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Friday, January 16, 2009

classic, 2.0

we bought our 3-year-old My Neighbor
Totoro for christmas. i had never seen the 1988 Miyazaki masterpiece before, but i was familiar with a few others like Spirited Away (amazing) and Princess Mononoke (confusing but amazing).

Totoro is incredible -- this is what movies are supposed to do. it conveys a sense of wonder without being cloying. it's mysterious and fun without being too scary or too pandering. it also got me thinking: is it a new children's classic?

Disney has a corner on the market of the old school children's classics: Fantasia, Dumbo, all those fucking princess movies. so for something
i'm working on, i'm wondering: what are the new classics?

hit me with your
noms, all age groups welcome. 3 and under; 4 to 9; 10 and up. Those are flexible if you find your picks naturally fall into slightly different groupings. The 10 and up group will likely include "grownup" movies that are appropriate for older kids.

all films should have come out since 1980. these can be obvious -- ET -- or more offbeat -- The Witches. indie and foreign movies are fine. mediocre, Home Alone-type blockbuster fare is not.

what are the classics in your house? and i promise to be funny next time.


Blogger Simon said...

My girls (aged 2.5 and 4) both love Totoro and have seen it about a gazillion times. I get a lump in my throat every time I see the scene where he makes the trees grow and then takes them on a night flight.
I haven't seen anything else this good since 1980...

1/16/2009 10:08 AM  
Blogger Victoria said...

Totoro is a favorite with my 4.5 y.o. daughter, as are Miyazaki's Kiki's Delivery Service, Castle in the Sky, and Howl's Moving Castle. The Secret Garden (1993 version with Maggie Smith), The Nightmare Before Christmas,Peter Pan (2003 with Jason Isaacs).

1/16/2009 12:56 PM  
Blogger Megan Frampton said...

My guy loves all of Miyazaki, except for Princess Mononoke. He is 9. His favorite movie, however, is Hellboy, not sure if that is a blockbuster-type movie.

1/16/2009 1:13 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

Does Totoro lack sentimentality? Your endorsement may make me watch it but I seem to have been born without the anime appreciation gene. I *hated* Spirited Away. Like, wanted those two hours back and still mutter about having wasted them at all.

My sole pick fitting your criteria is: Bend it like Beckham- a good 'girl power' movie for the older kid/tween set.

The rest of the movies we watch (aside from the obligatory Star Wars/Disney/Harry Potter-type blockbusters are old-style musicals: Singing in the Rain, West Side Story, The King and I, Sound of Music- all made before 1980 but they'd top my list any day.

1/16/2009 1:18 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Iron Giant! Iron Giant! Iron Giant!

1/16/2009 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Kay said...

We got Kiki's Delivery Service for Christmas. My daughter, 4, has memorized every line and now wants a KiKi costume. Gigi the cat's voice, done by Phil Hartman, is great. My husband says that the feeling he gets while watching this movie is the kid equivalent to napping while watching golf-so calming.

1/16/2009 4:42 PM  
Blogger Lesley said...

My absolute favourite is Spirited Away but the children find it frightening - something to do with that scene where the parents turn into scoffing pigs just seems to hit home a little too closely for them.

1/16/2009 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

My 3 yr son old loves:
Iron Giant, Follow That Bird, Cars, Babe, Wall-E, Night at the Museum and Tigger Movie. I guess those will be his classics that he remembers from his childhood.
Soon I will show him Muppets Take Manhattan, Wallace & Gromit, Secret of Roan Inish, Cloak & Dagger, Harriet The Spy and War Games.

1/16/2009 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no comment on Totoro ( although I have a 5 yr old and a 3 yr old) but wanted to say I am glad you are blogging again. Long time reader here, and read about you in the Post. Man these times suck....Hang in there, dude...

1/17/2009 1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 3.5 yr old son's favorite movie is The Triplets of Belleville...we fast forward through some of the gangster guy bits, but he loves the rest. And his father and I like it too. It's a bit dark for his age, but this is a kid who's scared of the little black rain cloud in the original Winnie the Pooh movie, so can't account for taste (or fears). He also thinks that My First Potty is pretty rad but can't say it's a classic....

1/17/2009 1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Christmas-time Classic is Jim Henson's "Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas". But you have to find it on VHS, because the DVD "remastering" cut-out the Kermit the Frog intro.
Sticking with the Henson meme, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth are both good. David Bowie is a great goblin king in Labyrinth, and the M.C. Escher-esque stairway scene is very fun. My wife was such a big fan as a kid, that she feared she would get angry enough at her little brother that she'd ask the Goblin King to take her brother away.
My nieces love the Barbie movies, but I've watched those movies and they stink. If they want to watch animation, The Secret of Nymh was better.
I second Andrea's Wallace and Gromit nod. The original shorts were very good. To this day, I'll gaze at the Supermarket Cheese display, bend my elbows to put my hands up at shoulder height, move my hands back and forth, and say "Cheeeeese".
For the much-older set, the "talky" Quik-Stop Kevin Smith movies (yes, some of his movies are more action than talky. Relative to each other) are definitely classics: Clerks, Chasing Amy.
And least I forget to say it, welcome back.

1/24/2009 10:17 AM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

yes! these are awesome, thanks. i filed my story and when it runs (march? 2014?) i'll post das linkage. some of you were subtly influential in your influentially subtle ways.

1/24/2009 10:13 PM  

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