7 childhood movies I’m afraid to show my kids

Monday, May 5th, 2014

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The Eldest is now four and a half which means she’s entering the age I was when I started watching all the best movies that have ever been put on film. I have fond memories of pizza nights or rainy afternoon’s spent watching quite of few classic 80s (or 70s) movies and remember thinking movies would never get better. I thought this even though I was watching them in Betamax, possibly the worst video format ever.

So now we get to the point where I have to start evaluating the pros and cons of showing my childhood favourites to my daughter. Are they too scary? Is the subject matter too adult-y for her? Are they too long? Is the animation actually atrocious? Will she believe a big fur, chicken dog can fly through the air? These are the questions that run through my mind.

But mostly, I’m afraid she just won’t like them. That she’ll me watching Marty McFly revving up the Delorean one minute and asleep the next. I’m worried she’ll take one look at Slimer and opt-out of all the greatness that makes up Ghostbusters. I’m scared that when I show them to my children, they won’t immediately ask to watch it again.

So here they are, the movies I loved as a kid and why I’m afraid to show them to my children.

Back to the Future

BTF“Dad, you drive that fast all the time, why don’t we ever disappear?”

“Well we have a different kind of car. We don’t have a flux capacitor.”

“But if we could go back in time, do you think you’d fall in love with me?”

“Let’s watch Back to the Future 2 instead.”

The Karate Kid (the real one)

KK“Daddy, there’s no way the man playing Daniel is in high school. He looks 23.”

“No, he’s just a hard-luck teen looking to make friends in a new city.”

“He’s old.”

“But what about the karate part.”

“The Crane technique shouldn’t be that confusing, juts kick him in the stomach.”

Ghostbusters

download“Why didn’t the people in the restaurant just let the funny running Canadian man into their dinner.”

“Well they were eating fancy food and his shirt untucked. Some places have a dress code.”

“Ok, fine. But the marshmallow guy. Why didn’t someone just eat his feet? How would he walk then?”

“They’re such big feet, it would have been tough.”

“I ate 16 marshmallows at a campfire once, I could have done it, and I’m just a kid.”

Star Wars (Episode IV)

SWYou know what, there nothing that could possible be misconstrued or go wrong with this one. It’s perfect.

Howard the Duck

Howard“The duck is supposed to be a little creepy, isn’t he?”

“I think he’s just supposed to be a duck.”

“Well he’s a creepy duck.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Are you watching this with me? He’s a huge duck who wears clothes and smokes. He’s actually the worst thing I’ve ever seen?”

“Have you seen the wolf monster from The Neverending story?”

“What?”

“Just wait.”

Superman

Sup“No.”

“No, what?

“They’re the same guy?”

“Who?”

“Superman and Clark Kent.”

“How do you know?”

“Daddy, he just takes off his glasses.”

“And puts on a suit.”

“Oh, come on. The two of them look the exact same. This movie is horse-sh…”

The Neverending story

NES“Daddy?”

“Yes?”

“Are you closing your eyes?”

“Yes.”

“Daddy, can you tell me something?

“Sure, what?”

“Are you afraid of the wolf monster?”

“OF COURSE I’M AFRAID OF THE WOLF MONSTER! HOW IS THIS A MOVIE FOR KIDS!”

10 responses to “7 childhood movies I’m afraid to show my kids”

  1. daniel says:

    Just another reason to WAIT to show these movies to our kids until they are closer in age to when we were when we first saw them. My older son (now very nearly 11) didn’t see the Superman movies, or ANY of the super hero movies until last year. Why? Because they were over his head and he wouldn’t appreciate them. He’s seen Star Wars, but my 6 year old hasn’t. Probably next year. The Neverending Story was a bit scary for the younger ones so they didn’t make it through, and now my older one might watch it by himself, but there are a lot of other movies for him to watch. He hasn’t watched Ghostbusters, but that might happen soon. Same with Karate Kid and Back To The Future and Indiana Jones. The younger kids will not get to watch them until they are older, closer to 10 or 11 or so. Showing these movies, any of these kinds of movies to kids before they are ready doesn’t do anybody any good. While I’m not a fan of the film rating system (boy does it need an overhaul) it’s a decent guide and sure each parent/kid has their own thing, but there’s no need for kids to grow up too fast watching movies that are too old for them. And Howard The Duck, as much as I love it, I won’t allow my kids to watch it until they discover it on their own. And yes, I have it on DVD.

    • Mike says:

      Perfect commentary. My oldest hasn’t shown any particular interest in watching any of these (although she’s watched some Clone Wars stuff) so I’m not offering anything up to her at this point. I do also realize though that even presented at the right time, there’s a chance she won’t like them anyway. Maybe because they’re just not that well-done, maybe because the subject matter doesn’t interest her. Thanks for chiming in!

  2. Josh Misner says:

    I tried watching Spaceballs with my 6 year-old. He’d seen all the Star Wars movies, so it seemed like a natural fit. All fun & games, lots of laughs…

    Until the alien pops out of the guy’s stomach at the end. He seriously couldn’t sleep after that and screams every time I bring up the film-that-must-not-be-named.

    • Mike says:

      Oh my god, I couldn’t even picture where that screening was going to go wrong until you said it. I always figure all Rick Moranis material is kid-ready.

  3. You shouldn’t show Howard the Duck to your kids or anyone else, that movie stinks. The rest of the list makes sense, but the mother/son stuff in BTTF isn’t anything I’d want to have to explain to my boys. Even if it was in the ’50s.

    • Mike says:

      I think after the feedback I’ve received today, Howard is going to be cut from this list. A few other childhood favourites have been mentioned instead. with D.A.R.Y.L. being at the top of my list to substitute in.

  4. Tracy says:

    I wouldn’t cut out Howard the Duck. It’s creepiness is no worse than some of the movies made today and just reading its title brought back so many memories. Great list! Thanks for the stroll down movie-memory lane!

    • Mike says:

      Maybe I just won’t set it up as my test movie. If they see that first and it fails, I’ll have a weakened resolve going forward.

  5. Each time one of our kids don’t fall completely in love with a movie WE love from our childhoods, my husband and I get their DNA tested. YES, it’s THAT SERIOUS.

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