Today I get to talk about a fantastic subject: the movies that started my love for film and cinema. This is brought to you by the wonderful Caz from Let’s Go to the Movies and her The Film That Started It All Blogathon. I have already reviewed all of the films that “started it all” for me. So instead of a review, I will tell you about some of my early experiences with these films and why those experiences are important to me. In my about page, I briefly mention this topic but who really reads my about page anyway?
When talking about early films in my life, there are so many I could discuss. I could talk about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze and how I would watch it everytime I would spend the night at my Grandparents’ house. I could talk about how Jurassic Park was the first PG-13 my parents let me watch. I could talk about Ocean’s Eleven and Wild Wild West and how my best friend and I would watch those all the time together and, between the two of us, quote both of those movies in their entirety. I could talk about Million Dollar Baby and how that was the first movie that really made me consider blogging about movies because I was disappointed no one personally told me how amazing it is. But I’m not going to talk about any of that.
Depending on how long you’ve followed me and this blog, you might have an idea of what movies I will talk about. I’m going to talk about three movies. Well, two movies and a trilogy. Of course, I’m talking about Aladdin, Disney’s 31st animated feature film, Toy Story, Pixar’s groundbreaking first feature film, and the Star Wars Original Trilogy, George Lucas’ revolutionary space opera.
Before moving on, I feel like I should give you some background of Disney’s importance in my family. In short, we are a Disney family. One of my aunts had Mickey Mouse decorations all around her house. Every Christmas and birthday another aunt gets me Disney movies. We aren’t afraid to bust out the Disney Charades or the Disney Edition of Scene It? at family gatherings. Recently when shopping, I came across a game centered around Diseny songs and promptly bought it and shared my discovery with my family, which was met with resounding elation. One Halloween, my cousin and I dressed up as Aladdin and Jasmine. And currently, there is a standing Disney duet challenge between my sister and me and two of our cousins. So yea, Disney is an important part of my family and an integral piece of my life.
Honestly, I don’t remember much about how I got into Aladdin, it came out when I was a toddler, but what I remember, and what my parents always remind me of, was how often I watched it. As soon as it was over, I would rewind it and rewatch it immediately. This was a daily occurrence in my house. Often watching it multiple times a day, multiple days a week. Since I was as a kid, it’s hard to say what exactly captured my attention about the film but I have some good guesses. First, the songs. They are so catchy and easy to dance to, especially when you aren’t aware you have no sense of rhythm. Second, Genie. Played by the one-of-a-kind Robin Williams, Genie was so energetic and funny. I didn’t get most of the pop culture references but I didn’t care. Here was this blue guy flying around on screen being funny and causing all kind of magic to happen on screen. And third, the action and adventure. Since Aladdin was a male protagonist, the film catered more towards a male audience. Where a movies like Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid were more of a romance, Aladdin played out much differently. While it did have a princess, the relationship between her and Aladdan wasn’t the focus; there was much more action and a sense of adventure, which no doubt captured my young imagination.
Not long after, another movie caught my attention. At the time, I didn’t understand how innovative Toy Story was for Hollywood and animation, I just knew I really, really enjoyed it. Like Aladdin before it, Toy Story was constantly in my VCR and played on repeat. I had already conditioned my parents to watch the same movie over and over again, so continuously watching Toy Story never phased them. The same things that drew me to Aladdin also drew me to Toy Story. The story was great, I loved the characters, and it was exciting, keeping my little kid mind occupied. Also, I couldn’t get enough of the 3D animation. Of course, the fact that Woody’s and Buzz’s and all the other toy’s owner was named Andy added greatly, too. That shared name between me and the movie’s Andy helped me form a bond and personal connection to the characters that I didn’t have with other films.
I’ve mentioned my parents several times. My dad’s influence was responsible for my
obsession love of a galaxy far, far away. I wouldn’t call him a hardcore Star Wars fan, but he did enjoy them. I remember the year he received the “Faces” Original Trilogy VHS box set for his birthday. He didn’t push me to watch them but he didn’t have to. Once I watched them, I was hooked. I would regularly pop one of them, usually A New Hope or Return of the Jedi with The Empire Strikes Back sprinkled in there every now and then, after school or on the weekend. My ninth birthday was Star Wars themed, from the cake to even my presents. My dad and I shared many movie tastes but Star Wars would always be special to us. The Phantom Menace would become the first movie I saw twice in theaters. He enjoyed it so much after our first viewing he went to see it a second time and I wasn’t about to refuse because honestly, I enjoyed it quite a bit, too. After that, we would see every new Star Wars movie together. Unfortunately, he passed away before The Last Jedi was released. Given how divisive it was among fans, I would have loved to hear his opinions on it.
Over the years, my movie tastes have changed and evolved. However, my appreciation and enjoyment for action, adventure, and comedy can be traced back to these films. Many movies have influenced me as a cinefile and my love for the cinema, but you might say these are the films that started it all!
Thanks for reading! Check out the rest of the wonderful entries for Caz’s The Film That Started It All Blogathon.
Until next time, cheers!