Eric: In childhood, there are dozens upon dozens of movies and TV shows being released, and much of them become staples and classics that are known by everyone. And then there are the movies and shows aimed at kids that were really good, but haven’t gotten the same amount of attention that something like SpongeBob SquarePants or Finding Nemo has gotten. They have more or less been swept away by the sands of time, and generally are either forgotten about or don’t get the attention that they deserved.
Julia: Eric and I compiled this list of forgotten movies and TV shows to show readers which ones we think deserve to be remembered, as well as to give the older half of this generation shows and films to reminisce over. I focused on some of the shows that I loved growing up, and Eric focused on the movies he enjoyed. We’ll be talking about the general premises or themes of these movies and/or shows, as well as what make them worth remembrance.
Eric: So, without further ado…
Eric’s List of Movies
- Stuart Little: Based off of the E.B. White story of the same name, this focused on a little mouse named Stuart who is adopted by the Little family and goes through one crazy adventure after another in the Big Apple. What makes this movie so special is its sincere heart. The entire movie is full of charm and likability in every scene, thanks to some clever writing and great acting, with Michael J. Fox as Stuart in particular being the highlight, as every scene he’s in shows why he’s such a likable and charming presence in everything he’s in.
- Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron: This Dreamworks animated movie is the tale of an untamable stallion named Spirit in the 19th century wild west, and the crazy adventures he takes part in, meeting army generals, a fugitive Native American, and a love interest mare. While the film is definitely more slow-paced than other kids films that were released at the time, the movie takes advantage of it through giving gorgeous animation, great voice acting, and a good story that’s usually conveyed through little to no dialogue, save for the human characters and Spirit’s narration portrayed by Matt Damon. Spirit is well worth a viewing, especially for those who want something a little bit different from the usual animated feature.
- Holes: Based off of the Louis Sachar book of the same name, a young boy is falsely accused of stealing a pair of sneakers and is sent to a juvenile detention camp where he and the rest of his inmates are forced into digging holes in the middle of a dried-up lake. This is reportedly supposed to “build character”, but it’s soon revealed that the heads of this endeavor seem to have an ulterior motive in mind. The original author of the book was the screenwriter for this movie, and the film’s high quality is proof of that. The writing, direction, and acting is top-notch, and gives audiences a lot of fun twists and turns to keep the story fun and engaging.
- Robots: In a land populated by robots, one machine with a dream for inventing heads to Robot City and becomes tangled up in a giant conspiracy where he has to save the day and tell the robot world that you can shine no matter what you’re made of. What makes this film so unique is its creative world, both in the crazy and well-thought-out designs of the cities and how these robots are formed, through clever ideas like babies being constructed instead of birthed, spare parts from previous family members being used for when these robots grow up, and how class is divided by how rusty or shiny you are. It also helps that the cast is spot-on, with actors like Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry Robin Williams, Greg Kinnear, and more.
- Sky High: In a universe where superheroes are all over the world, this high school comedy focuses on a school dedicated to teenagers with superpowers, and the only kid in the school without any powers, even though he’s the son of the two most famous superheroes of all time. The two highlights of the film are the supporting cast, which includes the likes of Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, Lynda Carter, and Bruce Campbell, and the comedy, which successfully spoofs the conventions of the superhero genre and the high school genre. It’s a consistently funny action comedy that manages to work not just as a fun high school movie, but also as a poignant tale about not being defined by labels.
- Meet the Robinsons: Based on the William Joyce short story A Day with Wilbur Robinson, this Disney animated film follows a genius orphan named Lewis who gets transported into the future and discovers a wild and random future at that. This is a crazy future that is home to singing frogs, dogs wearing glasses, and a kooky family named the Robinsons. The first thing that pops out is how creative the family is, with each one being memorable in their design or personality. However, it’s just flat-out funny with a completely zany tone throughout, and has a great heart and message to it, with a pretty poignant and powerful ending to go along with it. Sadly, even Disney seems to have forgotten that they’ve made this movie, but hopefully more people will rediscover this fun little movie.
Julia: Now that you’ve read about Eric’s list of movies, it’s time to take a look at my list of TV shows. Hopefully there are some readers out there whose memories about these shows are just as fond as mine are. And for those of you who haven’t heard of some of these shows, here’s what your childhood was missing! I hope you’ll take the time to maybe look at a couple of the episodes from some of these shows:
Julia’s List of TV Shows
- Dragon Tales: This show was a classic in my house and the theme song was so catchy. It’s about a sister and brother — Emmie and Max — who find a dragon scale in their new home. They follow the instructions on the inside of the box it came in, and are transported to Dragon Land. All the episodes are about their adventures there. It taught so many different lessons in such a cute way. Basically, it’s the non-Christian affiliated version of Veggie Tales. I just remember watching this show and feeling like there was so much to do and explore, and it helped me realize the importance of friendship!
- Rolie Polie Olie: This show was named after the main character; Olie Polie. Everyone in this show was formed out of different geometric shapes, and were robot-like. The Polie family lived in teapot-shaped house with their grandpa, Pappy, and dog, Spot. Olie and his sister Zowie were always going on adventures with Olie’s friend, Billy. Sometimes they were real, and sometimes they were make believe. Either way, I think people should watch this show again because it really showed the importance of imagination and creating your own adventures and inventions.
- The Big Comfy Couch: This was a show about a clown named Loonette and her doll Molly, who could talk as well. The episodes always started with a stretch exercise, to get the audience watching a bit of a workout haha. Then there followed a variety of different activities, like story time; where Loonette would let Molly pick a story book and then put on her oversized reading glasses, or sometimes a trip to Clowntown; there were dance classes, alphabet and number learning, and sometimes a trip to the garden! The end of the episode always ended with the ‘Ten-Second Tidy’, where Loonette and Molly rushed around to pick up all their toys and such. The show was such a great way for kids to learn lessons. As someone who never went to Pre-School, this is how I learned my alphabet and numbers. Also, this is where I learned that you have to clean up your messes. It was a fun way to learn all the little lessons growing children need!
- Out of the Box: This show was all about Tony James and Vivian Bayubay McLaughlin who would get together a group of neighborhood kids to play in an imaginary clubhouse; ‘The Box’. They all did crafts together, sang, acted out stories, and played all kinds of different games. They walked the kids home at the end of the episode, and then Tony and Vivian sang the goodbye song. It was a great way to teach kids how to get along and express their creativity. It was my favorite show to watch!
- Danny Phantom: Danny was my first crush. The show was all about Danny’s adventures collecting ghosts that came through a portal his inventor parents had made. His parents were completely clueless, but very superstitious of the supernatural world. Danny was able to keep it all hidden from his parents, while his school friends always helped him. His classic phrase: “Going ghost!” was how we knew Danny was about to kick some major ghost butt! Kids these days should watch this show for the nostalgia factor, as well as to see what the real Nickelodeon was like.
- Rocket Power: This show was about a group of friends — Otto Rocket, Regina “Reggie” Rocket, Sam Dullard, and Maurice “Twister” Rodriquez — who lived in the fictional town of Ocean Shores, California. Otto and Reggie were the protagonists who helped their dad run the Shore Shack bar, where they and their friends always chilled. The friend group played extreme sports like surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding. They are competing in such sports during a majority of the episodes. This show helped audience members learn the importance of sportsmanship, and how winning isn’t the most important thing. It was also just a kick-ass show, and any kid who never watched this show was really missing out.