Do you happen to check from time to time the movies which are coming out in theatre and get all excited about movies whose general audience involved children? You would so want to go see them, but you feel like you would just look absolutely ridiculous as the only adult among large groups of children screaming, giggling and throwing popcorn.
Of course, it is easier to watch the movies at home, but when you finally do it, you realize that you are getting bored easily and can’t concentrate on the story line. Everything is cute and interesting to a certain extent, but you feel too old for such films and you only wished you were younger to enjoy them…
The age of innocence
Once a person turns 14, they become more interested in adulthood than enjoying the last bits of childhood. Before turning 14, children are innocent and know how to appreciate small things. They are fascinated by the purity of friendship and family ties in movies.
They are mesmerized by the graphics, design and colours. They are deeply touched by quotes and find inspiration in pretty much everything that happens in a movie like this. Humans are easy to influence no matter the age, but when you are under 14, you watch movies for more than entertaining; you watch them to find a hero, someone to look up to.
Besides having a sort of a role model taken from a film, watching certain movies before one turns 14 also helps at developing skills as a persona. It is well known that many artists, be it actors, musicians, painters, movie directors, have found their path in life after being inspired by movies from their childhood.
Also, it is similar to reading a book. You get a certain point of view when you are 10 that you would have not thought of at 30 and as you grow older and watch a movie again, you can only discover more things, more innuendos, more Easter eggs and you, in fact, realise how much of a role a 110 minute long film played in your development.
Whereas tastes might differ, we took the time to do some research and suggest you some movies you might want your children, or others you know, to watch and perhaps you will get the opportunity to see these films again and reconnect with your inner child.
6. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
One of Tim Burton’s movies, Edward Scissorhands is the story of how a woman (Winona Ryder), now old and a grandmother, met a young man (Johnny Depp) whose hands were made out of scissors.
The boy, Edward, was created by an inventor as a human-like person, yet the inventor dies before changing Edward’s scissors to actual hands. After a while, he is found by Peg Boggs who takes him into her family. Edward’s unfriendly aspect and awkwardness is soon accepted by the everyone in Pegs’ family and neighbourhood as he proves himself to be very talented at using his scissors hands in the garden, on people’s dogs and on people’s hair. But once everyone finishes using his talent, they show their real attitude.
Discover the most popular Tim Burton movies on IMDB
Coming similarly to Pinocchio, Edward comes as a surprise to the young audience, when he shows to not wish for the same thing as the wooden boy, but to long for affection. Edward is strange looking and behaving differently, so he is quite conflicting and outstanding.
Also, the chromatics used in the movie, the oscillations between bright and colourful settings and the gloomy dark house on the hill in contrast to the people living there play an important role in teaching children and proving to them how appearances deceive.
Already understanding a little bit more of the good and bad, those over 14 can see the other side of the story and jump from a Pinocchio like story to a Beauty and the Beast one. After watching the film as a child and rewatching it as a more grown up person, one can understand that Kim’s love for Edwards is not there just because he is the main character and misunderstood and can see behind the distinction of bad people and good people, realising more about the human mentality and how people actually work.
5. The Princess Bride (1987)
The Princess Bride is the adaptation of the eponymous novel written by William Goldman, who also wrote the screenplay for the movie.
If you are more interested in William Goldman’s novel, go ahead and order it in paperback or audio from Amazon
The movie focuses on Buttercup (Robin Wright), the Princess Bride, a young woman who is at first nothing but a spoiled brat, and Westley (Cary Elwes), the farm boy whom she orders around and only replies with a “As you wish”. Later, Buttercup discovers that those 3 words are nothing but a replacement for “I love you” and confesses her hidden love to Westley.
Though, the boy leaves and is later presumed to be dead, leaving the poor Buttercup even more heartbroken and obliged to marry someone she does not actually love. But fate has its own ways and a kidnaping bring Buttercup face to face with the pirate who might have killed Westley or who might lead her back to him.
Watching The Princess Bride when you are under 14 makes you look at the story as something old, but in a new manner. Everything is exciting and wonderful. There is plenty of adventure and romance, plot twists that leave you anxious to tell everyone about. Did we mention about the possibility of dressing up as a pirate and be willing to save some beautiful girls?
Once you are a teen or an adult, you finally understand all the irony, the puns, the name game and you give less credit to the adventure and romance. You do not watch it to get all excited about the rescues and journeys. You watch it as a mature person capable of understanding subtext and what the author meant when he mixed clichés and still got something good of it.
4. Finding Nemo (2003)
Finding Nemo is the well-known tale of the adorable clown fish Nemo and his father Marlin. After losing his wife and their other eggs to a barracuda, Marlin becomes incredibly protective over his only remaining child – Nemo, who was also affected by the barracuda attack, having a smaller fin.
The young fish does not understand his father’s paranoia and is embarrassed by him, but once he is captured and put into a fish tank in a dentist’s office, Nemo understands more his father’s fears and they both try their best to get back together.
What makes it appealing to children is the fact that Finding Nemo is a very colourful animation film with sweet characters and the fact that it focuses on a parent – child relationship. Children can easily relate to Nemo in his naivety and wish for freedom. Nemo is a stereotypical child longing for discovering the world, only to get burned by the cruel reality.
While as a child one can identify more with Nemo, those over 14 tend to focus more on Marlin and understand him better. With experience, one can connect better with an adult who has seen some pretty bad stuff like Marlin and realise the blindness of a child like Nemo.
Also, they can perceive better the importance of Nemo’s handicap and see behind the comic relief of Dory’s short memory by stripping the characters of their friendly colourful design and place them as humans.
3. Oliver Twist (1948)
Following Charles Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist tells the destiny of the orphaned boy from the title (John Howard David). Growing up in a poor orphanage with many other starving children, the nine year old boy reaches a point in which he asks for more food and fights to protect his mother’s name, only to be punished.
If you want your own copy of the famous novel Oliver Twist, you can get it now from Amazon in various formats
Oliver manages to escape the orphanage and is recruited by Fagins (Alex Guinness), an old thief who teaches children how to pick pocket. Sent by Fagins to observe the fine art of robbing, our main character gets caught by the police. Yet the victim of the robbery seems to have other plans with Oliver.
If there is one thing people and especially children like is a struggling hero making his way out of his condition and up to a better life and happy ending. This is why watching this movie as a child helps children understand the idea of privilege and poverty, how difficult life is for orphans and how good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people.
At the age of 14 or more, one perhaps has already read the novel and knows more about the context. Those times meant more than puffy dresses and balls and the society was becoming more miserable in its development.
This movie gives a direct perspective of the life in those times and create a sense of empathy not only for the characters in Oliver Twist, but also for the nowadays lower classes.
2. Spirited Away (2001)
The multi awarded Japanese animation movie created by Hayao Miyazaki focuses on Chihiro Ogino, a 10 year old girl whose life takes a crazy turn when her father takes a wrong one while driving.
Instead of reaching their new home, the family discovers an abandoned amusement park. Chihiro’s parents are turned into pigs. The girl attempts to escape the dreadful place, but she is stuck all by herself in a world which is not what it seems. The little girl faces two options: to let herself succumb in the spirit world and lose her identity or fight to get back her parents and life.
Hayao Miyazaki even gave an extensive interview to Telegraph where he talks a lot about his work and inspiration
Spirited Away wins children by the simple fact that it reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, while still being unique and new. The adventures and traps Chihiko finds herself falling into, but also her intelligence and precocious self make children relate to her and love her and the rather strange Haku. It is a more daring approach of a fairy tale pattern, than some of Disney’s work.
Once you are more open to certain aspects of life and you have read more, you can see in Spirited Away more than a Japanese Alice in Wonderland. You get to see the complexity of movie in terms of symbolism, psychology, destiny, society and history. Also, you get to appreciate Hayao Miyazaki’s work more and notice the intricacy of the anime art, not just its beauty.
1. Star Wars (1977)
The very popular space opera, Star Wars, more specifically, Episode VI – A New Hope, introduces a new world in a new era marked by a galactic civil war.
When the leader of the rebels, Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is captured by Darth Vader (David Prowse), her faithful droids find themselves in a mission of finding the only person who could rescue her and the galaxy – the Jedi Obi Wan Kenobi (Alex Guinness).
Yet, before finding, or being found by Obi Wan, the droids meet Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), a young man more than eager to save Princess Leia. To their cause joins the more or less willingly the scoundrel Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his buddy Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). And this is only the beginning of the story.
The entire Star Wars franchise is beloved by people of all ages, but when you watch it when you are younger, you are corrupted and fascinated at the same time by everything about space and impressive battles.
While few little girls fall for these movies, for boys these movies are everything because they have everything they like – space, science, races, robots, aliens, weapons, fights and heroes. Also being set in a distant future makes it easier for them to develop their imagination when creating scenarios.
After some time and after getting over the “pew pew” phase, one can finally see the complexity of Star Wars – and here we are discussing both characters, be it Darth Vader, Princess Leia or the newly introduced Kylo Ren, and setting. One needs to be more mature to finally observe the details such how items from our world were introduced and how ingenious the movies actually are.