Thursday, 29 September 2011

When childhood movies are just as good as you remember them.

In the last month I have watched 2 movies from my childhood that were every bit as good as I remember them.

The first was Babe. When I first saw Babe in 1995 aged 11, I LOVED it. I laughed at the mice, I cried, I got so excited in the thrills of the end competition. It was a great movie. It was nominated for Best Picture in the 1996 Oscars, if that means anything to you. Didn’t to me at the time, like the rest of the world I was just in love with the talking pig with the heart of gold.

On holiday in Vietnam recently – and yes, holiday blogs are coming – Jane and I were relaxing in our hotel room one afternoon, escaping the heat of the day and flicking through the TV channels. We’d seen some really terrible movies in our daily down time – The Jerk Theory, Post Grad – so when Babe came on we both quite excited. 45 mins in to it we were both lying on our stomachs on our beds, close up to the TV, face in hands with rapt expressions of enjoyment as Babe charmed his way to fame.

It was brilliant. It was magical. I laughed and *almost cried and we both agreed it was still a great movie.

Everything about this movie was good. Especially the mice.

The next childhood movie I watched was Jurassic Park. I have very vivid memories of the first time I watched Jurassic Park. My parents had refused to allow me to go and see it in the movies because it was too scary. So when it came out on video, the kids down the road rented it out and one Sunday afternoon we kids all got together and watched it. I remember so well sitting there on their brown carpet, clutching a pillow to my chest being scared out of my mind by the T-Rex and the car scene and then when the Raptors came along I lost it completely. Scare of my life until I saw Alien a few years later.

Then a week or so ago, I found myself sitting on a brown couch watching Jurassic Park for the first time since 1993. Even though this time around I knew that the T-Rex and the Raptors were coming, it had been so long since I’d seen the movie that I’d forgotten all but the most obvious details. I am not ashamed to admit it scared me good and proper. I might even have screamed on a few occasions when Raptor heads suddenly burst through walls. At one point I clutched a pillow to my chest in memory of that first illicit viewing, but it only made me more scared. There was a supply of wine accompanying the viewing and that a definite improvement on my 9 year old self's 1993 viewing.

If you didn't find this scene scary, you're a dirty dirty liar.

If I watched Jurassic Park again this weekend, it wouldn’t scare me so much. It’s not so terrifying really; it was only the time span that made this second viewing so potent.

Totally forgot this guy was even in the movie. It's ALL HIS FAULT.

So while there have been many occasions when I’ve gone back and watched a beloved childhood movie only to find that it’s lost the magic as I’ve aged (Men In Tights, I’m sad to say), there are some films that are good no matter what age you are and if they can make you feel the way you did when you first saw them at 8 or 10 or 11, then so much the better.

Have any of you re-watched a movie from your childhood and it’s been just as wonderful as you remember?

I might have yelled at the TV sometime around now...


  1. I still cant' watch Jurassic Park :p.

  2. I'm pretty sure I should break up with you for not thinking Jurassic Park is real


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