Remember These? 15 Of Our Favorite Childhood Movies From The 80’s And 90’s
Remember when you were 10 and 11 and you thought you could do anything and there still might be monsters in your closet and magic was possibly real? Well, we have these movies to thank for that. When we were kids, we absolutely loved these flicks and as adults, we officially consider them our childhood faves.
Baseball commentator Scott Smalls reminisces about the summer of ’62, the year his family moved and he first fell in love with the game of baseball. It was in “The Sandlot” that he learned first-hand the meaning of teamwork and camaraderie. He also realizes everyone abstains from hitting a homerun over the sandlot fence because there’s a ferocious dog guarding the property. As luck would have it, the first time Scott “borrows” his stepfather’s autographed baseball without asking, he hits it over the fence and has to go retrieve it. A classic cult favorite, “The Sandlot” spawned three direct-to-video sequels.
Welcome to the Goon Docks, a neighborhood scheduled for demolition to make way for a new golf course. Friends Mikey, Brandon, Chunk, Mouth, Andy, Stef and Data decide to go on one last Goonies adventure to save the neighborhood in this1985 movie. They embark on a quest to unearth a long-forgotten fortune left behind from the infamous pirate One-Eyed Willie. It’s a race to the treasure buried in a cavern underneath an abandoned restaurant currently occupied by the Fratellis, a family of crooks and thieves hell-bent on beating the Goonies to the money. 80’s teen heartthrob Corey Feldman stars in this 1985 classic movie along with Sean Astin and a young Josh Brolin. Though there was talk of a sequel for several years, sadly one never materialized.
Stand By Me
Based on Stephen King’s “The Body,” this 1986 coming of age movie follows four young friends who set out in search of the body of a missing teenager. As an adult, Gordie Lachance thinks back to his preteen days shortly after the sudden death of his older brother. He and his friends Chris, Teddy and Vern set out on a journey to the train tracks on a determined to see the dead body. No adventure is without obstacles. Feeling as if they grew up on the trip, a few days later the boys return home to a town that seems smaller than when they left. “Stand By Me” stars Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Keifer Sutherland, John Cusack and the late River Phoenix. On the 25th anniversary of the film, the cast and crew got together for a celebration that included a showing of “Stand By Me” and an amateur pie-eating contest.
Before she was a Manolo Blahnik wearing fashionista and columnist in “Sex and the City,” Sarah Jessica Parker was a witch in “Hocus Poucs.” In 1693, three sisters were sentenced to death for practicing witchcraft. Before their execution, one of the sisters cast a curse that would bring them back from the dead. Fast-forward to All Hallow’s Eve 300 years later, a virgin lights the black candle and Winifred, Mary and Sarah are back. It’s up to two teenagers and a 300-year-old cat Binx to stop the three witches from wrecking havoc. Despite lackluster figures from the box office, “Hocus Pocus” gained a cult following once the movie was released on video.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Robin Williams stars in “Hook,” an action-adventure fantasy film that focuses on a grown up Peter Pan who had forgotten his childhood. Now a corporate lawyer, Peter Manning is more concerned with mergers and acquisitions than his family but when his two children are kidnapped, Peter must travel back to Never Land. He reconnects with Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts) and The Lost Boys in order to reclaim the spirit of his youth. This sets up the stage for the final showdown between Peter Pan and his nemesis, Caption Hook, played brilliantly by Dustin Hoffman.
Ernest Goes to Camp
In the mid to late 80’s, actor and comedian Jim Varney became famous for playing Ernest, a bumbling but good-natured man who wore his heart on his sleeve and his expressions on his face. Originally created by an advertising agency, Ernest was used to star in television ad campaigns. His signature closing line, “KnowhutImean?” was so popular, Ernest soon found himself on the silver screen. The first movie, “Ernest Goes To Camp,” was released in 1987. Always decked out in a denim vest and baseball cap, Ernest went everywhere, from camp to jail to Africa. From the mid 80’s to the late 90’s, Varney starred in nine “Ernest Goes To…” movies.
Back to the Future
Before he was known as Alex Keaton in “Family Ties,” Michael J. Fox was Marty McFly, star of “Back To the Future.” In this sci-fi/action film, McFly accidentally travels back in time 30 years in a plutonium-powered DeLorean where he meets his future-parents. Attracting the love interest of his mother, Marty realizes that if he doesn’t help his parents fall in love, he’ll never be born. With the help of eccentric mad scientist Doc, Marty must figure out a way to return to 1985. The film grossed over $300 million and marked the beginning of a franchise. Twenty-five years later, “Back To The Future” was the inspiration for Nike Air Mag AKA “Marty McFly.” Nike released 1500 pairs of limited edition sneakers, which sold out immediately. All of the proceeds went to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
The Breakfast Club
Five high school students, all from different backgrounds, meet at the library one Saturday morning for detention. While the outside world labels them as an athlete, a basket-case, a princess, a brain, and a crimina, they would always be affectionately known as “The Breakfast Club” Assuming they have absolutely nothing in common, Andrew, John, Allison, Brian, and Claire, pass the time by arguing, dancing, smoking marijuana and finally baring their souls, confessing their biggest fears and deepest secrets. By the time the afternoon winds down, they realize they have a lot more in common with each other. “The Breakfast Club” helped solidify teen actors Molly Ringwald and Emilio Estevez as part of the Brat Pack.
“Sixteen Candles” is a heart-warming yet hilarious story that follows a teenager’s journey to young adulthood. Known as one of the best young stars of all time, Molly Ringwald plays awkward Samantha Baker, a teenager whose sixteenth birthday is anything but sweet. Samantha struggles to get through the day and to make matters worse, she realizes a letter she wrote containing embarrassing information about herself winds up in the hands of Jake, the most popular boy in the school and the object of her affection. Although the movie sparked a bit of controversy with Long Duk Dong, a character many deemed offensive to Asians, “Sixteen Candles” helped shoot Molly Ringwald to fame.
Puberty can be a trying time for any teenager, but for wallflower Scott Howard this change of life proves to be especially difficult when he realizes he’s turning into a werewolf. Although he is initially embarrassed by his appearance, Scott, played by a young Michael J. Fox, soon realizes his special powers are actually useful; they help him become a star basketball player and one of the most popular kids at his high school. It doesn’t take long for the newfound fame to go to Scott’s head and he struggles to find himself. This 1985 movie opened the same weekend as “Back To The Future,” also starring Fox.
Men certainly jump though hoops to win women over. This is evident in “Bebe Kids,” the 1992 animated movie voiced by Faizon Love, imitating Robin Harris to perfection. He recounts an especially disastrous attempt at impressing Jamika by taking her, well-mannered son Leon and her friend Bebe’s three rambunctious and obnoxious children to Fun World amusement park for the day. To make matters worse, ex-wife Dorthea and her cantankerous friend Vivian try to throw a monkey wrench in Harris’ plans. If there’s one thing that this hilarious, full-length cartoon movie taught anyone is that misbehaved children are much like cockroaches: don’t die; they multiply.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
No Christmas or Thanksgiving holiday would be complete without watching Charlie Brown and the Peanut gang. Originally airing in 1965, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has aired every year since then. Perplexed by the commercialization of the holiday, Charlie Brown is determined to find the true meaning of Christmas. With the success of this television special, eight years later Charlie Brown and friends star in “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” Lucy once again goads Charlie Brown into kicking the football and believing Lucy would never trick him on a holiday, he winds up on his back once again.
Even though he’s a grown man now, we will forever know and love Macauly Culkin as Kevin McCallister, the smart, cute, spunky eight-year-old kid left “Home Alone” for the Christmas holiday. Kevin relishes having the house all to himself until a pair of dim-witted burglars target the almost empty house. Armed with nothing but everyday knick-knacks and gadgets found around the house, Kevin works hard to keep the two at bay. “Home Alone” was the beginning of a franchise with several sequels that followed and still remains one of the highest grossing comedies of all time.
The life of a teenager growing up in Beverly Hills isn’t all bubble gum and Christian Dior. Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash play spoiled, rich kids Cher and Dionne in the classic 1995 film “Clueless.” Cher goes through the ups and downs of adolescence as she struggles to acquire a driver’s license, play match-maker to her friends and transform a new student from and ugly duckling to a beautiful swan, all while looking for a love of her own. Paul Rudd, Jeremy Sisto and the late Brittany Murphy round out the cast. “Clueless” helped launch Silverstone to international stardom.
Lean on Me
In 1989, Principal Joe Clark, played by Morgan Freeman, was recruited to help clean up a failing school. Set in the rough streets of Paterson, New Jersey, Eastside High School was filled with drugs, gang violence and hopelessness. Principal Clark’s gruff disposition and take no mess attitude is just what the school needs. Who can forget when he famously stood on the steps of the high school waving a bat around declaring, “They used to call me Crazy Joe; now they call me Batman!” With the help of a dedicated staff, Principal Clark helps turns the school around but not before he is arrested for locking the doors to keep the negative influences out. Singer/actress Sandra Reaves-Phillips gave a rousing performance singing the title song “Lean On Me” so hard her wig almost shakes off.