South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut
You would think that two dimensional cut-out children would not learn anything, but the wise children of South Park, in their first screen outing, learn that friendship and tolerance are the things that make the world go around and that to battle the evil forces of Satan, Saddam Hussein and Kyle’s mom (who is indeed a big fat b*tch) all you need is a good song-and-dance routine.
What we learn: The lessons learnt from this movie are that all you need to stop the forces of evil is resurrection of a former friend, a chip that gives you Dragonball Z-like powers, a kid-like homage to Les Miserables and to know ‘special parts’ of female anatomy.
The Monster Squad
In this B-movie classic from the late 80s, a group of teens have to work together to stop a whole list of Universal Studios’ monsters from rampaging through a suburban town and bringing about the end of the world.
What we learn: First of all, that it’s really easy to make silver bullets in CDT classes and that an 80s preparation montage is still a great way to ‘tool-up’ (see Lost Boys, Commando and Evil Dead) for the final showdown. We also learn that Frankenstein is a big softie, you need a virgin to banish Dracula, the Wolfman has ‘nards’ and to never ever take the piss out of the fat kid at school, especially when he is holding a crossbow.
Stephen King’s It
A creature from another dimension lurks under a Maine town, enticing children into the sewers while camouflaged as probably the most sinister clown in history and it’s up to a group of kids to save the day and overcome their own fears.
What we learn: Depending on whether you read the book or watch the movie, the lessons learnt are a little different but the moral of the story is that childhood friendship can overcome nearly everything and that placebo tablets and inhalers filled with water are as potent weapons against giant spider creatures as any electric mini-gun.
A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
Freddie returns once again, this time preying on the vulnerable children from a special school. However, he gets more than he bargains for when the children fight back with a set of dream-based ‘special powers’.
What we learn: A dream-enhanced super-team that displays super-strength, magic powers and earth-shattering vocal powers, the team of orphans and in-care kids do pretty well for themselves. But even with their amped-up dream-warrior status, most of them don’t make it out alive, showing that watching too much TV, playing too many RPGs or having too keen an interest in puppets is not cool and is hazardous to your health.
The all time classic kids-rite-of-passage movie, the Goonies’ eclectic group has everything a gang needs and is a group of friends that every ten-year-old wishes they had. Whether you are in need of something repairing or to have somebody talked to death, the team has a member for every occasion. Even if you are Michael Jackson and you need to use the bathroom, then the Goonies are the right kids crew to ask. So, as the top kids team, really, it is most fitting that they go on the best adventure, meeting mad gangsters, solving puzzles and avoiding traps, all to find the lost treasure. Just how cool is it to be a Goonie?
What we learn: Well, once again, teamwork and friendship go a long way, but also having a handy boxing glove on a wire, being able to ride a girl’s bike at breakneck speed and knowing the difference between the little boy’s room and the men’s room really help. It also helps if you can defeat an octopus (in special editions only) spill your guts to gangsters as a distraction, enjoy the odd Babe Ruth bar and have the courage to help your friends and be a ‘Goonie forever’.
Additional skills learnt are also being open enough to offer to adopt a massive special needs giant without the consent of your parents, and the skill of being able to wobble your chubby gut will make you go down in film history as the coolest team of kids ever to have an adventure at the movies.