Everyone has a selection of movies that in one way or another shaped a part of their childhood or at the very least stayed with them well into their adult years. Here are the five movies that have made it to my list. I struggled to narrow it down as I have watched many movies that I have enjoyed or remember well. In the end, I had to go with what had the strongest connection for me.
An unintentionally sassy young bookworm who discovers she can move things with her mind thanks to her neglectful, kooky family and her insane school principal. This is a charming movie with a fantastic cast who work well together to bring Roald Dahl’s characters/story to life. Also, I love Danny DeVito in this movie. He is perfect as both the gentle and warm narrator and the obnoxious and ignorant Harry Wormwood.
4. DROP DEAD FRED
A list of favourite childhood movies would not be complete without a movie involving an imaginary friend. I used to love the idea of having an imaginary friend and all the adventures and secrets that would follow. Now, as an adult (and a big kid at heart), I appreciate the message this movie has, that no matter what you face you can always look within yourself to find strength.
David Bowie. Need I say more?
2. RETURN TO OZ
We all know about Dorothy’s trip to Oz but what happens next? I love this movie as it is a darker look at Oz and follows Dorothy’s return six months after the tornado. It is loosely based on the second and third books by L. Frank Baum which are apparently more darker than the 1939 movie starring Judy Garland (I haven’t read any of the books). It delivers well as a stand alone movie while giving a nod to the original movie (Much like Hook does to the Peter Pan story). The wheelers, Jack Pumpkinhead, Tik Tok and The Gump make for interesting new characters and the scene with Princess Mombi and her cabinets of living heads really freaked me out as a kid (I might have been too young to watch it at the time). I went years without watching this movie, bought it as a nostalgia purchase and found that the lines from the first few scenes echoed in my head like a memorised script (that’s very rare for me no matter how much I watch something).
1. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
This movie will always have a special place in my childhood memories. I must have watched it a hundred times over the years. There was something enchanting about the opening scene, the soft dream-like illustration and haunting musical notes that drew my attention from the very beginning. Add to that a young girl with a love of books, enchanted (and somewhat warm and charismatic) furniture, a castle, an enchanted rose in the forbidden west wing and catchy songs that will stick with you for days and you have the makings of a childhood staple.