Looking back on an old childhood favorite can be disappointing. Most times it simply doesn’t hold up when you’re an adult. However, there are those special few, those books or movies that we loved and will continue to love throughout our lives. Whether it is a bedtime story, a feel-good movie or our favorite book series, we all have those lifelong favorites. This is The Channels Editorial Board’s suggestions of childhood favorites that still hold up today.
August Lawrence, Arts & Entertainment Editor
‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ – Steven Spielberg (1982)
When I was young there was nothing better than an afternoon on the couch, feet up, with the movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” running on repeat till bedtime. Little has changed since then. The story is of a lost alien, E.T., who bonds with a boy from Earth, Elliott. The epic adventure they go through is straightforward, relatable, yet so complex. This film showed me I wasn’t alone whenever I felt like an outcast or alienated. It’s the kind of movie you can grow up and mature alongside. I’ve seen it at least 100 times, yet I’ll still notice new directorial nuances or realize a new way that the alien and I relate. I loved it as a child and love it to this day. John Williams’s score is enrapturing and you can see why Steven Spielberg is accepted as one of the greatest directors of all time. For anyone looking for marvelous direction, stupendous storytelling or a simply an amazing feel-good movie, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” is definitely worth watching.
Ryan P. Cruz, Editor-in-Chief
‘Goosebumps’ series – R.L. Stine (1992-1997)
My fascination with horror movies and scary stories started when I was a kid. I loved the way these stories made me feel, and I liked hearing about the supernatural and paranormal. I used to stay up late in my bed to read the spooky series ‘Goosebumps’ by R.L. Stine. Everytime I went to a library or bookstore I had to see if there was one I hadn’t read, and my collection continued to grow. I carried my latest copy of ‘Goosebumps’ everywhere I went, and I even wrote my book reports on the series. I was obsessed. I needed to read every single one, and this sparked my curiosity for other books and movies that gave me the same creepy feeling. As I got older I moved on to new hobbies and interests, but that underlying love for the macabre still carried on. I can always thank R.L. Stine, the man behind my favorite series, for the reminder that the feeling of fear—those goosebumps—is what makes me feel alive.
Jacob Frank, Opinion Editor
‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ series – Lemony Snicket (1999-2006)
‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ was one of the first book series that I remember actually feeling excited to read. Lemony Snicket, the pen name of author Daniel Handler, created a blended and intricate world of mystery, suspense, darkness and maturity within supposed children’s novels. I read these books for summer reading logs with my mom, I read them under my bunk-bed and I read them on road trips. I wasn’t old enough to understand everything or follow the intricacy of the plot, but I was very interested in it at my age of maybe seven or eight. After losing their parents mysteriously in a fire, the three Baudelaire orphans are tossed into, quite literally, a series of unfortunate events riddled with death, conspiracy and a distant relative who is murderously intent on stealing their family’s fortune. I haven’t read these books in years, but I’d be curious to see how they hold up at my age. I’ll never forget them, as they represent a little sliver of my childhood that I so sweetly remember.
Alloy Zarate, Features Editor
‘Monsters, Inc.’ – Pete Docter (2001)
A DVD of ‘Monsters, Inc.’ is currently still stuck in my family’s old DVD player. Sometimes we accidentally turn it on and end up watching the whole thing again, then the prequel on Disney+. A world filled with monsters that generate energy from children’s screams by traveling through door-shaped portals is a concept I could get behind. We enter this world in the midst of an energy crisis and follow the shenanigans of two best friends, Sulley and Mike, and a human toddler who accidentally gets stuck on the wrong side of a door. Mike is the comedic relief of the trio, inflicting pain unto himself, making up songs, or flirting with a receptionist to get the trio out of trouble. The heart of the plot is created through the relationship between Sulley and the human child he calls “Boo.” Sully risks his career and possibly the entire company to do the right thing and get Boo home safely, eventually developing a loving bond with her. This movie strikes the perfect balance between heart and comedy. Add an unforgettable, jazzy main music theme and this movie is endlessly rewatchable.
Desiree Erdmann, Photo Editor
‘Where the Wild Things Are’ – Maurice Sendak (1963)
‘Where the Wild Things Are’ is a book that will always fill me with childlike happiness at just the thought of it. When I was a child it was the only book I would allow my older sister Meagan to read to me, and because of this she still has the book memorized to this day. The book itself does not have the most amount of words, as it is a picture book, but she would always read them in funny voices. I am so fond of this book because of the time I spent with Meagan, and because of the way Max, the main character, was able to run off into his imaginary world. Growing up, most of my friends were just school friends and I would spend the summer or after-school time in my own imaginary world. It would be full of giant trees and imaginary animals just like Max’s. At the end of the day, I would have to leave the wonder of my own world to go back to the real world with my parents. In the last couple years the older cousins in my family have started having kids, so whenever there is a new baby in the family I always make an effort to go out and buy this book for them in hopes that they will also enjoy it as much as I have.
Rodrigo Hernandez, News Editor
‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ – Chris Columbus (1993)
‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ is a heartfelt comedy-drama about an actor that got a recent divorce and dresses up as an elderly British housekeeper, who he names Mrs. Doubtfire, in order to be able to spend time with his children. The film boasts a charming and hilarious lead performance by the late, great Robin Williams, and supporting roles from the talented Sally Field and Pierce Brosnan. The themes of the film are divorce, separation, and the effects it has on family, while also being comedic and uplifting. Being a child of divorced parents, I don’t remember seeing that much media about separated families or divorce in general; most likely because of how all-too-real and dark the subject can be, especially now that we are at a divorce rate of 3.2 per 1,000 population in the U.S. Having this film growing up was and still is precious to me. Tackling a subject as heavy and ugly as divorce, especially when it involves children, is something that isn’t easy to represent, much less experience. However, I remember when I saw this film I laughed and I cried. Although I was too young to really grasp what was going on, it did help me understand, knowing that whatever happened was between my parents, and all that matters is that I’m loved and supported. Rewatching the film, especially after Williams’ passing, reminds me of the beautiful message it has, and the special place it holds in my heart. “…But if there’s love dear, those are the ties that bind, and you’ll have a family in your heart, forever. All my love to you poppet, you’re going to be alright,” – Robin Williams, Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Editor’s note: “Goosebumps” author R.L. Stine was originally listed as a pseudonym when it is, in fact, the author’s birth name.