Many an Internet entertainer, may it be Buzzfeed, webcomics, or any of their ilk(s), are clambering to remind us that it has been 20 years since 1994, a fact that is terrifying my generation. All that awesome stuff we associate with youth is careening away in time, and it’s important to honor some of that rad media. I wish to highlight the most awesome classic kid’s films and TV shows (classic being relative, you know, to the Internet world of today) that still inspire, and will forever.
First off, remember The Mighty Ducks? Nothing is more awesome than this trilogy, and no coach is more badass than Emilio Estevez’s Gordon Bombay. For those of you who forget, it’s about this cynical lawyer and ex-hockey star (from childhood) who is tasked with coaching this rag tag group of miscreants, led by Charlie Conway (Joshua Jackson, haters), one of the most heroic lil’ kids ever. Then there’s Goldberg and Fulton, and in the second movie the Bash Brothers and Kenan Thompson’s Knucklepuck. Seriously, this movie will make you cry manly tears and inspire you forever.
Then there’s The Pagemaster, about Macaulay Culkin getting trapped in a fantasy world of talking books and rad dragons. Christopher Lloyd’s in it too, which is great. Basically, this film shows the magic of books, as well as the paramount exquisiteness of imagination (two things current kids don’t really have any more); and that dragon is so damn cool.
Speaking of animated classics, what about An American Tail and Fievel Goes West? Both films are heartbreaking and epic, the first actually being pretty scary and a legit kid’s education on immigration woes. Also, Tiger the vegetarian cat is bumbling but so badass. Never forget that, “There are no cats in America!” (spoilers).
And then there’s The Sandlot. This film is basically the best thing, as it encapsulates perfectly everything sweet about being a kid, and even some of the scarier parts of childhood (remember the Beast?). I bet every kid ever after seeing this film has tried to or at least thought about trying to drown just a little so a hot lifeguard comes within the reach of one’s first make-outs. The Sandlot is important also for respecting the kid audience, and not babying them. I remember thinking, “This is how life is, damn it, thank you The Sandlot.”
Beyond these few, there are so many films out there than can reinvigorate your imagination and make you hella nostalgic for the days of watching a VHS then going on a damn adventure. There’s Matilda, which made every kid wish books made them telekinetic; We’re Back, which made dinosaurs awesome again (not that they ever weren’t); and The Goonies, which is the best artistic creation ever to come forth from a human brain.
Television was also more awesome in the days of these films. There were the goddamn Rugrats, who made babies badass, and other nasty but awesome shows like Ren and Stimpy and Rocko’s Modern Life (basically, 90s Nickelodeon). Pete and Pete makes all kid’s programming look completely garbage-tastic nowadays. Even those stupid direct-to-TV Disney movies were kinda rad (Brink! is embarrassingly fun, you guys). I remember staring at the boob tube and thinking, “Life can’t get any better.” Arguably, life has gotten better, but entertainment sure hasn’t. I recommend going on a tear of all these classic films and shows, cause childhood was more awesome then, imagination still a wonderful current running through every moment of these films.
A friend of mine recently was like, “I hate all those American sports movies.” I asked the question back: “Do you hate inspiration, fun, sportsmanship, and straight up awesomeness?” Ask yourself that same question, then just sit back and watch the Truffle Shuffle.