One of the things I’m most looking forward to is sharing all of the cool stuff I loved from my childhood with Annie. I fantasize about a magical day in 2018 or so when I make a giant bowl of space popcorn and sit her down for her first viewing of “Back To The Future.” Marty and Doc will, of course, hold her enraptured the entire 116 minutes, and afterward she will throw her arms around me.
“Thank you sooooo much for exposing me to this timeless classic,” she will say with tears in her eyes. “You have enriched my life, you most incredible dad in the world, you!”
It is gonna be the best, I tell you. Except, of course, if it isn’t. What if – gasp – she doesn’t cherish it (or “Thriller” or “Choose Your Own Adventure” books) as much as I do?
“You’re gonna love it, Annie!!! I just know it!!!”
I have reason to be worried. I remember one less than magical day toward the end of the Reagan administration when my Dad made me watch one his favorite films, “Shane,” a Western first released in 1953. I gave this classic my undivided attention for all of five minutes, then brought out the claws.
“The acting in this stinks! It’s so old-timey!”
“Well, the acting may be a little different than you’re used to, but –
“You hear the sound effect when that guy got shot? It was so fake!”
“Come on, Mike. Give it some time –
“Some time to what? Suck more?”
I am sorry to report that my Dad ended up watching the rest of his beloved “Shane” all by himself as I had long since retired to my room to play “Mike Tyson’s Punchout” on my Nintendo.
So, while I obviously have huge amounts of karmic retribution headed my way, I still hope Annie likes “Back To The Future.” Today I asked Heather if she thought Annie would like it, and she said, “What’s not to like?” I was happy with this answer until she added:
“Of course for Annie 1985 will be as much the past as 1955, so the whole going into the past bit won’t be as powerful. And you can’t show her Part II because almost NONE of the ‘future’ stuff came true. Oh, and the Eighties clothes? The clothes will be a problem.”
Sigh. I hadn’t thought about that stuff. Just as my Dad probably hadn’t thought about the dated sound effects and how much they would matter to me. The thing is, despite all of that, I still really want her to like it. Am I setting myself up for heartbreak? Or is there some way to help a kid appreciate something great even if it isn’t the latest and greatest?
My favourite film of all time is Grease (yeah, I know, corny as hell, but my 7-year-old heart positively ACHED for Danny back when it came out (yes, I’m old) and my mother decided it was safer to let me watch that than go punk, which was all the rage that year in Britain too) and I let my girls (aged 8 and 6 at the time) watch it. I was worried they’d hate it, but they didn’t! It’s probably not their favourite film (I’m sorry to say that High School Musical is probably more popular with them, though I think – from the amount of times we’ve watched it – Nanny McPhee is probably the One), but they did enjoy the singing and dancing… I’d say there’s hope, Mike!
I like Bond films…… all the Bond films, even the George one! My son didnt. However, forced watching of re-runs on tv has fixed this! I’m now working on my daughter
Here’s a thought….why not show the movie to her….NOW while she still thinks you hung the moon & she is so reactive to your emotions. So, when she sees you being so thrilled with the movie, she will be too!!!
Seriously though, it will be interesting to see what she thinks? She just may love “old” classic but I think the thing she’ll love the most is just spending time with you!
Bianca S says:
Yep, I’d go with indoctrination too It’s what I plan to do with my (as-yet-fictional) children with all the stop-action stuff I love so that they won’t hanker after all that CGI malarkey (much) :p
So I just watched BTTF for the first time a couple years ago, when I was 27, a reflection of my weird, no-movie -watching childhood – and LOVED it even though, yes, the clothes were goofy and the “past” was a lot more “past” than originally intended. So maybe just deprive her of 90% of mainstream entertainment until she’s in her late 20s, and then her standards will be perfectly low! I GIVE GREAT ADVICE!
Sarah G says:
I recently had a bad experience taking my daughters (aged 4 and 3) to see the Muppet Movie. I sang, I laughed, I cried, and I noticed that my kids did none of those things. The problem is that children do not understand nostalgia. They are not going to see the inner beauty of the story if the story is told with VHS-level special effects. I’m sorry to say, but I think it’s inevitable that they will like different stuff to us. HOWEVER, Jane Eyre on the other hand – I’ll be devastated if they don’t love that book!
If it is any consolation…all of our kids (ranging in age from 8-16) LOVE the movies we loved as kids. They have probably watched The Goonies 42thousand times. I have faith in Annie;)
It’s so hard to know, a lot of probably depends on personalities too. I can tell you that my oldest (9), will sit with my husband for their ‘Sunday Movie Time’ and watch ANYTHING, as long as he’s sitting with his daddy and his daddy think this is a cool movie. For example, Bridge Over The River Kwai, a silent film (not kidding) of a dinosaur, Philadelphia Story, Marx Brothers, ET, the list goes on…but the kid will happily watch ANYTHING (especially pre 1970). My #2? Not so much, he will more wander in, see if its anything ineresting, any good snacking going on, and wander away….just depends. But I will say, good presentation may get you a good portion of the way to cementing Annie’s love of BTTF.
if it makes you feel better, my 5 year old loves watching the old Transformers with her daddy. And her favorite Star Wars character is Darth Vader. (although that one still worries me. Darth Vader scared me when I was little….but she does refer to Chewy as Mommy’s Wookiee, so that’s super cute).
And her birthday party this weekend has the theme of X-Men/My Little Pony, because she couldn’t decide which one she liked more.
I am 28 and loved watching Shane as a kid with my grandmother. So there is hope for Annie liking BTTF, Heather makes some good points but if you make it an event I am sure she will just love hanging out with her awesome Daddy. Plus, I agree with the commenter above, gettem while their young
My favorite movie as a kid was Wizard of Oz and I will just be heart broken if Remie (almost 2) doesn’t like it. But that’s a classic I hope I have nothing to worry about.
Back to the Future is my most favorite movie! My uncle sat me down one night with him when I was about 12 and made me watch it. And.I.Loved.It!!!
You are the most awesomest Dad ever! Annie will one day learn that!
(I know the world isn’t going to end in 2012, Marty McFly traveled to 2015)
I love introducing kids to the movies I grew up on. We watched back to the future about 2 years ago and she has brought it with her to every friends house possible since. We both watched the Rocky series for the first time together. I’m proud to see that my kid has a great range of movie favorites from Your’s, mine and ours and Bye Bye Birdie to The Outsiders, Big and Karate Kid.
If you’re setting yourself up then my husband is, too. He’s going to want his child when we have one to adore the entire BTTF series and think that his car is the most awesome car EVER and I’m just not sure if that will happen. I mean, maybe more with the car it will because, well, the car IS awesome. But yeah, I fret about it myself. I know my husband doesn’t because it would never even cross his mind that anyone, let alone his potential offspring would not be completely enraptured by the whole thing. And, for the record, it’s 2012, not 2015 so tell Heather we still have 3 years for all that stuff to be created.
Hope you finally watched it with your Dad …. .. and if you didn’t . . .DO IT NOW . .
I have force-fed things from my youth on my children, like Thriller (which they love) and Kiss by Prince (which they do not). The really cool part is….when they grow up and hear Prince screeching out those last lines in “Kiss”, they will probably be all teary-eyed and laughing, because like it or not, it will remind them of me, of driving around in our car with the music up extra loud just to irritate them, and maybe even the windows rolled down for the chance of the humiliating moment when someone they know pulls up next to us. There are really awful, awful songs from the 70’s that I love for the memories of being in my mom’s car as a kid!
Sonya aka Glam-O-Mommy says:
I’ve already got Sophie into the Disney Princesses, which I loved as a kid (well, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty anyway, since Little Mermaid and the others didn’t start coming out till I was in high school/college). The other thing she’s already watched with me (in parts, not all the way through) is the original Star Wars trilogy. My husband bought her a little R2D2 at Disney World that makes sounds and Sophie loves him and calls him her “robot.” LOL. I keep trying to correct her to “droid” to no avail. Anyway, every time Spike TV shows the movies I stop on them and she gets so excited! “There’s my robot! There’s my R2D2!” She also already recognizes Harry Potter (and yes, I am a fan even though the books didn’t come out till I was in my 20s!) so I look forward to sharing that with her someday!
I’m sure Annie will love Back to the Future, even with all the 80s clothing!
Don’t worry, Mike, I’m sure she’ll have a lot of fun watching it with you.
I’ve watched old movies with my dad since I was really young – regular stuff, like Star Wars and 007, but also Hitchcock’s films, 2001, Bridge Over The River Kwai etc.
I don’t have kids yet, but I hope they’ll love watching these movies too – with their mommy and grampa!
Take the time to watch “Shane” and try to find the magic in it. Then maybe you can teach Your daughter to find the magic in “Back To The Future” when the time comes. Lol. Good luch.
Oops… “Good Luck”.
There may be things that Annie won’t get into but I think she’ll like Back to the Future – it’s got great music and a shiny car that leaves tire-track flames. How fun is that! Plus, she’s a fashionista – she’ll love the vintage clothes.
Reminds of when I had my daughters watch “2001, A Space Odyssey”. I had told them how I love the movie back in 1969. I think that I must have been more in love with my date at the time! I didn’t even last long while watching with my daughters. After about 15 minutes, I announced that they could choose something else. I left the room with a sadness of my love of yesteryear.
Nancy Smego says:
Start planning for disappointment now, Mike. I’ve BEGGED my 24 year old niece to watch Gone With the Wind with me. Even though I didn’t live in civil war times, I knew a great movie when I saw one, but she won’t watch it with me. She prefers Sweet Home Alabama or some other more modern love story. Ugh. Scarlett and Rhett – can’t get much more romantic than them!
There’s still hope. My son loves Star Wars (all of them, he doesn’t pay attention to the differences in when they were made) and my daughter is a big fan of Wizard of Oz, and Annie. Yesterday we caught the end of Princess Bride and they wanted to watch it again from the beginning. My husband and I commented that they just don’t make movies like that anymore. I bet she’ll love Back to the Future. I plan on showing it to my kids soon too.
I loved Grease when I was a pre-teen and teen and my mother once watched Bye Bye Birdie with me and I loved it!
I agree with a lot of these parents – start her now on these movies. They really aren’t that bad in terms of language or violence. If there is anything scary or words you don’t want her to hear, figure out where those spots are so you can skip over them – at her age, she won’t miss anything. I think the only concern you really need to have with BTTF is that she’ll become a Huey Lewis and the News fan.
My husband LOVES Star Wars…my kids (girls) also love Star Wars (not the new ones though cause those aren’t “original”). I have even had my kids tell me the new ones aren’t as good as the old! My girls also like to watch Labrynth and Back to the Future along with Harry Potter and Barbie movies. I think it just comes down to exposure to many movies, no matter the age (although very few predate more than a couple years before my birth year of 1980 )
Amy K says:
One of my greatest movie fears is that my daughter won’t like the original Star Wars trilogy because it’s too dated, or even worse, she’ll like the crappy new trilogy with Jar Jar Binks better than the original.
Oh I love the movie Shane.
My daughter is 15, and last fall we watched 16 Candles together, the orginal that I bought on DVD when DVDs first came out. It was released in 1984 (when I was 14 years old) and rated PG. That was before PG 13 was even a rating (yep I’m old). So I was not prepared for the naked shower scene (which they obviously cut out of the tv version & I had forgotten about), but I figured if I watched it when I was 14 she could see it too. =) Her first comment about the movie was when they show the kids walking into school at the beginning & she said “Did they really dress like that in the 80s?” ha ha ha, YES we did!
BTW, I noticed HBO is running Back to the Future 1, 2, & 3 one day this week. I saw it on the guide on my DVR & debated recording all of them & having my kids to watch with me! =)
Her English class read the book “The Outsiders” and then watched the movie, and she thinks all the actors are super cute, which is funny because they are all the actors from the “Teen Beat” pages of my teen years. I showed her pictures of them now online & she said that those guys are all old now, not cute anymore.
Just wait ’til she loves something you expose her too WAAAYYYY more than you do. I am a HUGE Duran Duran fan. In fact, my daughter’s name is Rio I love them so much! But my three boys want to listen to the same song over and over and over and over….Even I can’t take that much! When Michael Jackson died, we showed them a few videos on You Tube and they became instant super-fans. They have CD’s, they try to dance like him, they have the Wii game, they want to listen in the car. The best was when my blond-haired, blue-eyed 4 year old did something to his hair then looked in the mirror and said, “I look JUST LIKE Michael Jackson!” OMG, I liked Michael Jackson and can even remember seeing the Thriller video the first time…had to rush home and set the VCR to make sure we could tape it so we could watch it again…never knew when MTV would play it again…but hells bells, if I hear Beat It one more time I might just stab my eyes out. Soooo, the moral of this little comment is….be careful what you wish for!
One of my greatest joys is when I share something from ‘my time’ with my 15 year old son, and he loves it. He likes a lot of 80s music, LOVES Bon Jovi, and he has enjoyed a lot of movies I’ve shown him, like Gremlins and The Stand.
Am I setting myself up for heartbreak?
Oh, I know exactly what you are talking about, Mike. I thought Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” was the scariest movie ever when I was a kid and my kids – who would barely watch it because it was in black and white!!- HATED it!! Looked at me like I was crazy when it was over. Also, hated Tootsie which I loved. Luckily, they did love “Love Story” so not all was lost!
I think you are a totally terrific Dad, by the way!!
My sons are teenagers, but it took that long for them to learn to enjoy some of our movies. I’ll never forget when my 15 year old watched the Blues Brothers and claimed it was his favorite movie ever. It made my heart cry with joy!
Funny story about the movie Shane . . . it is my dad’s absolute most favorite movie. Probably because his father died when he was young and it is one of the few things he remembers doing with his dad. He was also watching the movie while I was in labor with my son.
So when I had my son, what did he want him to call him- Grandpa? Nope. Shane. I thought he was kidding but it completely stuck. So maybe Annie’s kids can call you Marty and the movie can live on!
Some movies stand the test of time. Here’s hoping the BTTF trio does the same. (It’s far and away my favorite movie(s) of all time!) I have a BTTF shirt for my 22-month-old son, and I too am eagerly awaiting the day I can share the magic with him.
I must say, I was a bit jealous when he was immediately roped in to Star Wars a few weeks ago. He’s already going around saying “light saber”, “Yoda” and “Artoo”. My husband is a huge Star Wars fan.
You never know; my 15 year old daughter loves Gilligan’s Island and The Munsters. And both my kids (my son is 9) love Back to the Future. My son has all ready decided the next dog we get will be named Marty, and “Hello McFly” is a favorite expression around our house.