Posted on February 24, 2012
Retro Reaction #5 (Part 1 of 2) Exploring Other Worlds
We are all introduced to the world of fantasy at a very early age. Stories that make their mark and stay with us through our lives. In the 80s there was no big Narnia release, no Pirates and no Harry Potter. Today I will be sharing with you my top 3. These are my opinion only Retro Readers as they were films from my own childhood.
Number 3 The Never Ending Story (1984)
Made in the year of this Analyst’s birth. I wanted to like this film again but it hasn’t aged at all well. Not a criticism in itself, but the dialogue is bad compared to the other two on my remembered list. It can’t decide if it’s fun and lightweight or has some kind of moral purpose.
The subtext here is dealing with grief. The protagonist is overcoming the loss of his mother and retreats into the imaginary world Fantasia. Number three on the list isn’t so bad. Many see this as a fantasy classic and I’m not going to argue otherwise. It is worth watching, just on re watch I found this the least interesting. Again Retro Readers this is just me.
Number 2 Return to Oz (1985)
It was very, very close. This film was as close to a horror film as a eleven year old analyst was going to get. Princes Mumby’s screaming heads and the wheelers. This was much different to the musical and came from books Ozma of Oz and the Marvellous land of Oz .
On re-watch the subtext is hard to read. I was unsure if Ozma was some OZ version of Dorothy or a separate character (the whole mirror thing.) But the fact that I’m still not sure at 27 is probably a good thing. Dorothy is much braver than the previous film. Almost no pining for home.
The early scenes set in a Victorian asylum are among the creepiest in any PG movie. So much so they remind me of the American McGee Alice games. I wouldn’t be shocked if this film provided some inspiration. The same is true of the never ending story and it’s damaged Fantasia.
Moment of the movie is the gnome king wearing the ruby slippers. A scene I read that was very costly on rights issues. (The slippers were reminiscent of the first movie and therefore required a hefty royalty fee)
“Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen”
This film was met with cold reviews and flopped at the box office $12,729,917 but I have a soft spot for this movie. A young girl gets sick of babysitting and recites a spell giving her baby over to the goblin king.
The repeated lesson in this one is the line “Things are not always as they seem” A prominent message for any young person to take on. Just ask Truthseeker on his commute to work appearance can be deceptive.
It’s also a story about growing up. The characters she meets are toys at the end of the film. That moment is a moment every person meets one day. The realisation they’re just toys with sentimental value (this is expertly done in Toy Story 3)
Interesting that the winner of my 80s fantasy film countdown is a film about growing up and leaving childhood. This coming from a man who writes a blog to relive parts of it.
Perhaps I never grasped the moral of Labyrinth after all.
There’s still the Master System reviews to come Retro Readers
For this is the 1st of a 2 Parter…
But for now have a great dayyyyy
To Be Continued