About the Project

“On the one hand, (it) can be viewed as a long overdue
acknowledgement of the distinctiveness and quality of
the animated feature in relation to its live-action counterpart;
on the other it may be perceived as a ghetto-ization
of the form, which once more refuses its achievement
in regard to other Hollywood products.”
– Jill Nelmes on the Oscars adding animated films in 2002

I love kids movies. That’s right; I said it.

When I was a kid, bustin' made me feel good.

When I was a kid, bustin’ made me feel good.

Feel free to subject me to whatever psychoanalysis you wish, but I’m not afraid to admit it. I think part of it comes from when I was a kid, but not because I have fond memories of kidsy movies, per se.

A lot of the movies I watched when I was little weren’t meant for me whatsoever – they were R-rated action flicks (my dad), classic musicals and romances (my mom), and whatever else sounded worth recording during that one week every summer when HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime gave everyone a sneak peek at what they were missing. I remember vividly when my good friend Kevin Harrington spent the night at my house when we were maybe 10. My dad rented The Last Boyscout and together we enjoyed the F bomb-dropping, nudity-popping, shoot-em-up starring Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, and about 647 cigarettes. This wasn’t out of the norm for me, but by the following Monday I had become schoolyard legend because Kevin had spread the word that staying over at my house meant watching movies with guns, swearing, and naked women (probably listed in that order). The point is, I didn’t exclusively see kidsy movies back then.

That said, my childhood was the 80s, and the 80s were the start of something special for movies. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas would lay the foundation for two things that the filmgoing public all know instinctively nowadays: 1) summer is the season for blockbusters, 2) movies that can be marketed to kids are hugely profitable. It was that second point that really hit home and changed the backdrop of my childhood. All of a sudden kids entertainment mattered and wasn’t mere drivel. Well, most of it still was, but the presence of good quality entertainment for the family set an example that filmmakers still try to replicate today.

Feeling Like a Kid Again started in part because I love writing about film and watching children’s films, but mostly because this gave me a chance to sift through the good, bad, and ugly of a cinematic subgenre that really started shortly before I was born. My intention for this website (and maybe book, one day) is to shed some light on this subgenre from an academic/critical standpoint (something that doesn’t happen enough) as well as inform parents and others like myself about the very best the genre has to offer.

So for all you hip parents and geeky movie-lovers out there, I hope you enjoy.

As Feeling Like a Kid Again was originally prepared to be a book, I wrote an introduction. And as I always desperately strive to be as clever as possible, this section was going to be called the “PREFACE/FOREWARD/PROLOGUE/PRESCRIPT” and the final chapter (which I removed from web publication for being totally lame) was called the “EPILOGUE/POSTSCRIPT/POSTFACE/FIVEWORD/OUTRODUCTION.” Here is the dedication:

To my parents, Gipper, Grandpa Bob, and Uncle Mike.
Thanks for a childhood spent in the dark.