Top Ten 80’s Kid’s Films I Can’t Wait To Watch With My Son (Part One)
I’ve just seen that it has been 30 years since Ghostbusters came out. This is the film I bunked into the cinema every day after school for two weeks to watch, via the wonders of a rusty fire door at the Odeon. Oh, the memories….
In our house, we have just got to the stage where Duke will settle down for an hour or so to watch a film. At the moment, we are getting through Planes and The Jungle Book. Both great films but when you have seen the same section again and again and again and again it gets a bit much, to say the least.
I can’t wait for Duke’s attention span to last long enough for us all to sit through a movie right to the end. Saturday movie nights all cuddled up on the sofa together is something I am really really looking forward to.
I can’t wait for the time I can introduce him to some of the classics of my childhood. What I have realised is that back in the day they employed actual actors rather than Animators and Hollywood stars as voice artists as nothing but Disney & Pixar seems to get actually produced these days. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pixar, but it does leave me wanting for some human emotion at movie time.
I don’t want to watch remakes – although I can see why studios do it. Remakes of The A-Team, Karate Kid, etc., guarantee that there will be saps like me who will jump at the chance to spend a fortune on memory lane merchandising and the new stuff for our nippers. But I don’t want that; I want to watch the ‘original and the best’ as the slogan goes.
In the world of 3D CGI and multi-million dollar effects I want to sit with my boy on my lap, watch and be embarrassed by the bad acting and wobbly sets and see a world where kids actually had some freedom to explore and imagine without the likes of health and safety…
The other thing about 80s kid’s films is that they tended to come packaged with stonking theme songs. So just in case you’ve forgotten or even fancy making your kids watch the films I have included some of the trailers.
So with that in mind here is my Top Ten (Part One)* of 80s films I can’t wait to make my son watch.
The Goonies: (1985)
This is the best kids film ever made. A beautiful tale of friendship and the ability to believe in a little bit of magic, friends, pirate ships, baddies and Cyndi Lauper.
This is not just one of my favourite 80s kids films but one my all-time top films full stop. There is something in The Goonies that stands the test of time and gives us something that we can all relate to – about not fitting in but fitting in just right with your weird friends. It’s about being young enough to go off for adventures before becoming a teenager made it impossible for you do a lot of fun things like running and climbing for the fear of being ridiculed or messing up your trainers. If anything, it’s (as Mikey puts it) about “the What If’s.”
Beat Street: (1984)
After repeatedly watching Breakin’ 1 and 2, I was a massive Turbo fan. By the way, he is on Facebook and regularly posts stuff up – can you imagine telling your ten-year-old self you can chat with the real Turbo? Well, not the real Turbo because he was a fictional character and that would be daft, but you know what I mean?
I digress. Beat Street came along and gave it to us both barrels. When I say “it” I mean the Hollywood version of Hip-Hop culture neatly packaged up. The dancing, the graffiti, the fashion, the rap music. When it was released it was a 15 certificate, and being only ten I had to wait a whole painstaking six months to see it on video wondering why the bigger boys were dressing head to toe in Puma windbreakers and Ski Goggles in the middle of summer.
Before Diversity spawned a zillion wannabe reality street dance teams, there was the Beat Street Breakers and the Bronx Rockers. They battled at The Roxy and in the subways. Almost overnight the side road down beside the now long-gone Woolworth’s in my hometown rapidly became our own ‘Beat Street’ where all the kids hung out and practiced on scabby bits of cardboard before taking it to the precinct to perform in front of bemused Saturday shoppers making jokes about “you’ll break your neck” dancing and “c”rap music…
Now the spirit of Beat Street comes out at Wedding receptions where us middle-aged dads head for the dance floor to get on down and spin on our middle-aged spreads only to find that in theory it is a whole lot easier to get on down after a couple of beers than it is to get on up again the next morning ‘..oooh, my knees..!’.
But that doesn’t matter. For me and millions like me we “Gotta believe in something, gotta believe in someone, gotta have that special feeling that makes you wanna meet the morning sun…Beat Street!”. That’s what really counts.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: (1982)
I love E.T., but not for the main reasons of it being a beautiful story of friendship, amazing special effects and some very cool BMXing. It was one of the first films I can remember going to the cinema to see with my mum. The other being Kramer vs. Kramer – what a f*cking downer that was. E.T. was amazing for so many reasons, not just for the acting (check out El-i-ottt’s casting video for an example of how it should be done) and the glow in the dark finger, but for giving you the dream that there is something out there in the stars, and that someday we might actually meet them.
Karate Kid: (1984)
Obviously not the recent, son of the Fresh Prince version (which is about Kung Fu!) although I have to admit it is pretty good, the film is nowhere near as good as the original which is actually about Karate – that’s why it’s called the ”Karate Kid”. A small but justified moan, I think.
The original film did have the incredible Elisabeth Shue in it as a major crush potential, and the infamous Crane kick that went round every playground scrap for the next few months – like no bugger had seen it.
There is another point I’ve now picked up on that I didn’t at the time. Here was Daniel LaRusso; a good looking boy, lonely, bullied and friendless who gets essentially what we now know as being groomed by a weird old man that hangs out in the basement of a crappy block of flats. He is made to do chores and comes home sweaty and with bruises. If that happens now, Operation Yewtree would be right on the case but in the 80s it was o.k because we didn’t have paedophiles, just weirdo old men with sweets and puppies (and “Charlie Says” had already told us not to go home with them so that was o.k.).
Go on, I dare you not to. “Bustin makes you feel good” and yes, doesn’t it just. That’s the thing with all these films; not only are they great fun but they came with absolute killer theme songs. This, in particular, is a real classic. All you need to play at Ghostbusters is to strap on an old Hoover to your back, don a boilersuit and you can be transported back. Go on I double dare you, go get slimed…
Alternatively do as I am going to. Watch this with a big bag of marshmallows and see your child’s face as you chomp away merrily while explaining that it is one of Stay Puft’s babies.. (mean, eh?).
Until the next time when I come up with the next five to complete the Ten, any suggestions on what should go in there, or memories of these great films, please leave them in the comments below I’d love to read them. Best memory gets a Sherbet Dib-Dab on me.