Today’s Topic: Top Ten Books I Want My Future Children to Read (Or nieces and nephews, Godchildren, etc.)
Hosted by: The Broke and the Bookish
I’m deviating a bit from this week’s prompt. I have been an avid reader since I was about four years old, so I read plenty of books in my childhood. But when I think back, the stories that stick out the most in my memory are those from the films I watched. These are movies that I love to recommend not just to the children in my life but also adults.
- Sound of Music -This is the seminal film of my childhood. I’m old enough that VCR’s were new to the market when I was a young child. This meant that any videos for purchase were very expensive. This is one of few that my parents bought and I watched it over and over. I have strong memories of dancing around the living room singing Do-Re-Mi and jumping around on the sofa pretending to be Liesl in the gazebo scene. Whee!!!!
- The Incredible Journey -I’m not really sure how a narrative film with almost no dialogue managed to hold my attention for 80 minutes. Perhaps, the story of two dogs and a cat making a cross country journey to be reunited with their owners grabbed my heart. All I know is that I was really invested in those three animals surviving their harrowing journey.
- The Adventures of the Wilderness Family -My memories of this film are now vague. But what I do remember is the story of a family who leaves the modern world to hack it out on their own in the wilderness. The build their own log cabin by hand, survive a bear attack and gather their own food. There is a family berry picking scene which taught me the French-Canadian song Alouette. All I can say is this movie convinced me that I was made for modern amenities.
- The Parent Trap -Look, if this movie isn’t a part of your childhood memories then you did childhood wrong. This kiddie classic starring Hayley Mills is beloved for a reason. Plus, there’s Maureen O’Hara in all her Technicolor glory. And I can’t tell you how many times I have repeated Verbena’s wise words, ” It’s none of my nevermind. I don’t say a word” as a reminder to mind my own business.
- The Man From Snowy River -This Australian Western is an indelible part of my family memories. The story of an orphaned young man who must earn his way and prove his right to live on his own, it stars Kirk Douglas in two roles. It features several memorable images and scenes. My family watched this so much we all know it by heart. I have one cousin named after a main character. I had another who spent several months pretending to be the main character. He walked around wearing a hat and carrying a bullwhip quoting lines from the movie. So… yeah. We love it.
- Pollyanna -Disney really hit the jackpot when they discovered Hayley Mills. They were smart enough to cast this British actress in films featuring Americana images and messages and Pollyanna is no exception. Who doesn’t love this story of a poor orphan who melts the heart of her reserved wealthy aunt? And who could ever forget the Glad Game? It wasn’t until I was older that I realized how many actors from the classic film era were featured in Pollyanna, which made me love it even more.
- The Swiss Family Robinson -There is so much I loved about this one. If The Adventures of the Wilderness Family turned me off to “roughing” it, The Swiss Family Robinson made it look fun and easy. Their tree house life was freakin’ awesome. And who hasn’t wanted to ride an ostrich? If I ever were to get shipwrecked on a deserted isle, I hope it is with the Robinsons!
- The Apple Dumpling Gang -As a child, I found this film about three orphaned children finding gold in the Old West pretty funny. That could be because of their interactions with two bumbling thieves, one of whom is played by Don Knotts. I secretly wished I was as clever as these youngsters who managed to outsmart pretty much everyone.
- The Happiest Millionaire – So, I’ll be honest with you. The real reason I loved this movie so much is that they keep pet alligators in the family mansion. Yeah, it also features an eccentric (real -life) wealthy family with a singing Irish butler. But for a film which stars such famous names as Fred MacMurray, Greer Garson, Gladys Cooper and Lesley -Anne Warren, the real stars are those alligators.
- Robin Hood – Look, I will argue to my last breath that this animated feature is the best cinematic version of Robin Hood in existence. So you say your favorite adaptation stars Errol Flynn, Kevin Costner or Russell Crowe? Who cares? This one stars a fox who can kiss the jewels right off the hand of Prince John and survive a castle fire by snorkeling his way through a moat. I still get the giggles over the chaotic chase scene at the archery competition. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen this Robin Hood.
BONUS: Mary Poppins – You had to know my list could not be complete without this Julie Andrews feature. Mary Poppins is every child’s dream caretaker and every parents’ answer to prayer. Thanks to memorable songs, it has one of the best soundtracks ever. And who could ever forget Dick Van Dyke as the street artist Bert?
What are some of your favorite childhood movies? Did anyone else grow up on Disney feature and animated films like I did?