when my little sister was scared of the witch (I’d learned from Indiana Jones how to not act scared by then) she comforted her perfectly and always made just a comfy movie night into a special day. I even remember a later time, while visiting her in the hospital The Wizard of Oz was on again. Even in a hospital, grandma made it feel special, like home.
Raiders of the Lost Ark- This is to date my all time favorite film. It sounds crazy, but Indiana Jones shaped my life. It was the reason I climbed up on the doghouse and tried to snap a jumprope around a tree branch like a bullwhip. When I was too big to be on the doghouse with dignity, I tried to channel Indiana’s bravery, quick wit and general death defying badassness whenever I could. I still tip-toe around creaks in the floorboards like they’re booby-traps when I’m trying to be sneaky. Raiders was the fuel behind most of my childhood misadventures, a few minor injuries and the reason I’m so proud of my tattered old leather jacket. But unlike Indy, I’ve never been afraid of snakes.