Movie Masterpieces Part 3 – Movies From Our Childhood

Reasons why we love this childhood classics… spoilers ahead!

“Peter Pan” from Oscar Beltran

My favorite movie of all time has to be the original 1953 Walt Disney Pictures, “Peter Pan.” This was the very first Disney film I had ever watched and I fell in love with the story of a boy who never grew up. “Peter Pan” was the reason I fell in love with all things Disney and continue to live my life by one simple quote “Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land.” I picked “Peter Pan” as my favorite film of all time because I relate to the story of a boy who never wanted to grow up. Everyday in my life I go through stress, hard work and dedication to reach my goals. Whenever I am in a place that seems like adulting is becoming very difficult I always remember the quote I live by to bring out my inner child. “Peter Pan” has made me realize that even though I have to grow up and become more responsible with my life, that I can be a child at heart and still go on adventures, play with Star Wars Collectibles, and ride all the rides at Disneyland. “Peter Pan” is a film I look forward to watching with my own children someday and maybe with a little faith, trust, and pixie dust we all could fly to NeverLand.

“The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement”

It’s so hard to pick a favorite because there are so many great movies but alas, I have picked one. My favorite movie of all time is “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.” We get asked all the time: what’s your favorite?  It’s very interesting to hear what people’s favorites are but more interesting at least to me are the reasons; whether it be they grew up watching it or they think the cinematography is great, etc. The reasons why “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” is my favorite movie are as follows: I can rewatch it as many times as I want and I still love it, some of my favorite actors are in it and I love all the characters and I love the theme that the movie portrays and stands for. I don’t like to rewatch movies because sometimes if you’ve seen it once you’ve seen it enough. But what makes a movie a favorite for me is when I go, “Oh my gosh, that was so good. I wanna watch that again and again and again.” It’s like when you hear this great song that you just have to listen to on repeat until you get tired of it or another great song comes along so it is with movies. But this movie has stood the test of the replay no matter how many times I’ve seen it—and trust me it’s a lot. I never tire of it and no matter how many other great movies come out I always gravitate back to it.
My favorite actors in this movie include Anna Hathaway, Julie Andrews, Chris Pine, etc. They are just such great actors in my opinion and I really enjoy them in the other movies and in their roles for this movie. The characters in this movie are great also. I think there is a really good balance because in some shows you love the leads but don’t remember any of the side characters and in others you love the side characters and hate the lead. But in this movie, I love all the characters. Lead and side roles, even the ones with barely any lines. They are all memorable and fun and each character serves their purpose well. The last reason I’ll give as to why it’s my favorite is because of the message. It portrays all the good values in a clever way that is not in your face. Some good values that I got are the importance of completing your education, the importance of manners and using them as tools. This movie is so “girl power” in a way that is not obnoxious and in a way that is subtle but so there. Another message is that you don’t have to compromise yourself to reach your goals. This movie is enjoyable, entertaining, funny, compelling—and I just love it.

“The Transformers: The Movie” from Austin De La Victoria

My favorite movie of all time would definitely be, “The Transformers: The Movie.” This is the animated transformers movie that was released in 1986. I grew up with this movie and watched it multiple times a day every day. I was a little nuts for this one back then, but even after all these years I still am. The cast in “Transformers The Movie” is full of the biggest stars of the era. My favorite one would be Orson Welles, who plays the main villain, Unicron. Fun facts, this was his last movie he was in before his death. I have always been a huge fan of the old “Transformers” cartoon and this movie brought together all my favorite characters and even introduced some new ones. The animation is the coolest and the best looking compared to the show as well. I loved seeing the world of transformers in a sleeker animation with more detail than ever before. Nothing could ever take this movie off the top of my favorite movie list and I have seen lots and lots of movies. The thing is that it’s not even a nostalgic thing for me to love this movie, but a way I love transformers the most out of everything else. “Transformers The Movie” is my favorite movie and nothing could ever change that.

“Grave of the Fireflies” from Brian Pinkernell

I chose to watch a film by Studio Ghibli called “Grave of the Fireflies.” It is a film centered around the lives of two Japanese siblings during World War II. As you watch the film, you begin to understand the danger and desperation in their lives. The siblings depend on each other and do whatever they can to survive. The main characters are incredibly likable and portray very realistic behaviors, which allows us to sympathize and connect with them as the film proceeds. However, the film is full of tragedy and the siblings are constantly barraged with one devastating situation after another. The viewer is left helpless as they watch these siblings suffer the most unbearable and hellish situations that two children could ever experience.
In many Ghibli films, they use the background to set the tone of the scene. Ghibli has made countless memorable and beautiful scenes and specialize in scenes depicting nature. The incredibly detailed scenery in “Grave of the Fireflies” is able to express serenity and joy, but also fear and danger. While the film is meant to be a tragedy, there are moments of happiness in which the siblings find joy and hope in the smallest things. An example of this is shown after the siblings survive the firebombing and try to survive in an abandoned bomb shelter. The siblings find it impossible to gather enough food and begin to slowly starve to death. But just before the situation begins to worsen the younger sibling, Setsuko, was given a tin of candy by her older brother, Seita and she savors each and every candy until the tin is empty. As the amount of food decreases and the situation becomes more dire, Setsuko continues to pretend the tin has candy because it distracts her from her own hunger. She treasures the tin until her death and Seita carries it with him, until he also dies from starvation. This example alone shows how a meaningless object was able to produce enough hope for a child to do their best to stay alive during a life or death situation.
But this is the reason why “Grave of the Fireflies” is so important. It remembers the civilian lives that were lost and those who suffered to recover after the war. Unlike other wartime films, it focuses on personal losses rather than heroism or nationalism. It does not glorify war or hide the gruesome details. Its lack of censorship and realistic portrayal of war is meant to disturb the audience. The film is heartbreaking and allows the hidden perspectives of wartime survivors to be recognized.