Just My Imagination

Just My Imagination: Introduction

Posted by on Dec 20, 2011 in Just My Imagination | 0 comments

Just My Imagination: Introduction

“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” – John Lennon Perhaps no other filmmaker has been more concerned with the imagination than Terry Gilliam. Tim Burton is pretty close, but of course several of his projects are remakes or retreads. But Gilliam is like the Dr. Seuss of cinema, serving as a true auteur from the...

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Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Posted by on Dec 20, 2011 in Just My Imagination | 0 comments

Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Disclaimer: May reinforce the idea of monsters in your child’s closet. If you were one of those kids who, when your mom asked you to clean your room, merely stuffed everything in your closet or under your bed, you probably weren’t so worried about monsters in your room. I mean seriously, how could they possibly fit in there with all that stuff? If you were like the rest of us, who had veteran cleaning Nazis for parents who always checked those places, then you were afraid of monsters in your...

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Matilda (1996)

Posted by on Dec 20, 2011 in Just My Imagination | 0 comments

Matilda (1996)

Disclaimer: Some fantastical adult violence against children … and vice versa. With its sharp and bright palette of colors and soft-spoken main characters, Matilda is a surprisingly cheerful adaptation of a typical dark children’s book by Roald Dahl (The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach). After reading the book, I wouldn’t be surprised if Stephen King got his idea for Carrie from Dahl’s innocent little main character. In the story, Dahl creates an innocent...

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Back to the Future (1985)

Posted by on Dec 20, 2011 in Just My Imagination | 0 comments

Back to the Future (1985)

Disclaimer: A few swears, mild violence, and disturbing allusions to incest. Children from around the world have been plagued by their parents saying the words, “When I was your age,” often followed by an example of how they behaved, which rivaled The Brady Bunch in the risqué factor. By the time they’re teenagers, how many kids truly think their parents know what it’s like? The idea for this highly successful film trilogy supposedly began when its co-writer, Bob Gale, found his father’s high...

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The Fall (2006)

Posted by on Dec 20, 2011 in Just My Imagination | 0 comments

The Fall (2006)

Disclaimer: A very brutal movie that in many ways should only be enjoyed by adults, but mature preteens should be able to handle it. It should come as no surprise that studios and producers shunned this project from writer-director Tarsem Singh (The Cell and Immortals) for something like 14 years. I can hardly image him pitching the idea. “It’s a horrifying fantasy based on the 1981 Bulgarian film Yo Ho Ho, involves shooting in more than 20 countries, much of the dialogue is improvised by a...

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The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953)

Posted by on Dec 20, 2011 in Just My Imagination | 0 comments

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953)

Disclaimer: Kids that hate piano lessons may grow fascinated with drums and Hamlet. When Horton Hears a Who came out in 2008, (most) critics hailed it as the first feature-length Dr. Seuss adaptation worthy of his name and the first to properly capture his zaniness (obviously Chuck Jones’ half-hour Grinch cartoon qualified, too). They cited recent failures such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat, but clearly forgot about this quirky and colorful cult classic, which mostly...

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Millions (2005)

Posted by on Dec 20, 2011 in Just My Imagination | 0 comments

Millions (2005)

Disclaimer: Gratuitous displays of greed and Catholicism, not to mention children internet surfing to find images of women in lingerie. For almost any adult I’ve ever met, one of the most exciting days as a kid was the day a new refrigerator, television, washer, or dryer came to the house. While the parents oggled at the new features of the appliance, the kids jumped inside the larger-than-life box to admire even better features of a spaceship, skyscraper, or time machine. And anyone who once...

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Drop Dead Fred (1991)

Posted by on Dec 20, 2011 in Just My Imagination | 0 comments

Drop Dead Fred (1991)

Disclaimer: Sexual innuendo, foul language, and household pranks that involve vodka. I never had an imaginary friend like some of my classmates. And it never bothered me until I saw Drop Dead Fred. I, like a few other kids, immediately wanted to have an imaginary friend at that exact moment. This film takes the traditional fluffiness of Disney films and any other fairy tales that begin with “Once upon a time” and end with “Happily ever after” and turns it upside down. “Did they live happily...

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Freaky Friday (1976 & 2003)

Posted by on Dec 19, 2011 in Just My Imagination | 0 comments

Freaky Friday (1976 & 2003)

Disclaimer: Some risque sexual situations in the worst game of jinx/fortune cookie ever played/devoured. Body swap movies are hardly strangers to Hollywood family films, showing up as early as 1948’s Vice Versa. But Disney’s 1976 version of Mary Rodgers’ book created a landslide in the decades that followed with Like Father Like Son, Vice Versa, 13 Going on 30, 17 Again, and, perhaps the cream of the crop, Big. The sub-genre proved so successful that Disney recycled its own film two more times...

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Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

Posted by on Dec 18, 2011 in Just My Imagination | 0 comments

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

Disclaimer: Like a traumatizing childhood, this has some fairly scary moments. Derived from what is arguably the greatest children’s picture book in history, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are was rumored for cinematic adaptation for a few decades (Disney was even attached in the 80s and John Lasseter did the early test work) before Sendak himself approached Spike Jonze. Here is a visionary music video director who turned to indie pictures in time for Charlie Kaufman hits like Being...

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Just My Imagination: Other Recommended Titles

Posted by on Dec 13, 2011 in Just My Imagination | 0 comments

Just My Imagination: Other Recommended Titles

Alice in Wonderland (1951): The ultimate acid trip following an imaginative young girl and based on Lewis Carroll’s political satire is perhaps Disney’s strangest release. Big Fish (2003): This tall tale from director Tim Burton positions the incomparable Albert Finney as the ultimate yarn-spinning relative in this fantastical family drama chock full of imagination and an excellent cast. It does, however, break a certain secret about Santa and the Easter Bunny. The Bridge to Terabithia (2006):...

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Just My Imagination: For Adults Only

Posted by on Dec 12, 2011 in Just My Imagination | 0 comments

Just My Imagination: For Adults Only

Heavenly Creatures (1994): Peter Jackson’s incredible breakthrough film follows two 15-year-old girls with twisted imaginations and a homoerotic friendship that leads to murder. Whistle Down the Wind (1961): The idea for this British family film starring Hayley Mills is fantastic: A couple of farm kids mistake the fugitive hiding in their barn for Jesus. Adults might find it amusing, but the product is far too boring for most kids to get...

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