There are times in our lives when we tend to glance back at our childhood, whether for understanding, mulling at our present, or seeking out our futures.
Remember good times. And discover ourselves when things seem bleak.
Looking back on our past however – especially our childhood, we sometimes see explanations for why we think the way we do now, where we got a handful of our morals, and even where we chose our favorite colors.
Books and television are shepherded into our lives at an early age. And while most of the shows, movies, and novels made for young audiences seem childish and ridiculous, almost every single one of them hold hidden meanings, and opinions about the world, from a creator’s perspective.
Taking a look back at some of the most well known childhood films of my generation, I’ve found that quite a few of my favorite pass-time plot-lines, t.v. shows, and cartoons had voices of opinion I never quite noticed until after my childhood had moved behind me:
One of the movies that really comes to mind when I think of film with a message, is Ferngully. Plotted around a slightly less-than-real forest, with fairies, and magic flying bug-men (not to mention a bat with radio cable), Ferngully centers with a young fairy soon to take over her predecessor as guardian of the forest.
What the poor fairy population doesn’t know however is that humans have been prepping to tear down their home. Humans have forgotten their love of nature, and now, apparently, obstruct it with complete and utter oblivion. When a human male gets shrunk down to fairy side, he learns that nature is sacred, and with the help of everyone, the Ferngully forest is saved.
Nothing says tree-huggers like Ferngully. However, this also happened to be one of my all time favorite films as a child. The characters were fun and upbeat, and the plot line was unique for it’s time. The tree-huggery part taught me to respect my environment as well. And judging from the entire Green, global warming movement happening around me, I’m going to guess I wasn’t the only one who saw this piece of hippy bliss.
Next, comes one of the world’s most widely known stories. Harry Potter. Quoted by Stephen King, “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”
I feel slightly ashamed for even having to explain what the Potter series is about, since I’m sure at least a third of the world population knows it by heart, but the books (written be J. K. Rowling) follow a young wizard as he grows up, nearing adulthood, and all the troubles he has along the way. Most of his adventures, we’ve all been through. Awkward friends who blow their faces up. Puberty and first crushes. Having the world decide you’re the only one who can defeat the most evil criminal mastermind on the planet.
But what makes Harry Potter such an amazing novel is the fact that the books can relate to almost everyone, and everyone has something or someone from the book they can relate to. In the tough, rough, and trouble of real life? Harry Potter has made my days bearable on a nearly uncountable tally. It taught me about friendship, about responsibility, and most of all, how to be myself.