Friday, June 13, 2014

Then and Now

Today The Armchair Squid, Suze, Nicki Elson and Nancy Mock are hosting the 'Then and Now' bloghop. It's about whether or not our favourite films from when we were kids have stood the test of time. I chose two. One that didn't lose it's shine and one that did.

The NeverEnding Story
Going to the movies was one of my favourite pastimes as a kid. I almost always went with my friends, but occasionally I'd go with my mum, especially if the movie was considered a kid's movie, which we secretly loved. At that time, anything kiddy was out and anything slightly geekish was even more out. The NeverEnding Story was both kiddy and geeky. So this was the first movie I ever went to see on my own.

I loved it. I suspect I loved it more because, being all adult-like, I saw it on my own. Then I went to a very un-adult birthday party where us kids played games like digging for chocolate in a pile of flour while our hands were tied behind our back. The topic of the movie came up at the party. My best friend piped up, jumping with excitement, 'I want to see that movie!' Holy Geek, Batman! It was suddenly okay to be odd. Yep, I loved that movie.

Now that I'm well and truly settled in my geekiness, the movie doesn't have the same magic it once did. I still love kid's movies, but this one leans slightly toward trying too hard. Perhaps it's the feeling I get of being told a message. The sets are still magical, the general storyline still great, but it has lost some of its lustre.

The Dark Crystal
A similar style of movie as The NeverEnding Story, The Dark Crystal is another fantasy meant for a young audience. The difference is, this one was as glorious then as it is now. It has story, humour, a feast for the eyes with lush hand-built sets, nail-biting conflicts and memorable characters. And it was done using puppets (I refuse to call them muppets). What can I say? Best animated* film of all time.

What movies have stood the test of time for you? Which movies haven't?

*Okay, so it's not technically animated, but what would you call a puppet movie?



127 comments:

  1. I gasped when I saw The Neverending Story on your post. I rewatched it a few years ago with little one and still loved it! Come to think of it, I crushed on Atrayu almost as much as I did on Elliott in E.T. (Almost.) Little one crushed on Atrayu, too. She even put him on her list of crushes with a magnet on the fridge. Ferris Bueller was on that list, if you can believe it.

    Sorry, totally babbling.

    What I wanted to write was that I can't believe NES is your fail! I never would have guessed during that massively long email thread. I haven't watched Dark Crystal but I'm guessing that's the one you referred to as your 'still a masterpiece?'

    *Shakes head.*

    Can't believe NES no longer works for you. :D

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    1. I crushed on Atrayu as well...and still do. NES is not a complete fail. I still like the movie. It just doesn't have the same shine as it once did.

      And oh my gosh, girl, make a point of watching the Dark Crystal. It's a wonderful fantasy piece of such masterful yumminess.

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    2. I will! We have it in our library--it's one of Shawn's faves from childhood. I'll make a point of watching it.

      You are too cute re: Atrayu. I think I kind of identified with Atrayu more than crushing on him. I was inspired by his idealism. And crushed when he lost Artex in the swamps of sadness!

      'You have to try ...'

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    3. Yeah, okay, crush is probably not the right word, but he was definitely the most interesting characters in the movie. I admired his boldness and courage and heart.
      Yay, I hope you enjoy the Dark Crystal.

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  2. I was a teen in the 70s and got to see "Star Wars" when it first came out. It was awesome! I also saw "Jaws," which was so scary! But next to "The Thing," it's my favorite movie of all time. The scenes between Dreyfuss, Scheider, and Shaw on the boat are brilliant, and director Spielberg showed what a master he was.

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    1. Ha, The Thing was the first horror movie I watched. Admittedly I watched it between my fingers. Loved the ride, though. And Jaw was awesome. I also saw Star Wars at the movies. I was really young but I remember lining up with the whole family outside the theatre because it was so popular.

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  3. Neverending Story came out just before I headed off to college, so maybe my age had something to do with the fact it never really struck me.
    Dark Crystal is one that I think that does appeal more to adults. It's serious and dark. Shame it never found its audience and didn't do well when it was released.

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    1. It did well in Australia... or maybe I just loved it so much I thought it did well, lol. I do recall they came to Australia with an exhibition of some of the puppets and props from the movie. The detail in the artistry was amazing.

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  4. Love both of these! I have passed them down to my kids and they love them to.

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    1. It so wonderful to be able to share that kind of thing with the next generation and see the same delight in them as you felt yourself at that age.

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  5. It's awful when we rewatch something as an adult and realize it didn't quite stand the test of time! There are quite a few movies like this. Is it us or just the era we live in, with movies that have such a different feel to them?

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  6. FLASH GORDON stood the test of time for me.. it is still wonderfully trashy :) On the other hand, all of STAR WARS look ridiculous to me now... but I was never a fan of that saga

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    1. "Wonderfully trashy" the perfect description of Flash Gordon. I love that one also. And there are so many quotable lines!

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    2. yep, quotable lines, doable actors, wearable costumes :)

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    3. lol at doable actors... And yes!! I love the costumes!!!!

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    4. yep, just imagine wearing all those princess Aura outfits to a party :)
      I'd personally love prince Barin's outfits.... love me the green

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    5. I liked Dale Arden's gold dress.. was it gold? I think it was gold. It was certainly shiny. I'm not sure I could get away with Princess Aura's outfits. I'm not tall or young or skinny enough for those ;)

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  7. I think the timing was wrong for me when these first came out. I was already spending more time at bars than theaters. :P

    So I'm aware of them, but I've never seen either. I should probably watch the Dark Chrystal, though.

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    1. I don't think I ever grew up so it was never about timing for me--except when it comes to analyzing the stories and visuals--especially the visuals. Coming from a 3D background I can't help but pull apart special effects, lighting, colour matching, and continuity... Maybe it's the art I love so much in the Dark Crystal.

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  8. I love the Dark Crystal! One of my favorite Henson movies. I think I saw it three times when it came out.

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  9. For me it was Jungle Book that I saw when I was in school. It was my all time favourite movie.

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  10. I went back and watched the neverending story a while a go, liked all 3 as a kid, but yeah now kinda hmmm

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    1. I don't think I've seen all three... I'm not even certain I've seen the 2nd one. Eek.

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  11. Ooh, the Dark Crystal. Good tip. I've never seen Neverending Story. I've had people tell me it's one I should see with my kids, but...I dunno, I think it's that giant puppet (not muppet, ha) dog thing that keeps me away. After your take on it, I can now scratch it off my to-watch list guilt free. Thanks. :) And thaks for joining the fest!

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    1. Ha, that 'dog thing' was kinda cute in the movie, but it still wasn't enough for the movie to hit my all time favourites.

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  12. Great choices both. I don't know the first movie at all but am well-acquainted with the second. Jim Henson is one of my all-time favorite artists in any medium.

    Thanks for playing, Lynda!

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    1. Jim Henson was brilliant. A genius, even :)

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    2. If ever there were a genius, Jim was it - not only for his obvious gifts within his medium but also his philosophy of treating children like the intelligent people they are.

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    3. Exactly right. I think too many movies/stories made for kids are dumbed down. Kids are smart!

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  13. I know that this might define me (not for the best) but Dumb & Dumber is the best movie of all time! But since Sense & Sensibility is a close second, I figure I'm ok, right?

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    1. lol, now that's an interesting pair of movies. Both great in their own way :)

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  14. I've never heard of The Dark Crystal, but the Never Ending Story was fantastic.

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    1. Never heard of the Dark Crystal??? Aw, my heart cries just a little... ;)

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  15. Neverending Story was okay; I liked Dark Crystal better. I grew up watching Wizard of Oz on TV. It came on once a year and we wanted to watch it EVERY YEAR. My dad was a little put out because we'd already watched it before--what was the big deal? LOL (contrasted to kids today who watch stuff on their DVD players multiple times a week--or multiple times a day!)

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    1. Hhahaha, I did too. We watched it every year as well. The first time we watched it, I wasn't old enough to stay up to its end since it was such a long movie that ran past my bedtime.

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  16. My kids were enamored with The Neverending Story. Had to watch it all the time. I heard of the Dark Crystal, but don't recall watching it in its entirety. I'll have to look it up.

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    1. I didn't realise the next generation has taken to the movie with such delight. Kinda cool.

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  17. My oldest son watched The Neverending Story over and over again on video when he was little. I took him to the theater to see The Dark Crystal. I think I liked it better than he did.

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    1. Based on the comments here, I think that's a common thing with the Dark Crystal.

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  18. Never saw the Neverending Story, but I did like the Dark Crystal.

    The original Star Wars still made the most impression on me.

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    1. The original Star Wars spanned generations. I remember my parents loving it as much as I did.

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  19. Yep, watched both of those growing up many times. I have to agree with you about The Never Ending Story trying a bit too hard. Though I didn't really notice it as a child.

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    1. Yeah, I didn't notice it as a child either.

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  20. I still haven't seen either one of those movies. I know. It's sad.

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    1. Writing or watching an old movie... get back to writing! ;)

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  21. I have seen the Never Ending Story, but I've only watched bits of it. I've not seen the other one at all. I was probably watching scifi at the time. It's nice to reflect back on our memories of someone else's creation that has stayed with us. That's the kind of writing we want to have.

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    1. It would be nice to write the kind of story that has a huge impact on people's memories.

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  22. I took my nieces and nephews to these movies, then my children when they were little. I loved them! I didn't even bother asking if they enjoyed them too. Nobody was ruining a terrific evening for myself. Remember Recusers Down Under? I loved that.

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    1. Oh my gosh, yes!! Rescuers Down Under was brilliant. Wow, that brings back memories.

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  23. Godzilla stands the test of time. It's just fun.

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  24. Sounds like a fun bloghop! I've got a big list of films I've long enjoyed, like To Kill a Mockingbird and Shop Around the Corner. Seems there's one or two I find every year or so to add to the list as well. Have a great weekend!

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    1. I'm not familiar with Shop Around the Corner

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  25. I've never seen those movies. I'm not really a fantasy lover. Plus, I was an adult when those came out. I shouldn't have admitted that. Now everyone knows I'm old.

    Love,
    Janie

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  26. Neverending Story didn't appeal to me or my children. but I think we saw it on TV some time and I it wasn't as bad as I thought.
    I loved the Dark Crystal but I think the story line sort of lost it way somewhat.
    For me this is not an animated film. I can see why you wouldn't want to call it a muppet (Miss Piggy) movie but is a Fantasy film.
    If you watched the SYFY series Jim Henson's Creature Shop, you can see all the hard work the artist and actors put into making this type of movie. One of the challenges was to re-make one of the Skeksis.

    This movie reminds me of the Japanese Bunraku puppet theater Which I enjoy very much..

    So enjoyed reading your interesting picks for the blog hop.
    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I did see a making-of documentary of the Dark Crystal and it was truly amazing to see the work behind the scenes.

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  27. HI, Lynda,

    I can TOTALLY agree with you. I STILL LOVE the Dark Crystal... Never really got into Neverending Story.

    As we mature our tastes can sometimes change, but at least you have a wonderful memory of your first "alone" movie experience. You will never forget it.

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    1. Exactly. The NeverEnding Story will always have a special place in my heart because of that memory.

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  28. I once had a young lady working for me who absolutely loved Never Ending Story. She was always talking about it. I never saw that one or Dark Crystal. I don't watch many fantasy movies.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. It's funny when we love a movie we talk and talk and talk about it :)

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  29. Oh, my boys loved this movie so much! Thanks for reminding me of this. They secretly wished they could become part of "the story" for years to come. My 31 yr. old may still wish that....

    Love it!
    Cherdo
    www.cherdoontheflipside.com

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    1. That's the attraction of many stories, especially fantasy.

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  30. Both of these movies crossed my mind when I was trying to settle on my choice for this bloghop! They were both in heavy rotation on HBO when we were kids so we saw them a lot.
    I liked them a lot then but have not had any interest in revisiting them. As I recall they both had a lot of heavy emotion and pretty dark themes.
    Thanks for sharing these in our Bloghop!

    Nancy at Hungry Enough To Eat Six

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    1. They are heavy on the emotion, but I like that kind of story.

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  31. Interesting choices. And I've never seen them. Guess I'd better take a look.

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  32. If we lived in the same country, I bet we would have found each other in the same theaters. I loved both those movies and in fact, have introduced them to my son. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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    1. I hope your son loves them as much as we did.

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  33. I've seen The Neverending Story - I liked it. I've never seen The Dark Crystal.

    A movie that stands out for me is The Wizard of Oz. I've seen it so many times, and enjoy it every time I see it. My hubby bought me a copy of it quite a few years ago so I could watch it whenever I wanted. : )

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    1. The Wizard of Oz is another one that sticks in the memory and hasn't lost any of its lustre.

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  34. I was a huge Star Wars fan as a kid, seeing it 11 times in its initial run. (Not too hard, it was in theaters for almost a year and a half.) But when I watched it recently to introduce my daughter to it, I was struck by how slow the film was. In 1977 it was action-packed, but by modern SF-action standards (The Avengers, Pacific Rim, etc.) it was slow and plodding.

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    1. oh gosh, really? I haven't watched Star Wars recently and now I'm scared to watch it. I loved it also, remembering how wonderfully action-packed it was. Unfortunately it does make sense that it has slowed down by today's standards.

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  35. Another film on the blog hop that my girlfriend absolutely adores (Neverending Story). I'm starting to feel that she knows more about film than me!

    I've sadly never seen either film, but I might have to give The Dark Crystal a go!

    Ed- Empire's 5-star 500

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    1. In my humble opinion, the Dark Crystal is way better than the NeverEnding Story.

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  36. Can't believe I've never seen either of these!
    The Wiz of Oz is one that stands up to time for me! :)

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    1. I'm amazed how many people have mentioned the Wizard of Oz. I guess I shouldn't be amazed. It was a wonderful movie.

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  37. I enjoy most old movies. Even if they're stale and not as funny or entertaining to me, I still appreciate the nostalgic events.

    I'll rewatch The Wizard of Oz and The Princess Bride. I never get tired of them.

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    1. The Princess Bride is my favourite movie of all time and I watch it regularly, thus it didn't fall into the catagory for this particular bloghop.

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  38. So what is The Neverending Story about? Does it end (ha ha)? ;)

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    1. It's a story in a story about the importance of imagination. More or less. And they tried to make it never end since they made three movies in all.

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  39. Dark Crystal is incredible! One of my all time fave movies. And weird that I was telling just how awesome this movie was to friends LAST NIGHT?

    Regarding the Never Ending Story - same as you. Loved it when it first came out but it's not stood the test of time as well s TDC.

    shahwharton.com

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    1. Another kindred spirit! Yay!
      I love coincidences like that.

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  40. I've never actually seen The Dark Crystal--I'll have to check it out :) And Neverending Story is a classic, though I'm a bit wary of seeing it again as it has a special spot in my memory.

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    1. Even if you change your opinion on The NeverEnding Story, you'll always have that special memory of when you first saw it.

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  41. Alright, Neverending Story! My wife likes Dark Crystal as well:)

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    1. Sounds like you're a big fan of The Neverending Story :)

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  42. I don't recall ever seeing these two fantasy movies. I'll need to check with my husband. He's the fantasy movie watcher. Many times, the movies or television shows we watched as children are remembered one way and if we watched them again now, with an adult perspective, they wouldn't seem as good as they once were. The young eyes of innocence have been replaced with eyes of experience. ~Victoria Marie Lees

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    1. I think we are a lot more accepting as children. Like you said, it's experience that changes our perspective as we get older.

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  43. star wars and princess bride are two of my all times fave that has stood the test of time! (plus all the disney cartoons...)
    great post bringing back memories!
    and i appreciated your overcoming failure iwsg post too - even being published can bring feelings of failure sometimes too.

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    1. The Princess Bride is my all time favourite as well, but I watch it regularly so I couldn't use it for the purposes of this bloghop.

      I agree, even when we reach that 'ultimate' goal of getting published, we still get those feelings of failure eg bad reviews, sales not happening fast enough, no ideas for the next book.

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  44. I love both movies, Lynda. All I have to say is... I hope there won't be any reboots.

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    1. You know there will be... It seems there's a reboot for everything!

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    2. I how I hate reboots... Do you reckon one day they will reboot us too?

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  45. The Neverending Story was one of my sister-in-law's favorites.

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    1. Based on these comments, it seems to be a lot of people's favourite.

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  46. Ah! I ADORE both of those, and I'm sorry but The Never Ending Story will NEVER loose its shine. =) Movies I adore from being a kid that are still epic: The Princess Bride, Back to the Future, The Last Unicorn, Labyrinth, Legend and a dozen others. If I saw it as a kid, I'll always love it. Period.

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    1. Oh my gosh, you just named all the movies I saw and loved as a kid. And of course the Princess Bride is my all time favourite and remains my all time favourite to this day.

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    2. Yes! *high five* Although Serenity has given The Princess Bride a run for its money in some ways.

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    3. ..in some ways ;)
      I think I've watched Serenity more than the Princess Bride recently, but PB is still my fave.

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  47. Never saw either, but The Dark Crystal sounds very interesting...

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    1. You're missing out! (If you like that kind of thing) ;)

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  48. On a similar subject, I must admit that I couldn't quite get as immersed in The Goonies when I saw it recently -- the characters just seemed a bit over-the-top and implausible to me. But the sequence in the caves hasn't lost any of its magical wonder for me.

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    1. Oh noes! Don't tell me that! As a kid, I loved The Goonies as well but haven't seen it in an age.

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  49. Ah The Neverending Story is one of my favorite movies!! Haven't seen it for years and years. Now I wanna see it again. This brought back memories. Good times :)

    Have a great weekend I am gonna follow your awesome blog Lynda! I came over from Alex's blog.

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    1. Welcome! Gotta love those special memories when we were kids.

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  50. I really liked the Neverending Story. There was a lot of imagination in that one!

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  51. I have to confess, I never saw either one of the movies in your post. The movie I liked the most and had to see over and over was The Wizard of Oz. But I was also a Walt Disney nut. Loved all of his movies as a kid. Also, I loved musicals: Showboat, Dancing in the Dark, and so many others that had lots of dancing and catchy music and beautiful costumes.

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    1. Yep, the Wizard of Oz has a wonderful charm. And I also love anything Disney.

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  52. I love movies. I still like Star Wars! I get what you mean, though, about movies that lose something with time. There have been a couple films that disappointed me (as an adult sharing them with my kids) because the plot moved too slowly. I can't even remember which films--just the discussions after we watched.

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    1. Movies move a whole lot faster these days.

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  53. I loved the Dark Crystal. It is a wonderful movie.

    The Aristocats didn't survive growing up. I loved that movie as a kid.

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    1. I can bearly remember the Aristocats. I do remember enjoying it as a kid though.

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  54. Battlestar Galactica failed the test of time for me. I loved it as a kid, but found I couldn't go back to it even after buying it and the series to watch with my own kids.

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    1. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!! Battlestar is a classic!! I had a crush on Richard Hatch! giggle. Admittedly I haven't watched it recently...

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  55. Loved Dark Crystal. And Labyrinth, if we stay in the same genre. One of my favorite old movies is Let's Scare Jessica To Death. Still the most creepy film ever made. I love it so much that it inspired my novel Drowned Sorrow.

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    1. I don't think I've ever seen Let's Scare Jessica To Death. And yes, Labyrinth was enjoyable too, though I haven't seen that recently.

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  56. The Neverending Story was great. Then there are some others, titles escape me at the moment though.

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  57. As a kid I watched The Never Ending Story over three or four times and I wondered why did it end when it was titled Never Ending. But I loved it:)

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I'd love to hear your opinion. Thanks for leaving a comment.