This was due on December 2nd. I'm so sorry. Life is so damn busy that I totally forgot about this until yesterday. Luckily, I've known from the first day I read about Flick Chick's very first blogathon which movie I was going to talk about.
The rules were simple:
1. Write a post about your 'First Movie' (interpret that as you will), you can choose multiple movies if you have ideas for more than one - go nuts!
2. Include the banner above in your post and link it to this post.
3. Comment on this post or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you have contributed.
So, my first movie memorable movie experience is kind of shaky. I have a lot of movie memories from my youth, so figuring out the first was hard. I'm not sure I have it right. I mean, I remember Oliver and Company and All Dog's Go to Heaven being on heavy rotation in my house, and I have very fond memories of both. I remember countless movie musicals being staples, like Fiddler on the Roof, My Fair Lady and The King and I, all of which I was well versed in before I went to school. I remember sneaking to see Jaws as a child, possibly even pre-school age, and being so scared of it that I couldn't even look at the pool and even had nightmares that Jaws lived under my bed.
But one film stood out to me almost immediately, and because of that I decided it was the one to stick with.
What little boy isn't obsessed with dinosaurs? As a young child, I saw this film often. It was released when I was 3, and while I did not see it in the theaters, I know I saw it the minute it hit VHS, and we owned it, so I watched it countless times. The memory that I have of this that sent it over the edge for me, with regards to this particular blogathon, was that damn tree star. Growing up in New England, we had a slew of Maple Trees in our backyard, and if you're unfamiliar with their leaves, well:
I can't tell you how many of these things I ate. It's a good thing I'm not a horse (since, apparently they're toxic to horses). But yes, I was pretty much determined to be like Little Foot, and so I ate these with reckless abandon.
So, for this blogathon, I figured I'd sit down with the kids and watch this movie as a family. It's been, like, two decades since I saw this. I recently posted my 1988 Fisti Awards, and I included this in Original Song and in Score and had such fond memories of the film that I was thinking it could have an outside shot at Best Picture...but I'm glad I didn't do that, because sitting down last night to watch this it was clear that, nostalgia aside, this is kind of a bad movie. Like, it's so...not good. I still love the score and the song and the feeling of childhood rushing over me was pretty awesome (and my kids loved it, so snuggling on the couch with three kids on my lap while they smiled and cheered and recoiled in suspenseful excitement was a nice moment), but the film feels so rushed and somewhat hollow, cliched and underdeveloped and just, well, in parts very dumb. I mean, there is no logic to some sequences (like, Little Foot separates from the group to head in the opposite direction, and yet when his friends are about to die in lava, he's right around the corner?), the progression of character/plot is so swift that it feels like they just threw a bunch of random action scenes in a pot and stirred, and the actual character development is poor (like, Sarah just sucks).
But still, there were so many moments I remembered so clearly, despite the 20+ year span since the last time I saw this. The brier patch scene with the Sharp Tooth, the lava scene, the death of Little Foot's mother; hell, even the opening scene with the little water dino popping water bubbles was a moment I remembered clearly. So, for all of that, I enjoyed watching this again and sharing those moments with my kids. In fact, they've already watched it again this morning, so I feel like I gave them a part of my childhood, and that makes my heart smile, as a parent.
But I'd rather them watch Oliver and Company, because a recent revisit to that one proved just as fond as the first time I saw it.