Every summer holiday I take care of my little sister Ronnie during the school holidays partly because I’m a lovely human being, but mostly because I want to keep her off the pole*. Over the years I have attempted to educate her on classic films to no avail. Like, I don’t know if you’ve realised, but kids have REALLY short attention spans these days.
(*Ask Chris Rock)
But at the ripe old age of six, Ronnie has finally discovered the art of sitting still and watching, praise the lord! So I decided to educate her on some of the best films for 80s babies…
1. Roger Rabbit (1987)
Show me a noughties film that can touch Roger Rabbit and I will eat my hat. You know this film is good when you see the excitement it causes amongst adults. In fact, I distinctly remember my mum laughing at this film more than I did. Similarly, I laughed constantly while Ronnie appreciated the cartoons. There was a slightly awkward moment however, when she asked where the cartoons go after Judge Doom pours the oil on them.
2. Never Ending Story (1984)
I am known for becoming slightly aggressive whenever someone insults this film, in a, “Hold me back, hold me back…” kind of way. The reason being, that this is one of the greatest films of all time, is it not? The torment Bastian goes through at the hands of the school bullies, the exhaustion Atreyu feels as he struggles to save Fantasia, it’s just all so tense. If the drama’s not enough to make you love this film, surely the soundtrack will. Created entirely on one shitty synthesized keyboard, it truly is Oscar worthy.
3. Honey I Shrunk The Kids (1989)
When I bought this film on DVD recently, it stirred up the same excitement I felt back when I saw it for the first time. I think part of the success of the film is that it demonstrates something that most people would like to experience. Minature people have always been popular, (see The Borrowers) but Honey I Shrunk The Kids turned it into an adventure. The Ant v Scorpion battle gets me every time, although if you ask me, the set piece designer got the ant to scorpion ratio a bit wrong.
4. Short Circuit (1986)
“Johnny 5 is alive!” was probably one of the most used phrases of my childhood. Both the original and sequel should be crowned 80s classics, simply for defining the music of the decade in a way only comparable to Never Ending Story. Admittedly I was emotionally scarred by the scene in Short Circuit 2 when Johnny 5 leaks fluid and ‘dies’ in a New York Street, I eventually became aware that he is a robot and unable to feel pain. Johnny 5 is alive, bitch.
5. Look Who’s Talking (1989)
Once again demonstrating what an emotionally retarded child I was, I cried during the sequel to this because the boy tore the teddy bear’s head off. Yes, that was enough for me to not only cry, but remember the sadness for the REST OF MY LIFE. I like this film because it has John Travolta before he became a flying scientologist and Kirsty Alley before she decided to competitive eat with the fattest people on the planet.
Special mention goes to a film me & Ronnie won’t be watching anytime soon, My Girl for making me cry like a bitch aged 5, 6, 7, 8 and 22. Don’t even think I’m gonna let Ronnie fall for it, I’m aware that Macaulay Culkin dies at the end.