Thursday, April 02, 2009

Feeling like a kid again

We haven't reviewed any movies lately here at the convertible. Is that because the pickings are slim lately? I considered the movies I've seen this year, and only one stood out for me, but it was dark and had werewolves. :-)

So I'm going to reminisce. I want to talk family movies. I seriously believe I am who I am today because of the movies I was brought up watching. I saw every Disney movie there was to see, both live action and animated. I'm still waiting for Dick Van Dyke to swagger along, grab my arm, and jump into a carnival scene chalked on the sidewalk where we'll land amidst cartoon animals and Mary Poppins will wave gaily as she turns about the merry-go-round. Sigh... 

And what about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? I still listen to that soundtrack. At any given moment you can hear me wailing Me Old Bamboo at the top of my lungs as I cruise down the freeway, or who can forget the lyrics, "You're my little chu-chi face, my ochie, woochie, coochie woochie chu-chi face"? 

Just off the top of my head the movies that had the most lasting impact on my soft, impressionable kid brain were Freaky Friday (who didn't want to switch places with their mom, especially if she was Tuesday Weld?), The Pink Panther (I developed a deep and lasting yearning to become a jewel thief.  Some day, some day.), The Aristocats (must be where my love for bad boys developed; Thomas O'Malley The Alley Cat, anyone?  Meow!). The Bad News Bears, Bambi (waaa!), Song of The South (remember Uncle Remus, and it featured live-action plus cartoon characters?), Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty (faeries!), Herbie the Love Bug (I eventually did get my own Herbie, but he wasn't so lovable; rather rusty, if I recall), The Shaggy DA, Labyrinth, and so many great family shows.

Sigh... Does it make you long for decades past? For simpler times?

Heck, there are a lot of great family shows nowadays too. Disney and Pixar have won my heart away from Dick Van Dyke and made it beat for Buzz Lightyear and Tarzan (hubba hubba), and I think I seriously had a thing for a toaster a few years back. 
Yeah, The Brave Little Toaster rocked. The blankie should have won an Oscar! (Hee. I think I talked Lois into watching this one but she probably didn't agree with that Oscar nom.) 

I loved last year's Igor, Enchanted and Horton Hears A Who. CGI wins my heart!  (But seriously, I still pine for Van Dyke).

I find myself dreaming like a kid all over when watching The Little Princess or The Secret Garden. And that's what good movies should do, right? Ignite our dreams, and bring them to new and wondrous places. Make us kids again. Make us appreciate our kids. Simply make us smile.

So what about you? What are your favorite kid/family movies that you still think about even (mumble, mumble) decades later? What about the current releases? Anyone seen Monsters and Aliens? I need a good recommendation, so let me hear what you all got.


My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

My all time favorites were Snow White, Peter Pan, and Cinderella. Beauty and the Beast has also won a place in my heart. The new Disney - Pixar movies have wiggled in there. The trouble is that movies they changed since I was a kid. I miss those Mary Poppins moments, chalk drawing that come to life or chimney sweeps that could carry a tune. I don't know, maybe it's just me.

magolla said...

I love all the Disney and Disney/Pixar movies--All of them! Sometimes, I'll watch one when the kiddo is in school, *shush, don't tell*
Saw Monsters vs. Aliens on the IMAX in 3-D. I really liked it. Susan was the character with the most 'growth'. . . *snort* couldn't say that without giggling. :-)
If I said any more about her, I'd give it away.

GunDiva said...

I'm glad someone remembers Song of the South - one of my all-time favorites that I'll never be able to share with my kids because Disney will never release it. I've asked; the answer I get is that it might be construed as racist. I can't wait to see Run to Witch Mountain, as the first two were two of my favorite movies growing up. If only I had telekinesis and could make puppets dance!
What I really miss are the Sunday Night Family Movies - remember those? Disney movies every Sunday night. My family always had a big Sunday dinner and then all of us cousins would settle on the floor with blankets (grown ups got the couches) and watch the movie of the week. Sigh. I miss that.

Keri Ford said...

You hit several of my favs, Michele. LOVE the Disney movies. Used to wish I could turn into a mermaid.

I liked Mary Poppins, but I wasn't much of a fan of the movies that Disney put out. It's funny, those are the ones hubs grew up on while in my family, we were all cartoons.

One summer we watched the Rats of Nihm everyday.

GunDiva, do you get Cartoon Network's Boomerange channel? They've started doing sunday night movies! And on the disney channel, every monday morning at 9am, they've been playing a movie.

Helen Brenna said...

Sorry to say Michele's computer died on her this morning. She's off to get a new one and may be up and running this afternoon, but you might be stuck with me again today!

Helen Brenna said...

OMD, talk about a walk down memory lane.

Dottie, I wonder if what's missing is that we're not kids anymore with that same sense of wonder and innocence? I have a feeling Toy Story will be for my kids what Cinderella and Bambi are for me. You know?

Gundiva, we did the same thing on Sunday night. Starting with Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (anyone remember that) and then the Disney movie!!

Helen Brenna said...

Keri, I loved the Little Mermaid movie. The songs were amazing and I think she was the first of the stronger heroines.

Helen Brenna said...

Oh, and I'm with you on the Brave Little Toaster, Michele. Blankie was adorable!

Playground Monitor said...

I remember Song of the South too. And I used to watch Shirley Temple movies and the Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movies on TV as a child. I saw all the kid movies and then took my kids to see them. "An American Tale" was #2 son's favorite and I still sing "Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight, someone's thinking of me, and loving me tonight."

I rented Enchanted last year and bought a copy for myself last month. I think the granddaughter and I are going to enjoy watching it when she's a tad older.

Aside from Shrek and Shrek II (did you love the cat coughing up the fur ball or what?????) I haven't seen too many of the recent animated films. Guess grandbaby and I will solve that.

Count me in as another Sunday Night Movie gal. And after Disney, Bonanza came on.

Oh man, what a stroll down memory lane. Ouch on Michelle's computer dying. Hope she's able to rectify the situation soon. My computer is my lifeline.


Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, wow. Mary Poppins. The Bird Woman still makes me cry. As does Old Yeller. And little Dumbo's mom. Oh, and Bambi's mom!

Thanks a lot, Michele. Now I have to go wash my face and start over with the mascara.

You know what's really cool? Watching those movies with my grandchildren and remembering that I saw Dumbo with my grandmother when I was their age.

Kathleen Eagle said...

I'm guest blogging at today. Check it out, guys!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Have you seen Wall-E? It's great!

Kathleen said...

My all time fav would have to be Mary Poppins. When this movie came out I saw it seven times. Last year my neice and nephews bought me the "Anniversary Edition". And Bambi, omg you would have to have a heart as solid as granite not to cry when Bambi's mother died. My all time fav animated movie is Lady and the Tramp. That seen where they are eating the spegetti and being seranaded, be still my heart.
Now I think Toy Story and the Lion King has to be at the top of my list as far as todays movies go and then I think CARS. But I love when these movies come out and I have an excuse to take my neices and nephews to the show just so I can go see the movie. They bring out the child in all of us....!!!

lunaticcafe said...

I love all the Disney movies and having kids just gives me the excuse to watch all the newer ones:) One of my son's favorites is the Iron Giant- we still watch and love it. My daughter is more into Mickey Mouse and movies like the Three Cabelleros, Melody Time and Make Mine Music. I think it must be all the singing and dancing. We are hopelessly outdated when it comes to new movies and we wait until rental time. Next week is Despereaux (my son loved the original book)!

Michele Hauf said...

Dottie, how could I forget about Peter Pan! I love the version that was out a few years ago with Peter Isaacs as Captain Hook (He had one sexy hook).

Magolla, thanks for the rec. Doesn't Reese WItherspoon do Susan's voice?

GunDiva, Yes! The Sunday night movies! I seem to recall Sunday evenings started with Mutual Of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, and then, on to a movie! Pity about Song of the South; it was an awesome movie. I still have the record (yes, the LP!) for that soundtrack.

Helen, I just typed that about MOOWK, then I read your post! Such memories.

Playground, how could you not love the cat in Shrek? He needs his own show. Seriously.

Amazingly, I have not seen Wall-E yet. I hear it is awesome. Must add to Netflix

Oh my gosh! The Iron Giant so rocked. And I wouldn't expect that I'd like that kind of movie, but it was great.

Lunatic, you'll have to let me know what you think of Despereaux. It got lukewarm reviews, but I thought the mouse looked so cute. I haven't seen it. Yet.

Michele Hauf said...

Well, as you can see, I'm here! I'm now sitting before a huge freakin' computer, about twice the size of my old one. I got the 24" iMac. Man, it's big!
Anyway, this is how I go about hooking up a computer that should normally take five minutes after you walk in the door.
Bring in the box. Admire it for a while. Ask the cats if they admire it as much as I do.
Decide to clean desk top first.
Desk is clean, but now the whole office really should be clean, right?
Clean office, and vacuum.
Now that I've vacuumed one room, I might as well do the rest. (It's so rare the vacuum gets any use, so why not.)
Swiffer all floors, and clean under bed since that was a surprising bit of nasty.
Swiffer bedroom walls. (Hey, I have glitter paint in there; it attracts the dust)
All right! Things are looking ready to go, right?
Go in bathroom to wash hands because must be clean to open box.
Look in mirror. Hmm...eyebrows need tweezing.
Tweeze brows.
Now I'm ready!
Wait. Have to take a picture of Mac in box. (It's a Mac owner quirk; we like to photograph the 'unboxing'.)
Don't have camera charged up, so try cell phone. It's not charged!
Charge cell phone fifteen minutes.
Take a picture!
Open box (about 3 1/2 hours after I got the thing home).
Admire. Sigh.
Sit down and read manual (I ALWAYS read the manual even though I don't need to)
Plug in computer.
Here I am.


GunDiva said...

Michelle, if I buy you another new computer will you come "set it up" at my house?

Helen - I can't believe I'd forgotten Wild Kingdom!

Kari, I'm one of the few Americans who doesn't have TV, so no Sunday Night Movies for me. I do own lots and lots of the Disney and Pixar movies and still enjoy watching them with or without the kids.

Word Verification: hypodable, does that mean insufficient dabbling? Hmmm...

Helen Brenna said...


I got a 24" new computer today too. Not a mac, though. Maybe regret that as it seems to be taking longer than 5 minutes to set up. I'm still on my old pc!

Debra Dixon said...

Oh, my gosh, THE SECRET GARDEN has always been such a favorite of mine, in books, movie and TV. Loved it.


My sister has bought the movie collections we watched growing up to share with her grandson. Shirley Temple, Tarzan, Charlie Chan, Lassie

One of the strongest bonds my son and I have is movies. We share an iTunes movie account and coordinate our purchases for the collection. Of course he rolls his eyes when we buy Lifetime movies.

Estella said...

There were not a lot of childrens movies when I was young.

Anonymous said...

The Jungle Book - King Louie singing I Want To Be Like You!
Got the DVD and the extras on the making of it are cool daddio.

Michele Hauf said...

Gundiva - Ha! You can't trick me. you have chocolate there?

Yay, Helen! Isn't getting a new 'puter fun? I still haven't been able to transfer all my old stuff to my new computer yet (no email!) because I gotta wait for the old one to 'decide' to cooperate.

Deb, that's so cool about you and your son 'sharing' movies. I've noticed that my son and I converse a lot by starting it out with 'what have you seen lately?'

Anonymous said...

I still love my favorite movies (and books!) from childhood.

I've been a fan of Kurt Russell since he was in Disney movies as a kid. I also loved Herbie the Love Bug. (And, I remember seeing That Darn Cat at the drive-in movie.)

These movies were faves at the same time I was reading Nancy Drew, A Wrinkle in Time and watching The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family.

Now, I still use my kids as my excuse for seeing all the new kids movies.

Marcia in OK

Kylie said...

Hey Michelle--one of the joys of having kids is having a reason to see all the animated films! I remember Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but alas they do not hold the same charm for my grandsons (or even, come to think of it, for my kids when they were young.)

My second oldest is discovering the same joy by exposing *his* sons to shows he loved as a kid. Perhaps rushing things a bit, A-hem. His 2 and 3 year old sons have seen the Goonies and Sandlot, and the three year old completely silenced the crew at Thanksgiving when he spent mealtime relaying the entire Sandlot plot, complete with one of the characters saying, "Oh, shiiiii*".

Don't tell me he didn't know that was one way he could get away with saying a naughty word, LOL!

The only thing I saw recently was Body of Lies with Russell Crowe and Leonardo Di Caprio and liked it quite a bit.

Betina Krahn said...

I'm a big fan of animated and CGI movies, myself, but I have to arm-wrestle the rest of the family to get them to attend with me. My recent favorites were Madagascar 2, and Bolt-- I luuuuved the hamster! I haven't seen Monsters and Aliens yet, but I intend to soon. Croaline seemed a little dark to me-- not much of a fan of the Tim Burton school of animation. But as for other family movies. . . RAce to Witch Mountain was pretty good-- plot holes big enough for a monster truck rally, but still entertaining. And my favorite lately was Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler. Really adorable and imaginative and fun!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Betina, the granddaughters LOVE Tim Burton movies. I was skeptical at first, but "The Corpse Bride" with Johnny Depp really grew on me. The music is wonderful, and the theme as well. The last scene is really beautiful.

Michele Hauf said...

Betina, Bedtime Stories was worth a watch? Adam Sandler doesn't do anything for me so I avoided it, but maybe....

I so need to see Bolt. But I think I'd like it if just the hamster parts were shown. I'm in love with that hamster!

Betina Krahn said...

Michele, I adored the hampster and didn't expect to love the main character, Bolt, as much. But I did love him-- he was honorable and loyal and sweetly naive. Good story line. I even loved the pigeons-- who were reminiscent of the three mobster pigeons on Animaniacs some years back. . . the ones who spoofed the Goodfellas. They're a hoot here. I even liked the cat. Dry, sardonic, slightly aloof. Very feline.

I almost forgot about Despereaux! Did I spell that right? The animation was fabulous and I LOVED the little Despereaux mouse with the huge ears. Good story. The rest of the family thought it was cute.

And Michele, you're right about Tarzan. Hubba, hubba. My grands are just now getting into him.

One of my all-time favorites is The Lady and the Tramp. sigh. Talk about romance. . .

Laurie said...

In the past we enjoyed :Across the Great Divide, Heidi, Man From Snowy River, Breaking Away, Harold & Maude, Prancer, Pollyanna, The Prince & The Pauper, Splash...and all of the Disney movies .... Wallace & Gromit, Miracle on 34th Street!

I recently enjoyed Narnia, Ratatoulle, School of Rock and Ice Age.