Category Archives: Kids

The Goonies (1985)


Genre: Kids, Action/Adventure, Comedy

Cast: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman

Synopsis: A group of kids go on an adventure to find the treasure of One-Eyed Willie, a legendary pirate.

I think everyone has that one film from childhood that they treasure above all other films. This film will be the one that is passed down from generation to generation. You will sit down with your kids, all huddled together on the couch, and put on that classic and all bask in its wonderfulness. For me, that one film is The Goonies. Quite simply, there is no better film that both adults and kids can enjoy.

I can’t exactly remember the first time that I saw this movie. In a way, I feel like The Goonies has always been a part of my life and I can see now how it has had an impact on me. It’s part of the reason why I really want to see the Oregon coastline and why I love those white wooden houses that just scream Americana. It’s also impacted my fashion sense (I own the type of yellow rain coat Mikey wears). Interestingly enough, watching the movie at 25 I can see how much it influenced my sense of humour. The humour in this film is crude and twisted but well-timed, sharp, and, in a way, nostalgic as it feels like comedy that belongs in a bygone-era of kids’ films. Hell, what sort of kids’ movie nowadays makes fun of childhood obesity!?

Truffle Shuffle

Advice I live by

It’s funny how my appreciation for the movie has changed with age. When I watch the movie now, I am taken back by the razor sharp script and the amazing performances given by the young cast. As a child, however, I fell in love with the film’s spirit of adventure. Here you had a group of friends setting off, facing danger, solving riddles, and narrowly avoiding death. It was the sort of life I dreamed of. Unfortunately, when you grow up in rural England the only real danger you face is needle sticks in the graveyard during the town’s annual gypsy festival.


Cross my palm with hepatitis

That sense of adventure and danger is exactly what kids’ films need nowadays. I read an article recently that suggested that The Goonies and E.T. were the perfect kids’ films because they presented a real and genuinely terrifying danger: death, abduction, torture and scientific experimentation. Modern kids’ movies don’t compare. While engaging a child’s sense of wonder, The Goonies and E.T. was able to keep audiences and kids at the edge of their seat by showing universal and innate fears. It’s also partly the reason why audiences became more emotionally involved in film and sympathised with the characters to a greater extent.

I have to say that I agree with this theory. I always forget that the villains, the Fratellis, try to stick a child’s hand into a blender. That’s about as fucked up it can possibly get. Moreover, the same kid gets locked up in a freezer and a car boot with a dead body, easily one of the funniest moments in the movie. I think that’s probably one of the greatest things about The Goonies: it never patronises its audience, even though the target audience is children aged about 10. It’s a movie for smart and precocious children. If you watched and loved this film as a child then I can almost certainly guarantee that you are awesome.


  • The best child acting I have ever seen in a movie and all the kids are likeable. Even the girl with the least screen-time has some cracking one-liners.
  • I love Chunk. The scene where he tells the Fratellis about all the bad things he has done is comedic genius.
  • Cyndi Lauper soundtrack!!! 80s awesomeness overload.
  • The seen in which Corey Feldman speaks Spanish to the maid is brilliant.
  • A wonderful sense of adventure that charms adults and kids alike.


  • I honestly can’t think of any.


In my mind, there is no greater movie more worthy of the “mind-blowingly awesome” label. This is a film that will always bring a smile to my face and I honestly can’t wait to share this movie with my children. If they dislike this movie then it’s off the orphanage with them. No child of mine will criticise The Goonies. I’m sure that won’t happen though. How can anyone criticise a movie that has a song from Cyndi Lauper in it?



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Filed under Action/Adventure, Comedy, Kids, Mind Blowingly Awesome

Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie (1999)


Genre: Animation, Kids

Cast: Voices of people I don’t know

Synopsis:  In the movie extension of the anime series, a magical Japanese school girl travels to Hong Kong with her friends and comes face-to-face with a pissed off evil sorceress.

As I mentioned before, in less than three weeks I will be off to Japan for a vacation, In order to get myself in the Japanese spirit, I decided to revisit some of my favourite Japanese TV shows, including Cardcaptor Sakura. If there was an award for the most LGBT friendly kids show, Cardcaptor Sakura would probably win it hands down. As far as I know, it is the only kids show which has both a gay love-triangle story arc AND an unrequited lesbian-love storyline. There’s even an episode where two male characters do a power transfer through a “special hug.” Well, the Japanese version was very gay. The English dub was more nonsensical. Anyway, I usually stay away from the movie adaptations of animes. However, I vaguely remembered watching this a long time ago and, if I remember correctly, I actually quite enjoyed it.

The reason why I usually stay from anime movie adaptations is because there is a tendency to take the story too away from the ones featured in the show. For instance, the Naruto movies always introduce crazy new characters and situations which require the main characters to do things that they can’t do in the series i.e. one-off gimmick moves. Moreover, the movie plots are placed in a time-frame which doesn’t align very well with the episodes. Fortunately, there isn’t any of that nonsense here and one of the strengths of this movie is that it feels much more like an extended episode. All of the great things about the series are featured in the movie.

What are some of those things? Well, for starters, gay sexual tension! It’s not quite as pronounced in the movie as it is in the series but it’s still there. Secondly, great magic battle scenes. The main character, Sakura, is essentially the master of these magical cards which contain spirits which can do her bidding. She must collect all the spirits and transform them into cards all while battling the forces of evil and dealing with the advances of her voyeuristic friend/lesbian lover. To collect these spirits, she must use the cards already in her possession to fight, trick or coerce them. While she does it she wears the most kawaii costumes imaginable. That’s a third great thing about this movie: fashion. It’s probably one of the few animes which takes costume quite seriously. The detail put into these outfits is amazing and I’m sure they can provide some interesting pointers for female viewers. Unfortunately, as a guy, I wouldn’t look great in Lolita dresses and hats with a cherry blossom pendant pinned on but if I have a daughter I’ll model her style on the characters in this show.

Another thing that is beautifully rendered is the city of Hong Kong. Unfortunately, it is an insanely idealised version of city steeped in magic and mystery and I’m sure it bears little resemblance to what Hong Kong is like in reality. You know how there’s that mental illness Japanese people get when they visit Paris and it’s nothing like what they imagined (largely because the city reeks of piss and everyone is super rude)? Well, I’m worried I’ll get that if I visit Hong King now because of this movie. Still, it would be nice to imagine Hong Kong as a place that still has mystical shrines and bird markets.

As a word of warning, if you watch this movie without watching any of the TV series, you will be confused as fuck. You need to have a core understanding of who these characters are and what it is they are doing. If you watch it without having seen the show, you will have all sorts of questions like: “who be dis bitch with the bow and arrow?” and “why is the main character acquiescing to her creepy friend’s requests to film her.” Fortunately, all of the episodes are on Youtube! I’m just going to conveniently leave a link right here and hope some of you take the bait.


  • This girl’s fashion sense is on point!
  • Epic battle scenes. The one with the water was boss.
  • Great animation and sound editing.
  • LGBT friendly.
  • Screaming catchphrases like “RELEEEAAASSSEE!!!!” and “WINDY!!!”


  • An unrealistically beautiful version of Hong Kong which I will never get to see.
  • Difficult to grasp if you’re not a fan of the show.
  • There is one scene that borders on racial insensitivity when portraying horny Chinese girls: “ME ROVE YOU RONG TIME!”


A surprisingly good movie which manages to capture all that is enjoyable about the TV show without distorting its plot or timeline. Cardcaptor Sakura truly is a wonderful anime and I would encourage you all to give it a go. When I’m in Japan I will no doubt visit Akihabara (Tokyo’s video game and manga district) and while I’m there I will try to hunt down some Cardcaptor Sakura memorabilia….maybe a fierce battle outfit like this saucy cat number….I’ll be the most kawaii journalist in London.



Filed under Good, Kids

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)


Genre: Kids, Action/Adventure

Cast: All your favourite whose names you can no longer remember…there’s the red one and then the blue one etc.

Synopsis: This is essentially a bad 90s exercise video with a random British jungle bint, purple goo, and animal ninjas.

Sometimes I like to look back on some of the things I loved as a kid. Often, I will become all nostalgic and remember why I loved that thing so much. Other times, I will think to myself: “what the fuck was I thinking?” Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie falls into that latter category. Fortunately, wisdom comes with age and with wisdom comes the ability to detect scam artists. This movie is an hour and a half long commercial in which sexy, young, and athletic California teens hock activity gear like roller blades and parachutes but deride shitty toys like tubs of purple goo which do nothing. I guess it’s a noble effort but the end result is so hysterically bad in a 90s kind of way it’s hard to take it seriously in today’s world.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved Power Rangers as a kid. In fact, the blue Power Ranger was probably my first real crush….a fact made even more depressing by the fact that the actor who played the blue ranger sent himself to a “Pray-Away-the-Gay” camp. Yeah, he did. Fortunately he came to his senses so if you’re still single blue ranger then hit me up. Anyway, looking back on it all, I can’t remember what the Power Rangers was actually about. Was is all about a bunch of hot 90s teens fighting monsters alongside an alien face and a retarded robot? What the fuck were the bad guys? The film didn’t really clarify anything and, in fact, it made things a lot more complicated by having the Power Rangers travel to a distant planet to speak with some woman with a jungle bikini and a British accent in order to connect with spirit animals. Suddenly, they’re all ninjas and in the background I can hear parents groan about how they’re going to have to waste their money on another piece of shitty merchandise.

It’s sad to think that there are movies out there which get made purely to sell toys. The GI Joe movie is an example, as is Batman and Robin. However, the funny thing about Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie is that it kind of does its toy-selling pitch in a self-hating way. Although it shows the fun of owning a pair of rollerblades as well as punching people who look different to you, it also warns kids about the dangers of buying things which do fuck all and turn you into slaves to the man. Having said that, as a kid I probably would have wanted a tub of purple goo and would have bugged my mum to get it. I guess the message didn’t really work on me.


  • Reigniting my passion for the blue ranger.
  • I’m sure the villain says: “You’ll be shitting wings in the morning.” I guess weed doesn’t improve my hearing.
  • The Power Rangers has this vaguely Japanese feel to it and I started to reminisce about all sorts of good Japanese cartoons which were similar in one way or another….Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura for example.
  • I wonder what my spirit animal would be.
  • Why are they fire hosing a bunch of kids?


  • The soundtrack sounds like it was written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
  • The acting is shocking.
  • The movie kind of encourages you to be aggressive.


Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie is the sort of movie you should watch with a group of friends when you’re reminiscing about how great the 90s were and you all need a serious reality check. The 90s were an awful and confusing time between the go-go 80s and the unrelenting terror of the millennium and the dot-com age. Still, when I have kids, I’ll force them to watch this so they can learn about the hardships of growing up before Adventure Time and before Studio Ghibli became popular in the west. In the meantime, 90s shows and their movie counterparts still hold pretty good comedy value so I can’t score this film too harshly.



Filed under Action/Adventure, Good, Kids

The Dark Crystal (1982)


Genre: Kids, Horror

Cast: It’s a bunch of freaky-ass animatronic puppets

Synopsis: Jen, a “Gelfling” (whatever the fuck THAT is) must embark on a quest to restore balance to his world by returning a lost shard of crystal to a fuck off huge gem.

When I was a kid, one of my favourite films to watch at this time of year was (and still is) A Muppet Christmas Carol. I love that movie so much that I went to a sing-a-long of it yesterday which was incredible. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to watch another Jim Henson film to prepare myself for the Muppet Christmas wonderfulness so I decided to watch The Dark Crystal after finding a director’s cut of it online. I had never seen this film as a kid and let’s just say that I was unprepared for its creepy weirdness.

The animatronics in this film were revolutionary for their time and they certainly are impressive. However, it is technology that should never have been used to bring some of the creepiest characters to life. The villains in this film are some of the freakiest things ever to be show on film. They’re like these emaciated people-lizard-vultures that worship this evil crystal and are about as terrifying as Angelica Houston in The Witches. Even the heroes in this movie creeped me out because they looked like children who had some really bad plastic surgery done to them in order to fulfil some kind of twisted Lord of the Rings fantasy. Quite frankly, I’m surprised I didn’t get nightmares from some of these puppets and I can only guess at how many children were scarred for life by this movie.

I wish I could comment more upon the actual plot of The Dark Crystal but I was so baked when I watched this. I basically got some new stuff from a friend and it was stronger than I expected. For about 75 per cent of the movie I convinced myself that the characters were not speaking English. I therefore began to think that I was watching some kind of nature documentary but with really ugly creatures. Before I knew it I was most of the way through the movie and I realised that they were actually speaking English and then some vulture-like prozzie showed up and then there was a surprise shanking. That is truly all I was able to get from this film and I had to wiki it once it was over.

Despite not really understanding a lot of this film, at the end I thought that there was something very familiar about it. After thinking about it for a while I realised that the plot was almost identical to one of the greatest shows one earth, Through the Dragon’s Eye. Now, if you went to an English primary school you probably would have watched this and probably loved every second of it. It’s a series which teaches kids to read and count and it follows three proper London brats as they travel to a magical land and have to find crystal shards to fix the world’s life-force-gem called the Veetacore. That shit is intense and it’s got some epic fight scenes. If you grew up without this then I pity you and you must educate yourself immediately. Get stoned before you do though; the word and counting puzzles become surprisingly challenging if you do.


  • Surprise shanking was a pretty good twist.
  • Creepy as hell.
  • Reminded me of one of the greatest TV shows ever made.


  • I had absolutely no idea what was going on in this movie.


I suspect that The Dark Crystal is actually a really good movie and seriously trippy. However, I just did not get it. One thing is for sure, I will not be showing this movie of nightmares to my future children. No, I think I’ll stick to watching a man in a papier-mâché dragon costume fight a skeleton-wizard. If you would like to watch The Dark Crystal, however, I suggest you pay attention to what’s going on and try not to get distracted by the animatronic carnival of horrors.



Filed under Horror, Kids, Meh

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)


Genre: Kids, Animation

Cast: Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson

Synopsis: Angela Lansbury plays a witch in training who takes in three young guttersnipes evacuated from London during WWII and together they go on wild journey to find a magical artefact which will defend England from baby-eating Nazis.

When it comes to movies which evoke a sense nostalgia, in my opinion nothing beats this 70s classic musical which is essentially a low-budget Harry Potter. I remember watching this movie again and again when I was about five and it was my first exposure to the awesomeness that is Angela Lansbury. My phone has Angela Lansbury saved in its autocorrect and I am proud and thankful for that. Bedknobs and Broomsticks has everything a young kid could possibly want in a movie: songs and dancing, low-budget magic affects, animation and Angela fucking Lansbury.

Although probably not as popular as Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks offers something that movie doesn’t: cold, hard grit. Whereas the kids in Mary Poppins are spoilt brats who complain at the end of the movie because their coked up au pair won’t tell them she loves them, the kids in this movie get threatened with a royal shanking on Portabello Road. Not only that, Angela Lansbury gets cunt-punted by a pair of magical shoes and David Tomlinson gets accosted by a gaggle of English prostitutes. This movie offers more than your typical Disney fare.

At its heart though, this movie does have a wonderful message. If you pay attention to it, you can see that his movie is teaching kids about the magic of books and reading. Thanks to books, the children are transported away from the sadness they face in their lives when they are evacuated from London during WWII. These kids go on all sorts of awesome adventures and save our fair virgin isles from the masochistic phallic bigotry that was Nazi ideology. In my opinion, getting your kids interested in books is one of the most worthwhile things you can do. If your kid can sit quietly for a while reading a book, they’re set for life…not least because they can defeat Nazis.

Seriously though, Bedknobs and Broomsticks is crazy-whimsical. How can a movie with animal football/soccer not entertain and delight? If you’re looking for a film which will enable you to rediscover a sense of childhood adventure and wonder then this is the film you should watch.


  • Angela Lansbury. I love her. There is a video on youtube of her doing morning exercises and affirmations. It’s from her exercise tape from the 80s or 90s. When I get old that’s what I want to do, make some bullshit exercise tape that is so inspirational and bad at the same time. I also want to be Jessica Fletcher. She just travels around writing crime fiction, solving murders and accusing her friends and acquaintances of committing those murders. Such a charmed life.
  • Beautifully constructed sets.
  • Wonderfully charming songs. I now walk up Portobello Road singing the Portabello Road song.


  • [SPOILER ALERT] In the end David Tomlinson goes off to war and it’s sad to think he may have died in battle.
  • Although I sing the Portobello Road song every morning, I’m not accosted by Indians and Scottish dancers which spoils it a little. Now it’s all just yummy mummies and expensive coffee shops. Where are all the prozzies and gangsters threating you with a shiv?


If you watched this movie as a kid, you were one lucky fucker. I look at kids movies today and some of them are so shit. Turbo? Planes? Seriously, what the fuck is that shit? These movie studios need to get schooled Angela Lansbury style. Anyway, I digress. This is a great movie to be stoned for but if you get so stoned that you begin to think your bed is moving and taking you to a far off place, you’ve probably gone too far and it could get really freaky.



Filed under Animation, Great, Kids

Coraline (2009)

Genre: Kids, Horror, Animation

Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French

Synopsis: After moving to a new home, Coraline discovers a passageway into strange world where everything is perfect but beneath all the fun and excitement is a dark and twisted core that Coraline must overcome to save her parents.

In a lot of ways Coraline is like the westernized horror version of Spirited Away. In fact, the stories are incredibly similar and both films deal with the same themes, namely maturity and overcoming sadness and selfishness by toughening up and facing problems head on. Although the two films are very similar in story and themes, the style and artistic direction could not be more different. The animation in Spirited Away is awe-inspiring, colorful, and lush whereas in Coraline it’s dark, brooding, and haunting. The overall feeling in Coraline is a sinister one and at times it feels like we’re watching some sort of bizarre twisted fucked-up Cirque Du Soleil shit…only without the gyrating crotches in the face.

You shouldn’t be surprised by the dark nature of this film though because it’s based on a story by Neil Gaiman. For those of you who are not familiar with Gaiman’s work, I suggest you read ‘American Gods’ which is a fascinating story about how immigrants who came to the US brought their own beliefs and Gods with them. Still, those of you with young children might want to watch it alone beforehand to see if it’s really age appropriate. In my mind, there is not much scarier than a Teri Hatcher spider demon chasing you along a metallic spider web. Also, scary ghost children with buttons sewn into their eyes feature prominently which is rather freaky.

Even though this is technically a film for kids, there is a lot for adults to enjoy and plenty for baked adults to enjoy. For instance, older fans of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders will be delighted to see them lend their voices to the film as they play a pair of eccentric old ladies with a bunch of dead dogs. What’s funny about it is that they essentially swap roles with Dawn French voicing the Saunders-esque character and Jennifer voicing the plumper of the two characters. Also, there are some super trippy scenes such as the ones involving the light up garden and the mouse circus. The film is surprisingly accessible for both children and adults although the latter will probably understand the parents’ perspective.

All in all, Coraline is a good horror introduction to your kids and it teaches them valuable lessons about strength and independence. If you don’t have kids then all the more reason to watch this high. I hope someone out there actually does get the idea to turn this into a stage play or some sort of Cirque Du Soleil performance because that would be trippy as shit. I think I’d go and just be like Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan in Knocked Up. Please somebody do this. Do a kickstarter or something. I’m looking at you Zach Braff….or Melissa Joan Hart to an extent.


  • The musical garden scene! Oooh it’s so pretty and I want that praying mantis machine thingy.
  • For a young girl, Coraline is stylish as fuck. I want her blue boots but most of all I want her yellow raincoat and sailor hat! Tres chic.
  • Wyborne’s sassy black grandma. Everyone needs a sassy black maternal figure in their life.
  • Great lessons and beautiful animation.


  • The tunnel between the real world and the other world is kind of vaginal I guess.


Yet another film I adore that is aimed at children. I don’t know why I love kids’ films so much but I do. Coraline is a great choice for those who enjoy horror-lite. The film has a lot of offer: stunning animation, great characters, well thought story, and age-appropriate thrills. More than that though is the fact that this film has a great message. I honestly prefer Spirited Away because that is just an unbelievable experience for the senses but I have to admit that Coraline came very close and is a worthy American competitor. I just hope that we get more kids films like this in the future.



Filed under Animation, Horror, Kids, Mind Blowingly Awesome

Spirited Away (2001)

Genre: Kids, Animation, Drama, Romance

Cast: Daveigh Chase, Jason Marsden, Michael Chiklis

Synopsis: A sullen young girl enters the world or spirits after her parents are turned into pigs for eating food that didn’t belong to them. She must work in a bath house for the spirits and discover her courage to save her parents and return home.

Spirited Away is the Studio Ghibli film that everyone has heard about and the one that is considered Hayao Miyazaki’s magnum opus. Whilst the latter is certainly debatable, there is no doubt that this movie is an absolute masterpiece. It’s a sumptuously animated coming of age tale about a girl who is trapped in the world of spirits and must work at a bath house for a witch. Whilst at the bath house, she encounters a marvelous array of characters and is forced to look within herself and learn valuable lessons about courage, conviction, and love.

This movie won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The win was well-deserved. In contrast to many western animated features, Spirited Away never patronizes its audience. The central themes of the movie, though simple and familiar, are presented with a touching complexity that possesses a resonant honesty. Nothing is black and white. Instead, everything lies somewhere in the middle. There is no pure good or pure evil, the key is to find the inner strength that enables us to turn our backs on the bad and to find the conviction to keep moving forward towards the good. This message is perhaps exemplified in the relationship between Chihiro and No-Face, the film’s semi-antagonist. Chihiro understands No-Face’s unhappiness and, in the face of certain death, sacrifices her own chance of saving her parents for his own well-being. She understands his dark side but sees his good side too and encourages it to flourish. In my opinion, films too often occupy themselves with the idea that evil can be vanquished but that’s a mistake and doesn’t reflect reality. Evil and sadness are innate and, instead of killing them outright, we should face these problems, accept them and not feed them so that they grow out of control. Evil will always be a part of us but we all have the power to control it. This is a theme that is featured in a lot of Miyazaki’s work, such as Princess Mononoke, but it feels a lot more accessible in Spirited Away and a lot more relatable.

With regard to the visuals, I can’t begin to describe the beauty of the animation. Everything is crafted with expert precision. There are times in this movie when I have to be completely silent in order to appreciate the splendor of it all. Whether it’s a train gliding across the ocean, a bustling bath house stretches out like a fortress, or a walk through walls of wild flowers, the most basic scenes possess a resounding gorgeousness that can be appreciated by everyone.

Whilst this is definitely a kids’ film, I think that a lot of the themes will be lost on the young. However, Spirited Away is a film that stays with you and the more you watch it the more you understand. As such, it’s essential viewing for people with young kids. As I have said numerous times, I plan to force my kids to watch the entire Studio Ghibli catalog. I think it’ll make them grow up to be good people. I hope it will at least. For adults, I think the messages are still applicable. Even though it’s a story about growth and maturity, we’re always growing and learning. Spirited Away has the power to remind us of our strength.


  • Spectacular animation.
  • Complex characters that really satisfy. There is no weak-link here.
  • The ending. The unsure and almost mournful look back to the past and that strong and confident turn to confront what lies ahead, safe with the knowledge that accomplishments can be made.


  • None.


This movie probably isn’t to everyone’s tastes but it needs to be seen at least once. Also, I’d recommend watching the original Japanese version. The dub is good too but I think the original dialogue has a little more depth to it. Weed isn’t necessary to enjoy this movie but it certainly adds an interesting perspective to the viewing experience. I’d prefer to watch this after smoking something that will give a cerebral high. The animation and color become all the more vivid as a result. Keep this movie for a sad day and for when you need cheering up. It’s the perfect remedy for the blues.



Filed under Animation, Drama, Kids, Mind Blowingly Awesome, Romance