The NeverEnding Story

The Neverending Story

When The NeverEnding Story was released in 1984, it was without the blessing of the author who wrote the original book of the same title. Michael Ende was displeased with the creative liberties the film took. His disowning of the movie did little harm to the box office receipts, however, as The NeverEnding Story would go on to win the hearts of many a young fantasy fan. Continue reading...

Follow That Bird

Follow That Bird

The Muppets were able to turn their humble beginning on the long-running children’s educational show, Sesame Street, into their own highly successful television show, and eventually a few box office successes as well. At some point, Big Bird must have thought, “If they can do it, so can I,” so he took his own stab at film stardom in the 1985 feature film, Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird. Continue reading...

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

Somewhere over the rainbow lies a land of munchkins, witches, wizards and more. MGM brought the magical land of Oz to Technicolor life through image and song in 1939's family classic, The Wizard of Oz. The story of L. Frank Baum's unlikely adventurers had been brought to the big screen twice before, but never with such vibrant life and imagination. Continue reading...

Mac and Me

Mac and Me

If there is one thing that the lovable little extraterrestrial, E.T. taught the film industry, it is that a cute alien and product placement are a match made in heaven. With each handful of Reese’s Pieces that E.T. scarfed down, sales of the candy morsels soared. Now, if an alien from another world liked Reese’s, imagine how much they might like Coca-Cola and McDonalds. And so, the two junk food behemoths joined forces - resulting in the 1988 film, Mac and Me. Continue reading...

The Black Stallion

The Black Stallion

One needn’t be Dr. Doolittle to communicate their animal counterparts. Given an equal dose of time, patience and trust, the ability to speak words are unnecessary to form bonds, to form meaningful friendships. Such was the case with young Alec and “the black” in the beloved 1979 film, The Black Stallion, a touching story of boy and horse who discover each other under the most trying of circumstances and form a friendship that will last a lifetime. Continue reading...

Bugsy Malone

Bugsy Malone

Plenty of films over the years have depicted Chicago during the gang-ridden Prohibition Era. How many of them were musical comedies starring kids as pie throwing gangsters? Only one that we know of - the unforgettable 1976 classic, Bugsy Malone. Starring Scott Baio (Chachi from Happy Days), a very young Jodie Foster, and featuring the lyrics and music of composer Paul Williams, Bugsy Malone was a tongue-in-cheek ode to a violent era, and full of loving jabs at 1930s gangster films. Continue reading...

The Lion King

The Lion King

If there were any lingering questions about Disney's animated comeback in the 90s, The Lion King answered them all. Released in 1994, after a string of hits that included The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, the story of a young cub and his ascent to become ruler of Pride Rock surpassed them all. Bolstered by an all-star voice cast (James Earl Jones, Matthew Broderick, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jeremy Irons, Whoopi Goldberg and too many others to mention) and by a multi-platinum album's worth of hit songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, Simba and company went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Continue reading...

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol

When he wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843, author Charles Dickens had no way of knowing that his book would be turned into literally dozens of different stage and screen adaptations. And, even if had possessed such remarkable foresight, it is certain that he never would have envisioned his character, Bob Cratchit, portrayed by a lovable green frog with ping-pong ball eyes. Continue reading...

The Indian in the Cupboard

The Indian in the Cupboard

Years before Toy Story would bring countless toys to life on the big screen, another endearing film managed to animate a few playthings of its own, much to the bewilderment and delight of their young owner, in the 1995 fantasy, The Indian and the Cupboard. Continue reading...

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

James Bond and Mary Poppins might seem strange bedfellows, but when the creative talents behind each joined forces, the results were nothing short of magical. Released in 1968, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang delighted children of all ages with a fanciful tale about a flying car. It remains a beloved film by many to this day. Continue reading...