Nothing can beat a good book and reading. Especially for young minds. But, bear with me. There’s something to be said for good television and movies don’t you think? I know all of my education and entertainment did not come from reading. There’s a good bit that came from watching some fantastic television.
If you’ve read any of my earlier posts you know I’m a bit of a nostalgic. You might just say I’m getting old and acting it :) Oh well, but my affinity for all things ancient started pretty young. Anything black and white and I’m in. I can and have watched the TCM - Turner Classic Movies hours on end. There is something so simple and pure about that time, even if it’s an illusion I hold, which makes it irresistible. I also think it was the beginning of a new era of creativity and innovation in television and movies for folks from my generation. We got to see some splendid shows, true classics that haven’t lost their luster to this day. If you remember back in the day we used to visit Movie libraries – to borrow VHS tapes. At least it was the tradition in our house in India every weekend. The place we frequented was called Tele-flicks! The gentleman who ran the store was a movie aficionado who I loved chatting with. It was a weekly ritual and over time he had exposed me to some real gems and I discovered my love of story-telling in yet another form.
Now as I am trying to build a similar tradition with my children I’ve been finding it hard to pick a good movie for their age. The movies tend to be too scary, especially Disney because there’s usually a parent dying which is horrific to my kids. Or else it tends to be much too basic. I’ve been looking for something rich and unique which inevitably brings me back to the good ole’ days.
Here’s a few old classics I remember:
Katy Caterpillar (Movie)
This one is not as popular but is one of my absolute favorites. It’s a tale of a precocious little caterpillar Katy who simply isn’t happy eating cherry tree leaves all day long like the rest of her clan. She doesn’t quite know what but this is not what she wants to do with her life. And so starts an interesting adventure of Katy’s quest to discover what it is she wants to be with an absolutely amazing ending.
The Aristocats (Movie)
This is a tale of a family of adorable aristocratic cats. The tale takes them through an adventure where they get ‘kit’napped by an evil butler. It is a wonderful movie with song and dance, a little romance and a happy ending.
The Jungle Book (Movie)
Another favorite. Even though it starts with a tale of an orphaned child this movie is one of a kind. Kipling’s characters are brought to life with such warmth you cannot help but fall in love with them. The songs and story adaptation is so exquisite, the humor sharp and witty – who can forget the Beatles reference with the vultures ‘So, what do you want to do?’ … ‘I don’t know what do you want to do?’ … The movie is truly unforgettable. This classic continues to wow kids and adults alike.
So the concept is pretty formulaic and antiquated. It does have a damsel in distress element which I’m probably not too crazy about. But this one worked especially well on me to eat more spinach. And though the kids protested, once they watched a couple of episodes they were begging me for Spinach :) I mean, who wouldn’t want muscles and strength like that!
The Pink Panther (series)
Not much talking here but the series was unique and it was quite intriguing to watch the cat and mouse chase between the inspector and the intelligent, self-assured, one of a kind pink panther. If not for anything else, just to hear that tune.
The Looney Tunes (series)
Politically incorrect, violent and nasty perhaps. But, boy do I love these shows. Daffy duck, bugs bunny, woody woodpecker – these were classic characters charming, conniving and witty all at once. The humor is physical and it also has plenty of word play and wit. There’s plenty of reading with large signs, if you can forgive the at times misspellings on purpose. You can call it the ‘noir’ genre for kids perhaps but I don’t mind it all and don’t think it made me any more violent or mean.
Any favorite old shows come to mind? Do let me know.
So, that's all folks :)
Previously published on myasays.com