Top 5 Eccentric Childhood Films

Written by Ivy Thompson November 28, 2011

As the holidays are drawing ever closer and most people will soon be making their way back to the nest, now is the time to reflect on childhood glory days. You know, lounging in your ugliest holiday pj’s, eating nothing but baked goods, wrapped up in an itchy blanket and watching a quirky movie that for some reason every member of your family adores. So, in the spirit of nostalgia, I have put together a list of the top five oddball family films.

5. Newsies

Ever wonder why people run down the street and click their heels mid-jump? This is why. Newsies is a hidden musical gem starring Robert Duvall and a much younger (and much less scruffy) Christian Bale. At the turn of the century, news boys, or newsies, roam the dusty streets of New York selling “papes” (re: newspapers) until they go on strike to fight the Man. While the film did not receive killer reviews at its release in 1992, over the years it has become somewhat of a cult favourite for those who were lucky enough to see it as a kid. With a cast of sweaty and dirty teenage boys singing and dancing in unison, what’s not to love? Please, please re-watch this film. I promise it will have you clicking your heels in no time.

4. The Labyrinth

David Bowie as the Goblin King. In tights. With muppets. Singing with goblins. That’s really all you need to know.

3. The NeverEnding Story

“ATREYU!!!” I frequently yell out this name in times of distress – you would too if this film is a staple VHS in your house. This is the story of a troubled boy named Bastian who finds magic and courage in a mysterious book that comes to life for him. Watching this movie, we remember the fantastical creatures like the rock eater, the speedy snail, the mountainous old turtle and the oh-so-loveable dog-dragon named Falkor, whose puppy-dog eyes get me every time. This old family favourite brings back nostalgic pains as we follow the brave young Atreyu in his journey to rescue the Childlike Empress, encountering pain, loss, fear, and some really creepy sphynx. Am I the only one who still tries to figure out what name Bastian gives the Childlike Empress at the end?

2. The Goonies

You know you love it, and for those who haven’t seen it, shame on you. Seriously, this film is pretty epic. With a plethora of ridiculously endearing characters, one can not help but fall in love with it even more with every viewing. The film follows a batch of misfit preteen boys who set off on the adventure of a lifetime in their search of the long-lost pirate treasure of One-Eyed Willie. The hysterical antics of Mikey, Mouth, Chunk and Data will have you longing for your childhood and the days when it was ok (uncool, but ok) to make immature dirty jokes, invent a system involving a chicken and a bowling ball to open the front door, feed Baby Ruth chocolate bars to strangers, and dodge booby traps to get to a pirate’s sunken treasure. Love it.

1. The Princess Bride

“As you wish!”, “Inconceivable!”, “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.” Just admit it, you remember all of these lines and more. And why wouldn’t you? This film has some of the most memorable characters and scenes of most childhood movies. Sword fights, mysterious masked strangers, a battle of the wits where the price to pay is life or death, giant rats (ew!), a damsel in distress, Andre the Giant, and a scary witch-doctor, oh my. If you were to curl up to any movie in an itchy blanket with grandma’s cookies this holiday season, let it be this one, I beg of you. Just press play, sit back and relish in the waves of nostalgia that will undoubtedly wash over you. Yes, this movie makes me cheesy, deal with it.

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