Last night I discovered Despicable Me. I’m not sure what took me so long to be honest, since I remember watching a trailer back when the movie was first released and falling instantly in love with the minions. (Incidentally if anyone knows where I can get a minion, you know where I am. Those things are cute.) Now that I’ve seen it, though, I have a feeling it may become one of my favourite films.
Kids’ films are the best, particularly because most of the time they’re not really for kids at all. When I was at uni I took a module in Children’s Literature and for my final essay I wrote about the two levels of humour in Toy Story. This meant I was forced to watch Toy Story (and Toy Story 2) several times in order to fully appreciate said humour. It was a very difficult time, but somehow I got through it.
Also, let’s be honest, I’m still very much a child in many ways, and any excuse to behave like one is cause for celebration.
So here, in no particular order, are my favourite kids’ films:
Everything by Pixar. I started listing Pixar films and then realised that I love them all. The first one I ever saw was A Bug’s Life, which is ironic really, since in real life I hate bugs of all kinds. Then there was Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Up and, of course, all the Toy Story films. When I went to see Toy Story 3 and Monsters University at the cinema – yes, I did that – I think there were probably just as many excited adults as there were children. Maybe more.
The Lion King. I remember watching this for the first time at my friend Lorraine’s house when we were at school. We cried when Simba’s dad died. Sorry, spoilers. And then we got the giggles when Rafiki said ‘Simba!’ (Lorraine is the only person who’ll understand why we found this funny, and I can’t explain it without the accompanying actions, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.) Then a few years later, we went to see the stage show in London. And then we went again. In fact, it’s probably time we went again…?
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This is a bit of a cheat as it’s really the book that I love, but the recent Disney adaptation was on TV the other night and it made me happy. So it counts.
Shrek. Unlike the Toy Story series, which was amazing from start to finish, Shrek did go a bit off the boil in later movies. Although I can’t deny I enjoyed the addition of Antonio Banderas to the cast. Seriously, I could listen to him talk all day. But the first movie was brilliant, from the karate kicking princess to the over-compensating villain, and of course Donkey, who’s just awesome. Oh, and Shrek, obviously. He’s pretty cool.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The original, not the Johnny Depp version, which, much as I love him, was pretty creepy. My sisters and I had a video of the Gene Wilder movie when we were growing up, and I think we watched it so much we nearly wore it out. So any time it’s on TV now, I watch it just for nostalgia purposes and can still sing along with all the musical numbers (‘Oompa, loompa…’). I still find the bit in the tunnel quite scary, though.
And finally, because I don’t want Johnny to be sad…
Pirates of the Caribbean. Yes I know it’s a 12 and therefore not technically a kids’ film, but it’s Disney and so I’m including it. This was when I really became a fan of Johnny Depp, so apparently my ‘type’ is slightly camp pirates with dreadlocks and bad teeth. Make of that what you will. Captain Jack made such an impression that a friend bought me a model of him for my birthday a few years ago, which I think you’ll agree looks pretty good. Unfortunately he sounded nothing like Johnny Depp, and had a habit of shouting out random phrases at random times, so I was quite glad when his battery went flat.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a copy of Despicable Me 2. And a minion.
Oh, and let me know if I’ve forgotten anything good…