Movies that Define Your Childhood


Dec 30, 2005
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If you had to pick THREE. What are the three movies that define your childhood, the movies that when you see them, take you back to that special place when you were a kid. The movies that you wore out on VHS over and over and over again and made you fall in love with film in the first place. The movies that you will unequivocally love forever...even though they may not have aged well.


1. BATMAN RETURNS: I think I saw this before I ever saw Batman '89. I was enamored with this film as a young 90's kid. I loved Burton's visuals and the music and just the style of everything. Its a movie that touches me in a special place especially during the ending when the Elfman reprise marches up. I get emotional almost every time.

2. NINJA TURLES (1990): I was a huge TMNT fan as a kid. I had soooo many toys and stuff, and I remember this movie was THE **** when it came out. I vividly remember during the final battle when the four turtles took on Shredder at the same time, I would get on my feet and fight along with them. I got so pumped during that sequence and boy, oh boy did I wear that VHS out. I still love this film.

3. Terminator 2: JUDGEMENT DAY: I can't even write about this movie without becoming emotional. I'll just say, that even though this is NOT a kids movie, 5 year old me was obsessed with this film (even though some of the more violent parts scared me). This is one of the all time great action films imo.

So, what are yours?
Back to the future series
Born in '87, I'm sure a lot of other users from that time period will have similar lists.

Back to the Future and Ghostbusters, definitely.
And yeah I can say Terminator 2. I agree on that age discrepancy kguillou. Sarah's nightmare always freaked me out to no end, but couldn't help being glued to that movie.

Maybe Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze as an honorable mention. I probably watched this more than T2, I think I discovered that movie later...I guess their spots are interchangeable.

The others that come to mind were my brothers picks, so I'll let him claim those, haha.
Goonies (because it's the friggin Goonies!)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (had a slight obsession with it from age 5 - present)

3 Ninjas (because every summer, my grandpa would teach my brothers and I how to box)
Batman 89
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Neverending Story
The Neverending Story -- still my favorite fantasy film, one I find as immersive as great fantasy books like Peake's Gormenghast series and the original Ende novel. I was never bothered by the horse's death, but always found the story darkly enthralling.

The Goonies -- still remember the opening song, the suburban fantasia, the Spielbergan touches. The treasure hunt, the colorful bad guys, the soundtrack, pretty much defined movies for me better than better films like Raiders and Wizard of Oz.

Journey of Natty Gann -- For years marrying Natty Gann was my life's goal. I imagined crisscrossing a magical America with her full of awesome wolves, vast natural vistas, and the occasional heart-racing adventure.
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The Original Star Wars Trilogy (1977, 1980, 1983): The original Star Wars is the first movie I have a conscious memory of seeing in theatres (I was 3 at the time).

The Goonies (1985): What kid doesn't love a movie about kids his own age going on an adventure?

Gremlins (1984): Amazing movie. Scary, funny, fun, action packed, even dramatic. Who could ask for more?
A must have for me :

Transformers The Movie



Police Academy
Many of the 80's Cannon action films ended up being that as well :

Transformers the Animated Movie
Superman the Movie
Return of the Jedi
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Gremlins 1 and 2
DC Cab, Splash, Cat's Eye, The Golden Child, The Fly, The Untouchables, Scrooged, Coming to America

and Tim Burton absolutely owned my childhood:

Pee Wee's Big Adventure
Batman 89
Superman : The Movie

Saw with my dad upon release and made me want to be a film maker and made me the comic book fan I am today and inspired my wanting to make a comic book film, which I went on to do, it's roots are all in this film's cinematic experience.


At the same age that Elliot is in the film, I was, 7, and in a very similar place to him as a character, (lonely, isolated, parental disharmony) and its connection with finding someone and something to grip 'hold of' at that age and year, 1982, was, at that time, a major turning point in my life.

Star Wars

Like many I imagine, that opening music, the crawl and that star destroyer overhead, just pure magic. Life became exciting, cinema changed in that moment, our lives changed, cinema would never be the same again.

I love Hook

Hook is great

I love hook more then Spielberg hates it!



so, yes, Hook!
1. Indiana Jones trilogy
2. Ghostbusters ( movie/cartoon )
3. Back to the Future
4. The Goonies
5. Batman 89
6. Star Wars
7. Superman the Movie

and just for fun my tv shows were

Gi Joe
Knight Rider
Air Wolf
Duck tales
Darkwing Duck
Chip n Dale
Magnum PI
The Lion King-I first remember thinking that Scar's plan wouldn't work. Silly me.

The Great Escape-My dad's a huge fan of this film. We watched it every few years. When I first saw it, it had two VHS'. Ives' character arc still makes me sad sometimes.

The Bridge on The River Kwai- I remember being blown away by it as a preteen. I still am :)
Probably Star Wars, Willow, Predator and Alien movies.
The Neverending Story
Back to the Future
The Karate Kid
Disney animations and action movies:

The Beauty and the Beast
The Lion King
Mortal Kombat
Robocop 1-2
Terminator 1-2
other Arnold, Stallone and Van Damme flicks
My ultimate list would be a bunch of movies a lot of other people have already said, but I wanted to throw in a few classics.

The Lost Boys
The Last Starfighter
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Eddie Murphy's Delirious
Beverly Hills Cop
Revenge of the Nerds
Friday the 13th
Nightmare on Elm Street

Yep, my childhood included watching a whole bunch of movies I wasn't supposed to watch.
Oh man, there are so many.

Pixar's Wall-E (pretty much my favorite movie for years, and still among my favorites)
Star Wars (all of them to some degree, pretty much the first movie series that stuck with me)
Lion King
Finding Nemo
Spider-man 2, to a lesser extent

The original Star Trek movie series, the Hobbit and LOTR movies, Indiana Jones, and most of Pixar's other stuff defined my teenage years, in some ways I feel like that was a time when I watched and enjoyed more movies.
You all miss ultimate father-daughter movie Commando. Every girl and their dad should watch it at least once.

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