100 Things I Want to Show my Kids Before They Turn 12- Part 5!

by - Sunday, September 08, 2013



Here we are at the end!! Are you worn out yet??? Me too. Man, these future entirely hypothetical spawn of mine are spoiled brats!  The saddest part is that we have reached the part where all I can do is make weird noises and coo because I love them so much. So this should be fun for everyone. Also, I should note that The Bible, among other things like the Pledge of Allegiance and that sort of thing, did not make this list, because it feels like it should be under a different category that is less about culture. Please don't clutch your pearls. Here we are, end of the list!

1. Wizard of Oz- The ultimate kids movie, minus the suicide in the background. That movie is pretty much perfect from start to finish. MGM should thank their lucky stars that Shirley Temple shot them down, because Judy Garland is heaven in this movie. As a kid she turns out one of her top 5 (??) best performances of all time. The movie passes the Bechtel test (what up!), shows real heroicism from almost all of its characters, and does great things with color. You are doing your child a disservice if you don't let them in on this one.

From tumblr
2. The Paper Bag Princess- Have you read this book? If not, go do so. You can thank me later. It's a pretty hilarious response to all those Disney Princesses without being mean-spirited or condescending. It is simply about a tough cookie who goes on her own adventure and realizes maybe the boy isn't the ultimate prize.

3. The Goonies- My number 3 favorite movie of all time. I can't even talk about it. I love it so much.

4. Wall-E- The Boy's #1 favorite movie of all time. He is definitely right that it is the best Pixar movie, and it has lots of good morals about what happens if you get too attached to just being a passive consumer rather than an active agent in your own life. Plus, there are cute robots and robot love.
From youtube.com
5. All the Fleisher Betty Boop Cartoons- At the beginning of animation as an art form, it shows so much of what animation can be. The bodies are elastic. Everything is just crazy enough that you can't trust it to behave, and in the best moments, Cab Calloway sings. I am thankful we saw these as kids, and now that I am older, I love them even more, because I really understand how spectacular their strangeness is. I probably watch the Snow White cartoon like once a month anyway, so they won't be able to miss it. These are heaven.

6. The Lorax- Sad and important. This is one everyone has to read to their kids, right? Don't they take the kids away if you don't?

7. Adventures of Baron Munchauson- Terry Gilliam at his best. I love this one (I would say almost twice as much as Time Bandits) for all its nuttiness and beauty. Uma Thurman as Bottecelli's Venus? Robin Williams as the moon? In some ways, it has a structure similar to the Wizard of Oz (another female protagonist!), but it just shows off everything that director can do.

From amazon.com
8. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales- Best children's book ever? At the very least, it is one of the most hilarious. I am already looking forward to reading this with my nephew after he gets going on his kindergarten adventures! Just funny.

9. The Muppet Show- "It's time to play the music/ It's time to light the lights" You know what's sad? Our children will recognize nearly none of the celebrity guests on the show, but it is still important that they experience Pigs in Space.

10. Harry Potter (Read them the Books)- My dream is that we would read these to our kids like my dad read to us as kids. On the other hand, that is a pretty long term reading commitment. I am reading them right now (book 6! Almost done!), and other than the insufferable whineyness of book 5, I have loved them.

11. Silver Cornet Band concerts in the Park- I have no idea what the future holds for us, in terms of location, but I like to imagine we will end up somewhere not so far that my kids think it is somewhat normal to go to the park and listen to some marches. That park, the smell of popcorn, and some freaking marches (we love you, John Phillip Sousa) add up to summer to me.

12. The Monkees- Best television show of all time? Maybe. Most educational? Probably not, though I am sure I learned something. This show is really aimed at a youthful (immature?) audience, but it has great music, wool hats, and everything happy and good. Ok, maybe an overstatement, but we loved it as kids (granted, we didn't have tv, so it was the closest we could get), and I hope my kids are into it too.

13. The Muppet Movies- I am talking the old ones, but I think some of the newer ones are really fun too. The newest one really just reminds you of how great the first one was.

14. Pirates of Penzance- LOVE. Ok, clearly this is true for all of these, but man! This movie is the bomb. It is so funny.

15. The Nightmare Before Christmas- Ack! No this is the best Christmas movie! I can't decide. Do you notice how short these are getting? It's because there is no way to articulate the pure sentiment these movies generate. I feel like I would be doing my kids a disservice not to show them these, because they are so special.
16. A Wrinkle in Time- You go, Madeline L'engle.
17. Cedar Point- I rode my first roller coaster there, and I still think it is the best amusement park ever (has anyone else noticed that today the list is covered in hyperbole?). It has great rides, and just more stuff crammed into a space than you can imagine. Also, you get to enjoy the beauty and grandeur of northern Ohio.
18. Monsoon Wedding- This is one of the ultimate comfort movies for me. Romantic and playful, without being false about the kind of dramas that inevitably emerge when you put a bunch of family members in one place. It also makes me really wish I could go to an Indian wedding, because they look like a blast!
From disgeek.com
19. Hercules- my favorite Disney movie. The Muses are basically my favorite Disney creation ever, and Meg is a total badass who actually learns and changes! This one is just fun and hilarious and gives a pretty cursory (see: incorrect) overview of Greek mythology.
20. Hairspray- Great musical (and I really love the movie version). It radiates joy and love and acceptance. It feels happy even though it is dealing with some really big issues. I just think it would be a great movie for kids.

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