My Top 12 Favorite Childhood Movies

March 15, 2007

I’ve enjoyed movies for as long as I can remember, and I can still recall the movies I loved as a kid. I’ve probably forgotten about some over the years, but in reverse order, here are my top 12 favorite childhood movies:

indiansummer.jpgNUMBER 12: Indian Summer

“Indian Summer” was a movie about eight friends that reunite for a week-long reunion at a summer camp they used to attend as children. The friend’s are all now in their 30’s, and it’s a movie about rediscovering your youth and going back to a time when you were at your happiest. I don’t have a lot of specific memories about this movie, other than me and Vanessa loved it as kids. I’d like to see it again, as it’s been probably 12 years since I last saw it.

weekendatbernies.jpgNUMBER 11: Weekend at Bernie’s

Two dumb young losers happen to find their boss has been shot and killed, and in order to avoid becoming suspects they come up with the great idea of simply pretending he is still alive. They drag his dead body around with them everywhere, continually getting into comical situations. The man who originally tried to kill Bernie, now thinks he’s still alive so he is now chasing the boys everywhere attempting to kill Bernie for good. It’s one of those great cheesy 80’s comedies anyone who saw it as a kid will always have fond memories of.


dropdeadfreddvd.jpgNUMBER 10: Drop Dead Fred

Drop Dead Fred, a movie about a girl who’s annoying childhood imaginary friend returns and won’t go away, is a movie I loved as a kid. This is probably a movie, if I were to watch it again, I would hate. It sounds like an awful movie, but it’s the kind of thing a 10 year old boy loves. I remember it being hilarious, especially the character of Fred. I probably rented this movie 15 times when I was a boy.


gijoe.jpgNUMBER 9: G.I. Joe: The Movie

G.I. Joe was always the “other show” in comparison to The Transformers, but I still enjoyed it. I don’t remember watching the TV much as a kid, finding the US military story lines too boring. The movie, however, was awesome. Instead of fighting the usual terrorists, G.I. Joe was up against some mutant underground alien super villains. How this had anything to do with the story of the TV show, I have no idea. I loved the movie, and I can still remember how pissed off I was when someone taped over my copy with a stupid Care Bears episode.

3ninjas.jpgNUMBER 8: Three Ninjas

It’s funny how movies so horrible can be loved by kids. I don’t want to see this movie again, as it will no-doubt ruin my memories of it, but as a kid this was the coolest movie to me. What 10 year old boy doesn’t want to be a ninja? The movie is about three kids, with cool nick names like “Rocky”, “Colt” and “Tum Tum” (okay, maybe not Tum Tum), who are taught the ninja ways by their Grandfather. They are kidnapped by an enemy of their Father’s, who is unaware of their ninja skills. Hilarious ninja gags and hi-jinx ensue.

ninjaturtlesmovie.jpgNUMBER 7: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Everyone born between 1975 and 1995 has seen this movie, so there’s no need to describe what it’s about. The Ninja Turtles were one of the most popular cartoons of the 80’s and 90’s and this movie was a no-brainer. It was actually a pretty decent movie, and the 80’s feel to it is excellent. I watched it about a year ago, and it is really funny to see what was cool back in 1990. It was actually still an entertaining movie, and was, like most originals, much better than the following two sequels.

greatoutdoors.jpgNUMBER 6: The Great Outdoors

John Candy was the comedian of the late 80’s and early 90’s. I loved all of his movies, but The Great Outdoors was one of my favorites. This was one of those “relaxing vacation goes horribly wrong” type of movies, and probably one of the first in it’s genre. It’s an excellent movie, and I think one of the funniest things I had ever seen as a kid was when the bear got shot in the ass. Absolutely hilarious!

homealone.jpgNUMBER 5: Home Alone

Home Alone was the movie that made Macaulay Culkin a star, and for good reason. He is great in this movie, and in the sequel as well. This is another great “smart kid plays gags on stupid criminals” movie. Probably the best of it’s kind, however. I’m sure I watched this movie at least 20-30 times as a kid, and enjoyed it each and every time. It’s one of those timeless movies that will always be enjoyable.

coolrunnings.jpgNUMBER 4: Cool Runnings

Cool Runnings is another great John Candy movie. The film is based on a true story about the first ever Jamaican bobsled team to make it to the Winter Olympics. My Dad was just in Jamaica, and apparently it is still quite a popular movie over there. When I originally saw Cool Runnings, I remember thinking it was the funniest movie I had ever seen. I haven’t seen it for at least ten years, but it seems to me that it would be the kind of movie that would still be great even now.

lion-king-dvd3.jpgNUMBER 3: The Lion King

In my mind, “The Lion King” is the best Disney movie of all time. Even now, I can watch it and enjoy it. I was 12 when it came out, and even though I thought I was getting too old for cartoons, and didn’t want to admit, I still liked the Lion King a lot. At the time, the animation seemed far and above any 2D film I had seen before. The story is excellent, and like Disney has done several times, they created a classic with the Lion King.

landbeforetime.jpgNUMBER 2: The Land Before Time

Every child has a “dinosaur” phase, and I was lucky enough for mine to happen right when The Land Before Time was released. If my memory serves me right, this was the first ever movie I saw in a theatre. It’s an excellent film. The characters are great, the story is great, and even the animation was pretty good for the time it was made. It’s unfortunate the movie’s reputation has been tarnished thanks to it’s 472 sequels, but the original is still one of the greatest memories of my childhood.

the_transformers_dvd.jpgNUMBER 1: Transformers: The Movie

Anyone who knows me or has read my blog before could have easily guessed which movie would be ranked number 1. Transformers was the staple of my childhood, and most of my best memories somehow involve them. This movie is the only film on this list that still ranks among my favorite movies, and it probably always will, based on it’s pure nostalgic value.

> Read more ‘Top 10’ posts



  1. Drop Dead Fred was my favourite movie as a kid (aside from “Overboard,” a Goldie Hawn classic). I still hate jack-in-the-boxes because of that movie!

  2. Pretty good list Matt. I don’t have time to search for mine but from your list I would say Three Ninjas, Ninja Turtles, Lion King and Home Alone.

    Some others just off the top of my head … The Goonies, Matilda (Me and my bro would laugh so hard at this one), The Jungle Book (First movie at a drive in theatre I believe), Aladdin and Angeles in the Outfield. That’s all I can remember for now.

  3. Few more … ET, Karate Kid, Never Ending Story and Back to the Future

  4. Matt that’s a pretty good list. I still laugh out loud at scenes from The Great Outdoors and TMNT, G.I.Joe and Tranformers are my childhood geek classics.

    I would have to say my favorite childhood movie is Star Wars since it’s the first movie I remember seeing.

  5. Yay for TMNT! I’m pretty stoked about the new movie that’ll come out soon actually.

    I loved Home Alone as well. I used to always try to copy the kid and devise booby traps around the house.

  6. Good list. I wasn’t as big a fan of three ninjas but I was a bit older than you when it came out.

    Our lists are pretty close
    12)Roger Rabitt
    11) Edward Scissor Hands
    10) D.A.R.R.Y.L.
    9) Flight of the Navigator
    8) Home Alone
    7) Never Ending Story
    6) The Wizard
    5) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    4) Transformers
    3) Goonies
    2) Ghostbusters
    1) Back to the Future

    Honorable mentions to Drop Dead Fred, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Great Outdoors, Alladin, ET, Gremlins, Lion King, Peter Pan and Karate Kid and Little Monsters. There were so many. I still have never seen the GI Joe movie.

  7. Yeah, I forgot about the Wizard. That was an awesome movie. I’ve never actually seen Goonies, if you can believe it. Seems anyone who grew up in the 80’s loved that movie.

    Never Ending Story was good as well, although I was really, really young when I first watched it. Actually, if I remember correctly, I think I first watched it at your house, Tys.

    One movie I think I did forget, that would probably be on my list is “Short Circuit”. Anyone remember that one?

    Janelle… I remember Overboard, too… I loved that movie back in the day.

    Jason… Aladdin and Jungle Book were close to being on my list. Angels in the Outfield, and also “The Rookie” were good baseball movies.

    Speaking of Baseball, I also forgot about another classic… “The Sandlot”! What a sweet movie.

  8. Great list, Matt!

    Between you and everyone else above, I think you’ve pretty much summed up every movie from my childhood. Except my favourite two childhood movies, Ghostbusters 1 and 2!

    I also had a bit of a thing for Ariel, the Little Mermaid. And most of the other female Disney characters. Man, they were hot! …. For cartoon characters.

    That reminds me, what about Who Framed Roger Rabbitt? That really stuck in my childhood memory, as did Jessica Rabbitt. My god….

  9. Haha… yeah I liked Ghostbusters, but not quite enough for them to make the list. Same with Roger Rabbit. Little Mermaid was actually a pretty decent movie, too.

    I was probably 7 or 8 when I watched those movies, so I don’t think I was paying much attention to the women haha

    Oh, and Tys… I have G.I. Joe on DVD… we should watch it when you come stay at my place next month.

  10. I was exstatic to see that “Indian Summer” was on the list. I have to admit that I am still an in-the-closet watcher of that movie at least once every couple of years. Love it. You have a great list… I loved Ghostbusters though…had the whole thing memorized. Flight of the Navigator and Goonies were pretty awesome too. And then there was “The Princess Bride”… And as an aside…do you remember that horrible movie, “It’s Pat”?! I remember watching that one with you and peeing our pants over it’s ridiculousness…

  11. Haha yeah, I remember thinking “It’s Pat” was so hilarious, and funny you mention it, as I read an article a few days ago that listed it under one of the top 10 worst movies of all time. I don’t remember it being that bad… but then again, 10 year old kids are not necessarily good at picking out Oscar contenders.

    Another great one, although I think I was a little older when it came out (I tried to keep my list tp movies I saw when I was younger than 12) is “What About Bob?”. I loved that movie.

  12. What about:
    Fivel Goes West
    Rainbow Brite
    Muppets Take Manhattan
    All Dogs Go To Heaven
    and last but not least the Ewoks

  13. Hook was good, I remember really liking it. “RUFIO!”

    All Dogs go to heaven almost made my list.

    I don’t remember anything about Ewoks (but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it), never seen The Muppets movie, and I loved Fifel Goes West, too. I remember the second one as well: Fifel Goes… well, somewhere else.

  14. The first one was called an American Tale, the second one was Fievel Goes West. I remember them both being fairly average compared to the Disney movies.

    I LOVED the Muppet movies. Muppets in Space was hilarious, they all are. Muppets in Space was on tv a few weeks ago and my roomate watched it. His favorite movie as a kid.

    What about Follow That Bird? The movie where Big Bird runs away from home…and somehow ends up with Willie Nelson?? That was an awesome movie. Another gem I forgot was Big Top Peewee. That was an awesome movie.

    And the Sandlot….3 Fugitives….Little Monsters…..Waynes World…..the list goes on and on.

  15. I LOVED The Dark Crystal! I must have seen it at least 30 times, and that is not an exaggeration! My parents and I watched it on my birthday last year and i could still remember all the lines.

    I also enjoyed Ghostbusters, Neverending Story, Cool Runnings, and Roger Rabbit. I also really liked Unico, but maybe i shouldn’t admit that!

  16. The Great Outdoors is tops. I miss John Candy big time. But I actually prefer Weekend at Bernie’s II. It’s not better, but I had more fun watching it.

    When I was growing up, my uncle — the only person in the family who had HBO — gave me a VHS tape that had Conan the Destroyer, Aliens and The Princess Bride on it. Loved that tape, still love those movies.


  18. All these movies take me back… the movies mentioned are some of my favorites, but I must include Inner Space, The Explorers, License to Drive, The Lost Boys, The Burbs, Stand By Me, Gremlins, The Boy Who Could Fly, Kid Colter, Red Dawn, The Monster Squad, Toy Soldiers, Big…

    Although the following weren’t movies I still enjoyed them, the B.R.A.T Patrol and Jim Henson’s The Story Teller… there are so many movies I remember and enjoyed seeing but I can’t remember the names.

  19. i love weekend at bernies:D

  20. Hey there. I hate you btw;)

    shit films, your shit:) KWAM BRER!;)


  21. OMG I loved TMNT growing up, and Three Ninja kicked ASS and The Lion King was the cutest movie everrr. I think I might watch it here soon just to remember old times =)

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