by Coop Cooper
10. “Top Gun” (1986): With talk of a sequel finally in the works, this one almost didn’t make the list. However, no other film has convinced so many kids to want to be fighter pilots than “Top Gun.” Now that Tom Cruise has agreed to return for a sequel, we might finally get another great modern-day dogfighting film (but not likely).
9. “Field of Dreams” (1989): Easily one of the greatest baseball films of all time, the story mixed sports with a dash of fantasy to create a tear-jerking film even guys can love. While no sequel or remake is needed, kids who haven’t seen “Field of Dreams” are sorely deprived.
8. “Ghostbusters” (1984): This wacky mix of comedy/action/sci-fi gleaned humor from the best of Saturday Night Live alums and some of the best special effects artists in the business. While there have been rumors for years of a sequel, we may have to wait a long time for this franchise to reboot.
7. “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial” (1982): With no sequels and a defunct Universal Studios theme park ride, it’s surprising Spielberg let this one go so easily. Watching it on TV barely does justice to this film which I re-watched many times in the theater as a youth. Many agree that “E.T.” needs to make some sort of a comeback!
6. “Poltergeist” (1982): For many in my generation, this was the first horror film we ever saw. Considered the “Star Wars” of ghost stories, this film featured top-notch special effects and a spooky, yet not TOO scary story (it was PG, after all). Although films like “Insidious” are trying to bring back this genre, none so far have had the budget to live up to “Poltergeist.”
5. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” (1988): This revolutionary blend of animation and live-action has never been challenged or duplicated. Its charming story and concept is screaming for a sequel, yet no one has stepped up to the plate. This is a must-see for the youngest of viewers.
4. “Gremlins” (1984): This PG horror film that spawned dozens of lousy knock-offs seems all but forgotten by the current generation. There has been some Hollywood interest in a remake/sequel but nothing has materialized. Despite it’s scary villains, it also has a cute-as-a-button hero named Gizmo, which makes it more palatable for kids.
3. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981): This Steven Spielberg tribute to old cliffhanger serials is the quintessential swashbuckling action film of the 20th century. Many have tried, but none have replicated the excitement of the first 3 films of this franchise. Kids are familiar with this genre because of video games like “Uncharted” and “Tomb Raider” so chances are they are already thirsty for some vine-swinging adventure.
2. “Goonies” (1985): Before I knew anything about this one, I thought it might be a “Gremlins” knock-off. Instead, it’s a kid’s version of “Indiana Jones” with lots of fun and heart. Although a sequel was planned, it never came to pass. Any films since trying to capture the “Goonies” magic have proven poor substitutes.
1. “Back to the Future” (1985): Now that the Universal Studios theme park ride based on this film is extinct, it’ll be up to parents to introduce their children this classic sci-fi kids film for which there is no substitute. Although there are many time travel films out there, but there are no plans to remake or reboot this franchise. Doubtful we will see a better one for kids anytime soon!