Once upon a time you actually had to leave the goddamn house just to have talking animals trot around your 20” Panasonic flat screen. Now that Blockbuster has gone A over T and you don’t even need to leave the couch to cast something from your phone onto the 70” curved-mirror-3D-smart-HD-interactive TV that takes up a whole wall in your bedroom, it’s easy to forget about the cheeky flix that first made you fall in the love with the silver screen.
So, here are 10 movies from your childhood that’ll have you hunting for your old Girlfriend magazines before you can say talking-cats-wearing-human-clothes.
The Adventures Of Milo & Otis
This absolute tear-jerker was the anthem of our childhood. The story revolves around an unlikely pair of friends—an orange tabby cat and a smol pug—who go on a series of adventures after the box Milo is playing in falls into a gushing stream. After a few close calls involving ten-foot mammals, the two are reunited with their animal lovers, because it was the 80s. Whatever you do, DO NOT Google how many kittens were killed in the making of this film.
This bad boy is a little closer to home. Filmed in Sydney, a little pupper called Muffin (BE STILL MY BEATING HEART) lives with his human family and rejects his sweet dessert name, insisting on referring to himself as Napoleon. It’s basically a coming-of-age story for Labradors and it’s the cutest bloody thing anyone has ever seen. Twelve stars.
The Indian In The Cupboard
This family fantasy drama film is a bit of stretch in terms of plot line but basically follows the narrative that a boy gets a cupboard as a sort of shit birthday prezzie from his brother and later discovers that if he puts toys in it, the cupboard brings them to life. It’s your classic Harry met Cupboard scenario. The fine line between fantasy and reality adds the main rift in the storyline as Omri tries to hide the full grown Native Indian from his dad. While there are many things wrong with this movie, it’ll slap you with a fair whack of nostalgia.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
Basically in the nineties, there were no humans, which is why every protagonist was a golden retriever. It was a simpler time. Anyways, this little kid flick is no different. Narrated by a naughty American Bulldog called Chance (and voiced by Michael J. Fox), Homeward Bound is the story of learning to love the family you’re in, while also learning to swim and not drown in a river. A common plot point in nineties dog movies apparently. Moral of the story: don’t try and befriend a porcupine.
You probably have thought about Casper in the last decade, but have you really *thought* about it? This little computer-animated fantasy number was ahead of its time. Set in the town ‘Friendship’, two small boys are scared out of a mansion by a ghost called Casper and you know the rest. Casper falls in love with a chick on telly and hatches a plan to get her into his ghost dungeon and basically it was the soundtrack to many birthday sleepovers.
Fly Away Home
Released the following year was non-dog film, Fly Away Home. Loosely based on a true story, the film follows a young Anna Paquin, who recently lost her mother, as she finds a bunch of geese eggs, raises them to lil hatchlings and teaches them to follow planes. Classic. This feel-good sad-com probably wasn’t at the top of your Blockbuster pile but it definitely got a fair run in the VCR in its heyday.
If you don’t remember this classic, you didn’t live through the nineties. To refresh your memory - basically, the master and overlord of string dies and leaves his dilapidated old factory to his two sons. They are literally the most incapable human beings in the entire world and eventually the house is destroyed by a small rat. It’s kind of a painful movie to watch but it’s worth it for the #mems.
If, like me, the trailer to this movie gave you nightmares well into your teens, then you’re still a little frightened to hit it up on Youtube so I’ll give you a brief rundown. This early-nineties science fiction comedy is based on the old SNL sketches and features real-life aliens who are stranded on earth with MASSIVE heads. It’s literally what nightmares are made of and it’s probably not worth a re-watch but enjoy a few mental throwbacks before you put that back boy to bed for another two decades.
A Bug’s Life
Another animated classic that probably filled your fair share of afternoons is A Bug’s Life. This insect extravaganza is some tidy little subliminal messaging about standing up to your bullies and not dropping your lunch in the river. It’s also the most recent movie in this list and will probably trigger memories of the other bug movie released in the same year - Antz.
The Swan Princess
Speaking in pure bias, this is the only movie on the list that matters. If you weren’t shipping Odette and Derek from the ripe old age of three, then you don’t believe in true love. And if you weren’t mimicking Jean-Bob’s accent until your mum locked you in your bedroom and confiscated your Baby Born, then you weren’t living your best life. Bonus points for also having the soundtrack memorised and written on the inside of your year one maths book.
Looking to watch something a little more current? Here's everything you should be binge-watching this February.