Many of us cherish memories of our favourite films as kids, and it’s no wonder why; they humoured and excited us and took us to places we could only dream of, where animals could talk and happy endings were guaranteed. Amidst all of the relationship issues, violence, adult comedy and depressing themes seen in many of today’s films, it’s nice to revisit the happy and carefree worlds of family movies, and here Roobla presents five that we love at any age.
5. Ice Age
A grumpy mammoth, a clumsy sloth and tough and sarcastic but warm-hearted sabre-tooth tiger join forces and make an unconventional trio as they migrate to avoid the impending ice age. Meanwhile, a squirrel, Scrat, dedicates his life to retrieving his beloved acorn, and gets himself and others into trouble in the process.
What’s so great about Ice Age is the characterisation and interaction between the trio; they’re dysfunctional and total opposites, making for some great, non-cheesy, humour that even adults can appreciate. A lot of the comedy is in the animation and sound effects, the movements and voices of the characters, which has adults giggling over Scrat’s desperate attempts to pull an acorn out of a crack to Sid getting clonked on the head with a watermelon.
It’s all innocent fun, but Ice Age also introduces some life or death situations, creating a nice balance between family friendly and seriousness.
A piglet named Babe aspires to be a sheepdog, but he and his owner face humility and criticism from both the farm animals and people. Babe sees the young pig attempt to communicate with the sheep, and discover ways to unconventionally herd them.
Babe is a classic, yes the humour and story are cheesy, and the ending is sickeningly sweet, but what’s not to love; it’s a naïve piglet herding gossipy, old sheep with some fun, albeit stereotypical, characterisation of animals.
3. Home Alone 1 & 2
Home Alone is the ultimate Christmas film, featuring a crime, plenty of harmless violence and bundles of holiday spirit. Eight year old Kevin is accidentally left at home when his family go on vacation, and he revels in his independence until petty criminals Harry and Marv aim to burgle his house. Kevin fights them off with booby traps and tricks, and in the sequel, alone in New York after getting on the wrong flight, he runs into them again.
Home Alone’s status as a family film is questionable considering the amount of violence in it; Kevin’s tricks include an iron to the face, electrocution, oiled up steps and bricks thrown from building roofs, and the criminals regularly threaten to kill the boy. It’s all harmless, however, as Harry and Marv always live to tell the tale of Kevin’s trickery, and the light-hearted violence is what makes it so appealing to adults.
In addition, it combines attractive locations such as the Rockefeller Center, Central Park and the streets of Chicago, a great soundtrack, heaps of comedy and Christmas. Who doesn’t love Christmas?
2. Toy Story
Andy’s toys come to life when humans are absent, and Woody, a pull-string cowboy figure, is the leader. For his birthday, Andy receives an impressive space ranger figure called Buzz Lightyear, and Woody becomes resentful as he believes he will be replaced as Andy’s favourite toy. After Buzz accidentally falls out of the window, the two toys journey back to the house together and get in all sorts of trouble on the way.
Toy Story brings the big kid out of every adult, and takes us back to a time when all that mattered was our toys and games. It has great characterisation and is very well made, which ultimately makes it hard to forget and a favourite among adults.
1. Homeward Bound
Thinking they have been abandoned, the old and wise Shadow (a Golden Retriever), a mischievous American bulldog pup Chance and the smart Sassy, a Himalayan cat, venture out to find their owners. They journey across mountains, rivers and through woods and face the wrath of wild animals.
While Homeward Bound is increasingly cheesy with stereotypical depictions of animals; it’s likeable purely for its protagonists, dogs and cats. They aren’t seasoned animals used to the wilderness, they’re naïve house pets who take on more than they can handle, which makes for an interesting, and sometimes dire journey.
It’s light-hearted fun, and exactly the kind of escapism we need sometimes.
Which films from your child hood do you still love to watch? Let us know below!