I am taking Eli to see the new Winnie the Pooh movie this afternoon. This will be his first time seeing a movie in the theater. He is totally excited about it. Inspired by this occasion, it got me thinking, what are my earliest memories of going to the movies? What are yours? I will attempt a list of 10, which is hugely optimistic, considering at this very moment I can only think of two!
1. The Land Before Time (1988) – My sister and I received over-sized “Littlefoot” stuffed animals after seeing this film-she may have been too little to understand, but mine was well-loved. (See photo! My boys actually inherited hers! Notice how still fluffy it is. Mine wasn’t. I don’t know what came of mine.) I think Littlefoot was such a brave little guy (of course he was, the film was about his journey overcoming hardship and adversity-much to be learned here…). Maybe I thought that by taking extra good care of my stuffed animal replica and showing it TLC, that somehow I would be doing my part in encouraging him by saying, “You did it, Littlefoot! You’re not alone, you’re brave. Good job, you found your grandparents in the Great Valley! Great!” Little did I realize that films would continue to be made about Littlefoot and his adventures – even up through more recent years! If I had known, maybe instead I would have said, “Wow, Littlefoot, good for you! You overcame adversity in times of strife and uncertainty – don’t forget what you learned here-you’ll have to put it to use many, many more times!”
2. Dances with Wolves (1990) – I remember this one being pretty intense and a solid performance by Kevin Costner. The only image that pops into my head is of Costner riding to a ridge on a horse. Right!? Great scene. One if the most poignant of the entire film!! ( I kid!) I guess I can’t remember that much about the film. Maybe at that time I did not understand symbolism, so the title may have been lost on me. I keep seeing visions of Daniel Day Lewis in this memory. Why are you in this memory, Daniel Day Lewis?
3. The Little Mermaid (1989)-This Disney movie rocked my world. This is the first one I can remember being released in my lifetime-which may not be accurate, but at least the first I can remember being released into the theater and me being old enough to go see it. It was a whirlwind of emotion for me. Being at the vulnerable age of 13, I’m certain there was a crush being had on Prince Eric. I hope that was his name-must not have been that big if a crush if I can’t even remember his name! Disney always had a knack for making their princes very strapping and handsome. CARTOON! I know. At that young age, I was all about the tragic, hopeless, hopeful, unlikely (pick your adjective) love story. It was brilliant for me. Back then, the turn around time from Film to VHS tape was ridiculous. I remember asking my dad immediately upon the rolling of the credits, “When can I see that again?” or “When can we own that film?” And to my chagrin, he said, “Not for at least seven years.” Was this true, I can’t remember and I certainly won’t go looking it up. But I felt like life simply could not go on until I saw this, The Little Mermaid, again and again.
Ok, well, I am not claiming failure here-I owe you seven more titles-however, I may need to adjust the guidelines a little. Maybe I will simply go with early movies that left their mark on my memory (not necessarily seen in the theater). I need to sit on this one a while longer. Stay tuned…I’m feeling “Teen Wolf” and “The Mummy.”