Once every few months, I venture to a video store in hopes of updating my ever-growing movie collection. I browse the new releases, usually passing them over to look at old-new releases that have been marked down to move out inventory. I’ll look for a comedy, adventure, no horror. The genre that I save for last and look forward to most are the children’s movies. I see the new films for preschoolers and movies for the teeny-boppers. What I look for most are films from my childhood; movies that I remember watching on tapes recorded from TV. Last week I happened upon one of those great childhood epics, Muppet Treasure Island. I wasted not time adding it to the pile.
Much to my delight, my roommate also had a great fondness for the Disney take on a classic adventure story. Deciding it was worth sacrificing a night with Wolf Blitzer, we popped in the DVD. In no time, the images came flooding back. Songs, dialogue and jokes seemed as familiar as if we had just watched it earlier that day. Katie and I began to sing along to the opening number not only remembering lyrics, but vocal inflections and facial expressions. Lines that I could not remember, or remembered incorrectly, Katie effortlessly filled in. We began to laugh at scenes that had not yet played out. With tears in our eyes from laughing we watched the movie on the edge of our seats, anticipating the next old-new moment for us.
The movie ended and we talked about our experience down memory lane. The movie was by no means as scary as I remembered. The plot was much less complicated. The struggle between good and evil seemed a little less epic. And, it was definitely not as long as I remembered. Despite this, Katie and I could not have been happier. For the next few days, we quoted songs and lines from the movie laughing harder each time we recited them, the best being a response to the ship’s roll call by one of the Muppets, Clueless Morgan: Huh?
Over the next few days I talked with other friends about my rediscovery and found similar stories from them. Movies taped off television recently released on DVD. One remembered so vividly her favorite film that she could remember the exact spots where commercials had interrupted the story. He was caught off guard when the movie continued uninterrupted with ads from Cabbage Patch Kids or My Buddy. Another friend was delighted when she realized her bootlegged copy omitted several key scenes that as a child were not missed, but as an adult, finally cleared up a confusing story. We found surprising similarities in the movies that we remembered having previously thought them to be our own secret treasures.
What is the point of my story down memory lane? My motivation is to simply share an experience that will spark thoughts of your own childhood memories. Weather it be a book or movie, a record or song I welcome the feelings of excitement and wonder, as I feel, because these are an invaluable tool to bring us back to a simpler time, when all it took to make us laugh was a funny looking puppet with a pirate hat and a funny accent. In conclusion, if you have not seen this movie, come find me, and I will lend you my copy.