LIVING IN THE PAST

Kid Videos That Won't Make You Want To Puke

No "BARNEY" here, Folks!

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As of this writing I have two nieces, five nephews and a daughter. I have sat through more than my fair share of Kid Videos. I have seen the good (WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY), I have seen the bad (BABY GENIUSES), I have seen the ugly (THOMAS AND THE MAGIC RAILROAD).
 
I won't waste your time with "the bad" and "the ugly". I will just review the good ones. Ones I would watch even if I didn't have kids around.
 
ALADDIN (1992): Poor street urchin falls in love with beautiful princess and finds a magic lamp containing a witty, smart a** genie (Voiced by Robin Williams).
 
CHARLOTTE'S WEB: Grab the Kleenex! Good, old fashioned tear jerker about a young girl saving the runt of a pig's litter from slaughter and raising it as a pet. Once Wilbur the pig gets too big and isn't cute anymore the little girl's folks ship him off to her uncle's farm. He'll be safe there, right? Nope. The uncle makes daily remarks about the pig making "extra good bacon"! (Nice guy, huh?) The pig is worried, and with good reason: His days as a pet are numbered and soon he'll be on the plate. He meets a wise, old spider named Charlotte in the barn and the two become friends. The spider spins webs with miracle catchphrases such as "SOME PIG" and soon the pig is a celebrity and tourist attraction. The pig learns valuable lessons about life, friendship and death. Yup. I said "death". A three hankie weepie.
 
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG: Dick Van Dyke is this crazy inventor dude whose kids nevr go to school. They beg him to buy them this hunk of junk car that is about to be sold for scrap metal by mean old Mr Coggins. he does and he fixes the car up to be a miraculous machine that can fly like a plain, float like a boat and so on. Ya gotta love any childrens movie that manages to have Benny Hill in it! And - Jeez- was that Children Catcher terrifying or what???
 
A CHRISTMAS STORY: Absolutely hysterical Christmas tale that's fun to watch any time of the year. The adventures of Ralphie (Peter Billingsley), a young boy growing up in the '40s whose goal in life it is to get a RED RYDER b.b. gun for Christmas. If you don't laugh your a** off during this movie you're not my kind of people.
 
CORPSE BRIDE: Although the title would lead you to believe this is a Horror movie, it's really a beautiful and brilliant stop motion animation tale (Directed by Tim Burton) of a groom with cold feet named Victor (Voiced by Johnny Depp) who stumbles out into the woods after his disasterous wedding rehearsal to practice his vows alone and accidentally finds himself married to a corpse bride whose bony finger the wedding ring accidentally falls on. From there he must decide whether he wants to stay in the Land Of The Dead with dead bride Emily or return to Earth and the warm arms of his living fiancee Victoria.
 
E.T: Grab the hankies and prepare to have your heart warmed. Didn't all of us, as children, have dreams of finding a cute alien in the yard and keeping it as a pet? Sadly, this one doesn't "take well" to life on Earth and must go home. But he'll always be right here (Points to heart. Wipes away tear).
 
THE FOX AND THE HOUND: A baby fox and a little bloodhound puppy become friends despite the fact they will one day grow up to be The Hunter and The Hunted. This one will probably make you cry a little bit too.
 
FREAKY FRIDAY (2003): Remake of much used "body switch formula" about a mother and daughter waking up in eachother's bodies. The mom is Jamie Lee Curtis and the daughter is Lindsay Lohan this time out. Funny. Boasts a great soundtrack too.
 
H.R. PUFNSTUF: Sometimes the best way to sit through Kid Videos unflinchingly is to make the kids watch the shows you used to watch as a kid. That said, pretty much anything from the KROFFT BROTHERS is good so pop in some THE BUGALOOS or SIGMUND AND THE SEAMONSTERS and have a flashback blast!
 
HOME ALONE: Family goes on Christmas vacation leaving behind little brother Kevin who adapts to living alone pretty well, even when battling bumbling burglars. Gotta love Kid Videos that are really, really violent! What Macauley Culkin does to the two stupid burglars would put TOM & JERRY to shame! ("Keep the change, ya' filthly animal!")
 
HOME ALONE 2: More shenanigans when Kevin boards the wrong plane and ends up alone in New York City. He stays at The Plaza and indulges in room service and old gangster flicks ("Get on your knees and tell me ya' love me!"") but then runs into his foes from the first film and prepares for bloody battle. If enjoying watching Joe Pesci get tortured is a crime then lock me up and throw away the key!
 
THE INCREDIBLES: Disney action adventure about a family of superheros who are pulled out of "retirement" to fight an arch-nemesis who is taking down all the fellow super heros.
 
JEM: Cartoon soap opera about battling girl bands JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS and THE MISFITS (Sans Glen Danzig). Who will win? The Good Girls or The Bad Girls? It's pretty obvious, but a lot of fun nonetheless.Catfights aplenty in every single episode.
 
THE JUNGLE BOOK (1967): Disney cartoon version of Rudyard Kipling tale in which male baby left in jungle is raised by wolves. As a child he pals around with goofball bear and wise panther while being hunted by evil tiger.
 
LADY AND THE TRAMP: Childhood favorite dog's tale about love affair between pedigree house pet Lady and wily stray dog Tramp.
 
THE LITTLE MERMAID (1989): Sexy mermaid teenager Ariel fantasizes about what it would be like to be part of the human world. Falling in love with a human prince seals the deal and she sells her voice to an evil sea witch for a chance to live as a human.
 
A LITTLE PRINCESS ( 1995): A  rich, young girl's father goes to war, leaving her at a private boarding school where she gets the royal treatment.....until her father is reported dead and then she is treated like a servant. Her spirits are still high though because she believes that, rich or poor, all girls are "princesses".
 
LOOK WHOSE TALKING: Okay, the beginning segment where the credits role is a little touchy: It's a health class-like scene of sperm making it's way to the egg. And, yes, your little one is most probably going to ask "What's THAT?" leaving you fudging some kind of explanation to what THAT is and why, but, aside from that, it's a funny, amusing movie about pregnancy, birth, and childhood told from the baby's point of view. This movie has two sequels that kids seem to like but for adults this is the best of the bunch.
 
MATILDA: Little girl with dysfunctional family finds out she has special telekinetic powers (Like CARRIE, only not as freaky), and does battle with mean family members and  gruesome, nasty school sprincipal  "The Trunchbull".(Man, that is one ugly b*tch!)
 
MELODY: Two little kids in England in the '70s fall in love and want to get married. Touching tale of young love with great BEE GEES soundtrack and stars from the Musical OLIVER! (Mark Lester and Jack Wild).
 
MONSTERS INC: This movie explains why there are monsters in children's closets: They use the children's screams as fuel. Although it's alright for monsters to sneak into the human world it's unheard of for children to ever cross over to the monster world, or at least it is until adorable cartoon child Boo sneaks in and has to be hidden by monsters Sully and Mike. Very funny...with tear-jerker ending.
 
MRS DOUBTFIRE: Helllooooo! It's Robin Williams as a divorced dad dressed in drag fooling x-wife Sally Field into believeing he's a middle aged nanny.
 
THE MUPPET MOVIE: Kermit The Frog's life story starts with him living in a lowly swamp and ends with him a huge star in Hollywood. Along the way he meets Fozzy Bear, The Great Gonzo, Miss Piggy etc. I could watch this one over and over again.

MY GIRL: Little girl learns about life, love and death. Yes, "death". Have some KLEENEX ready. Macauley Culkin gets iced.

OLIVER!: Singing orphans! At least two really cute little boys (Mark Lester and Jack Wild)! Great songs! How can you go wrong?
 
OLIVER  AND COMPANY: Disney re-telling using a kitten as Oliver and a stray dog as The Dodger.
 
PETER PAN (1953): Disney cartoon adventures of pre-teen Wendy and her two little brothers adventures in Neverland with Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up.
 
PETER PAN (2003): How to improve upon the Disney cartoon? Make a live action version with a really cute little boy (Jeremy Sumpter) as Peter Pan! Swoon as Wendy and Peter flirt their way through Neverland.
 
THE POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE: Sometimes movies based on TV cartoon shows are a huge disappointment (THE JETSONS MOVIE) sometimes they're as good as the TV cartoon itself and in some rare instances the movie is even better than the TV show. So is the case with THE POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE, a movie that works even if you have never seen a POWERPUFF GIRLS cartoon in your life. This story, telling the origin of the three a**- kicking heroines, is funny, witty and well written. Truly entertaining.

RACE FOR YOUR LIFE, CHARLIE BROWN: Charlie Brown and his friends are at summer camp and there's nary a good time to be had. In fact, camp's a b*tch and everyone wants to go home! To make matters worse there's a group of obnoxious kids and their nasty pet (A cat or a dog? You tell me!) who delight in stirring up trouble for our gang. There's a rafting race finale where Charlie Brown, always the underdog, finally gets his moment of glory. Love that theme song!.
 
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC and INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM: Hot damn! Is Harrison Ford hot in these movies or what? Unshaved, unbathed and totally sexy! Umm, err...the adventure scenes are good too.
 
THE RESCUERS: Little orphan girl, who has been abducted by a scary devilish woman and her dopey boyfriend, puts a rescue note in a bottle that is retrieved by The Rescue Aid Society, a group of mice who are out to do some good for their fellow "man". Cute and even a bit scary.
 
SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK: Remember these little educational skits that used to play in between Saturday morning cartoons? Well, they're back and in this handy dandy DVD set. All your favorites are here: I'm Just A Bill, Conjunction Junction, Three Is A Magic Number and the rest. Learning can be fun, KIds!
 
THE SECRET GARDEN (1993): Little girl is orphaned and must go live wth stuffy relatives. She stumbles upon a walled up, abandoned garden that she's not allowed to go in and decides to sneak in and breath new life into the "dead" garden.By doing this she unearths the "secret garden" inside herself.... and all of us.
 
SHREK: Can love bloom between ugly ogre Shrek and beautiful princess Fiona? Very funny.
 
SHREK II: Shrek and Fiona, now married, go to visit her parents who don't approve of their daughter's marriage to an ugly ogre. Very funny. A sequel that tops the original. Love that Puss in Boots!
 
SLEEPING BEAUTY (1959): Evil witch Maleficent puts a curse on a baby princess that when she turns sixteen she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. Just to be safe the little girl is hidden in a cottage in the woods and guarded by three good fairey "aunts". While strolling through the forest she meets the oh so hot Prince Philip and falls in love. He, not realizing she's a princess, falls in love too and then fights with his father The King, who doesn't want him marrying a "commoner". Probably the only Disney flick to ever feature a heavy duty drinking scene as well as a kick- a** Drinking Song ("Skumps").
 
SNOOPY, COME HOME: The saddest PEANUTS special ever made. Snoopy gets a letter from a mystery girl named Lila who is ailing in a hospital. Snoopy runs away to visit her and Charlie Brown and his friends are overwrought with grief and despair wondering if the hound will ever come back home. Features great songs, including "It Changes", a song that reminds me of BLACK SABBATH's "Changes".
 
STAR WARS, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and RETURN OF THE JEDI: If it was up to me I wouldn't even let my kid find out they MADE other STAR WARS flicks aside from these three. If you have to watch six plus hours worth of people doing battle in space, this is the best way to do it.
 
SPIDER-MAN and SPIDER-MAN II: Tale of Queens boy Peter Parker who is bitten by a spider and gets super-human strength. Now he has the power to save the world but still doesn't have the balls to ask out Mary Jane Watson!
 
SUPERMAN and SUPERMAN II: Let's face it, Folks, there would probably be no big budget SPIDER-MAN flicks if The Man Of Steel hadn't paved the way. SUPERMAN tells of how  a super-human baby from outer space lands on Earth, is raised by humans and grows up to be Clark Kent, part time nerd part time super stud! Part II tells about him doing battle with three kick- a** villains and temporarily giving up his powers so he can be with Lois Lane.

TARZAN (1999): Like JUNGLE BOOK, a little baby boy is left in the jungle and raised by animals, this time apes. Tarzan is just fine with being one of the apes until he sees sexy human explorer Jane and decides he might like some of that.
 
TOY STORY; Life through the eyes of toys. Childhood favorite Woody, a toy cowboy worrys when his owner gets hot, new toy Buzz Lightyear, a space ranger.

TOY STORY 2: "Valuable collectible" Woody is stolen by a fat b*stard who wants to sell him for boku bucks in Japan. The other toys rally to the rescue.
 
WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Poor little boy Charlie Bucket wins golden ticket and gets a tour of eccentric Willy Wonka's bizarre candy factory.
Best.......kids movie........ever!
 
THE WIZARD OF OZ: Dorothy leaves ho-hum black and white Kansas existance to explore the wild, technicolor, trippy world of Oz. Great with or without the aid of PINK FLOYD: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON cd!
 
 
 
CHRISTMAS BONUS: MY TEN FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SPECIAS:
 
* A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS: Chicken soup for the soul. This annual must-see spirit lifter reminds us, through Linus's touching speech, about the true meaning of Christmas. The highlight of this special is watching the PEANUTS kids dance! Charles Schultz wasn't just the creaotor of PEANUTS and a dozen great holiday specials. Apparently, he was also the inventor of many a dance craze: The kids in A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS are doing The Running Man and The Cabbage Patch!
 
* A CHRISTMAS STORY: Ralphie and his quest for a RED RYDER b.b. gun. Absolutely hysterical. Don't miss it. And don't forget to drink your OVALTINE.
 
* HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (Original cartoon version): Heartless b*stard The Grinch trys to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville.
 
* MR MAGOO'S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: Try not to cry when young Ebenezer Scrooge sings I'm All Alone In The World.
 
* NESTOR THE LONG EARRED CHRISTMAS DONKEY: I'm warning you: This is a sad one. Baby donkey, with freakishly long ears that he trips over consytantly, is loved only by his mother who (Choke, choke) dies trying to keep him warm in the snow. (Wahhh!) Fast foward and Nestor is fulfilling his destiny: He's carrying The Virgin Mary to the stable to give birth to the baby Jesus! Okay, so maybe it's not steeped in fact, but it's sweet.
 
* RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER: Funny, sad and touching. the Island of Misfit Toys is an absolute heart-breaker. Learn an important lesson about the evils of prejudice when a reindeer is born with a red nose and is then shunned by his fellow deer. And Santa! (That b*stard!)
 
* SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN: Like Moses, Santa Claus was abandoned as an infant. A nice couple found him. Like Oliver Twist, he had a  little ID bracelet on. It said "Kringle" on it so they named him Kris Kringle. He was raised near a village run by the tyrant, toy hater Burger Meister Meister Burger. Soon Kris Kringle is sneaking toys to the children in the village and is honing his craft as the Santa man. Features the dance hit Put One Foot In Front Of The Other.
 
* THE SANTA CLAUSE: If you have to watch a Tim Allen movie or a Christmas movie you could do a lot worse. Santa Claus falls off Tim Allen's roof and this somehow makes Tim Allen the new Santa Claus.
 
* SCROOGE (1970): Albert Finney plays Ebenezer Scrooge in the most tear jerking version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL with the best songs, including I Like Life and Thank You Very Much.
 
* THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS: Heat Miser! Snow Miser! Jingle and Jangle, the elves that bare an uncanny resmblence to the guys in AIR SUPPLY! Highlights are Heat Miser and Snow Miser's dueling song and dance numbers.
 
* * * * * * * CHARLIE BROWN SPECIALS WE WOULD LOVE TO SEE * * * * * * *
 
HAVE YOU BEEN SMOKING, CHARLIE BROWN? : This one is sort of like the infamous episode of THE BRADY BUNCH where Greg got caught smoking. Back in the '70s that was a Big Deal! Shows couldn't show wholesome kids knocking up their girlfriends ( IT'S CALLED A CONDOM, CHARLIE BROWN), doing drugs (PASS THE DUCHIE, CHARLIE BROWN) and such. ids got caught smoking in the '70s. It was the worst reality '70s parents were ready to face!
 
So in HAVE YOU BEEN SMOKING, CHARLIE BROWN? Charlie Brown takes that token black kid ranklin's yellow and black striped shirt by accident and a pack of smokes falls out of the pocket, causing the angry, off-screen adult voice to yell 'MWAH MWAH MWAH MWAHHHHHHHHH!" and Charlie Brown nervously stammers "No, Ma'am, they're not MINE, Ma'am. I don't know WERE they came from".
 
By the end of the special not only has Charlie Brown proved his innocence but he's talked Franklin out of kicking his dirty little habit as well.
 
YOU'RE LOOKING VERY OLD, CHARLIE BROWN: One day my daughter asked me how old Charlie Brown was. I guessed he was probably 7 or 8. His little sister Sally is in school already so that puts her at 6, right? (ow come, by the way, in some specials Linus is shown in the same class as Charlie Brown and in others he's shown in the same class as Sally? But I digress....)
 
If you didn't know Charlie Brown was a little kid, he pretty much looks like a 75 year old man! IS LIFE THAT STRESSFUL, CHARLIE BROWN? Dude has three hairs! Man, has living next door to that b*tch Lucy been Hell On Earth or what??? IT'S CALLED MINOXIDIL, CHARLIE BROWN.
 
WHERE ARE YOUR PARENTS, CHARLIE BROWN? : I used to watch RUGRATS and be totally shocked at how their parents were never around and how downright negligent they were , letting their kids run around in the yard unsupervised and play in traffic and such. But really, this type of absent parenting was pretty damn commonplace in the Charlie Brown specials. Kids fell asleep in pumpkin patches waiting for The Great Pumpkin and their parents never called the cops or went out looking for them! LINUS'S PARENTS ARE ALCOHOLICS, AREN'T THEY, CHARLIE BROWN? The PEANTS kids used to hit the mall and ride the bus and do all this other sh*t that I didn't get to do by myself till I was 13! Where were there parents? Did they HAVE any? All I remember is the teachers and their only sage words of wisdom to Charlie and his friends were "Mwah mwah mwah mwahhhhhhhhh!"
 
 
 
 
 
 


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