The Childhood Experience: Re-Examining Films I Watched As A Kid

I didn’t watch too many movies as a child, but I still watched a decent amount. And I’ve noticed, re-watching them as an adult, that my perspectives and viewpoints on them as a child were considerably different to seeing them from an adult viewpoint. So, I’ve taken the time to write down some movies I saw when I was a kid and how my opinions and thoughts of them have changed.

In no particular order:

Caddyshack (1980): My Dad had this fixation on 80s comedies, and he showed me tons of them when I was growing up. One of them was Caddyshack, which at age twelve was my favourite comedy of all time. Rodney Dangerfield made me laugh (and does still) incredibly hardly. Now, examining it twelve years later, it’s still a decent comedy, but it’s… just a decent comedy.

My Rating as a Kid:

My Rating as an Adult:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975): My Dad had the soundtrack to this movie and played it a lot. He showed me the movie at age nine, which some might consider too young, but I was busy listening to the music and occasionally singing it to notice the obvious sexual undertones.

My Rating as a Kid:

My Rating as an Adult:

Forrest Gump (1994): This was a family movie. Everyone saw it, and it still plays every year at Christmas time. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it. As a child I found Hanks’s antics genuinely comic, and it wasn’t until I grew up that I realized how silly he was. The film… yeah, it’s good, but it’s not great.

My Rating as a Kid:

My Rating as an Adult:

2001: A Space Odyssey (1967)

My Dad showed this to our family when Stanley Kubrick died. I was 12. It was the first Kubrick film I’d ever seen, and I’ll admit, I was bored during it. I thought for the first ten minutes it was going to be about monkeys that get taken into space on a giant black square, but I soon learnt. I enjoyed the whole thing with HAL, but after that it just got really boring. Now, watching it as an adult, it’s my second favourite movie of all time. What does that tell you?

My Rating as a Kid:

My Rating as an Adult:

See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1987)

I don’t know what it was… I just had a weird fixation with this Gene Wilder/Richard Pryor comedy vehicle. It wasn’t one of their best ones, but as a kid it was one of the funniest things I ever saw. It was probably just Pryor’s hilarious performance as a blind man, but then again, he’s funny in everything he’s in.

My Rating as a Kid:

My Rating as an Adult:

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

I watched this at age six and hated it. I despised Dorothy, found her companions idiotic and annoying, and her sense of optimism cruelly naive. Her senselessness and idiocy are matched only by that of the ridiculous witch, who made me hold my hands over my ears every time she spoke. Talk about a stereotype. But as an adult, I chuckle at it and recognize the suitable silliness of it all. It’s a good movie, but it takes… time.

My Rating as a Kid:

My Rating as an Adult:

There you have it. Isn’t it interesting how people’s opinions change as they get older? What films did you enjoy/dislike as a child, only to change your opinion as you got older? Leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.

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About Tyler

Patient observer of all things film and music, from Béla Tarr to Boards of Canada. Foul mouthed and clinging to the edge of sanity.

Posted on July 3, 2011, in Movies and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. The Truman Show is running on my local TV right now. I remember absolutely loving it as a kid (10/10). My opinion about this movie hasn’t changed much – I would still rate it on the high end of the scale (9/10).

  2. Yea I feel the same way about Forrest Gump. I absolutely loved the movie as a kid, now it has faded a bit although I still enjoy it.

    • It’s enjoyable as a modern day biopic, I suppose, but the one thing that always annoys me is how it stole Best Picture off Pulp Fiction, among other more worthy nominees.

  3. Fun idea, Tyler. It’s fascinating to see how your opinion/taste have changed regarding a particular film. Wow, looks like you have much more appreciation for 2001. Y’know, I never had much interest to see Wizard of Oz.

  4. I thought Airplane! was the funniest thing in the world when I was 12, when it was a staple on cable television, and whenever I rewatch it, I can’t help but feel the same way. (Even the “dated” gags remain brilliant.) Coincidentally, I rewatched Caddyshack the other day after finding a copy at the local library (!) For my money, Ted Knight stole the whole movie–he was a genuine comic talent, and it’s a real shame that he didn’t do more films. I don’t know if you’re familiar with his work, but he spent the prime of his years, in the 1970s and 1980s, on two American sitcoms. He was brilliant on the first, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which remains an all-time classic. The second, Too Close for Comfort, now resides, rightly so, on the junk heap of lackluster, forgettable TV shows of the era.

    • Caddyshack was the only time I ever saw Knight, but I’d be interested to check out some of his other work. The ongoing feud with Rodney Dangerfield is a classic comedy pairing.

  5. Gotta love Forrest Gump! But they didn’t play it around Christmas last year, and instead they played it at Easter this year. It just wasn’t the same :/

  6. I also remember absolutely loving The Big Lebowski. It was definitely one of my favorites amongst others like aforementioned The Truman Show, Forrest Gump, The Usual Suspects etc. Rated it (well I probably didn’t actually rate movies) 10, and currently it’s one of the movies in my top 10 list 🙂

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