Last weekend, I shared The Princess Bride with my kids for the first time. It's 25 years old (gosh, I'm ancient) and it's still 90 minutes of movie awesome. I think my husband and I could quote most if not all of it, but afterward, my kids were doing it, too.
I got the idea from Stephen Thompson, part of the PCHH podcast, after he shared The Princess Bride with his children. I think there's a whole episode of 'pop culture you should hand down to your kid' in their archives.
Then a Twitter conversation with Jo Bourne, Kristen Callihan and Tien Tien after I tweeted about the movie night made me think. Bourne tweeted, “Never thought 2 pass it along. Then one day The Kid says “Mom, there's this great movie …” Later: “Re movies we can share with our kids. In the old days it was passing along a favorite book ….”
I Storified the entire Twitter conversation if you're curious to read it.
I have several books I'm holding on to so that I can share them with my children in a few years. But only recently have I looked at the DVDs I own that I've kept and not culled after many moves and a de-cluttering bonanza, and questioned WHY I'm holding onto them. Many are seasons of older tv shows like SportsNight or Northern Exposure, which someday I'll share and definitely re-watch on my own. But they're not quite ready for either (or interested, I should think). Aside from all the DVDs that are theirs, there are few films I own that are ready to share with them, except The Princess Bride.
One of the reasons The Princess Bride worked so well is that my older son, known here as Freebird, said afterward, “I know you liked the romantic kissing parts, Mommy,” which, yeah, I totally did, and Fred Savage can hush up about them already. They understood what parts were the parts I liked – and I knew which parts they liked (swordfights! Giant! Actual giant!). Having books in common is much like having a favorite film in common with someone. At the least it gives you plenty to talk about. Plus, there is no shortage of reboots from my childhood for my children to watch. I'm still amazed that some things, like Care Bears, My Little Pony, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and even Scooby Doo never really went away. There are new versions every few years, a super-familiar form of recycling.
A lot of the time, I'm encountering new versions of my own childhood programs on television or in theatres. Whether I like it or not, things I watched as a child are being re-presented to all of us, and it's kind of fun to explain the differences when I notice them. It makes me wonder if there are other films from years ago that they'd enjoy (I've been haunting IMDB a LOT lately) and if other folks have noticed all the reboots. What other movies would you want to pass down or share with your kids? What shows or films from your childhood are reappearing in your life?