What happened to movies like “The Sandlot”?

29 Jul

We all know these movies, the ones from our childhood that we can quote over and over and still never get tired of watching as adults. To me, the quintessential childhood movie was “The Sandlot”. That film had something for everyone, even adults. Every person could look at those characters and see hints of people they knew or people they were on the Sandlot. That coming of age tale became a staple in households everywhere…FOR-EV-ER.

What happened to those kinds of films? There was a slew of them from the 1980’s until the mid-nineties. There was “The Goonies”, “Stand By Me”, “The Outsiders”,  etc. and they became staples coming of age tales for generations to come. Since “The Sandlot” what film has come to stand as a coming of age tale that all ages can enjoy?

I said for ALL ages

Maybe it is that I do not have kids and am not as attuned to seeing what non-animated children’s films have to offer, but I do not hear the buzz about one like it since “The Sandlot”. I have talked to people that have kids right now and say that they still quote “The Sandlot” or “The Goonies” more than any kids movie that has come out in the last ten years. I am not saying that there haven’t been any good non-animated kids movies that have come out recently, but none of them seem to stand the test of time.

I am interested to hear some different opinions about this subject because, as a 25-year-old without kids, I have a skewed perspective. I am not claiming that there isn’t one, but I have polled several different people about this, even people with kids ranging from ages 7-17 and they can’t think of a  kids movie since The Sandlot that will be timeless. If you can think of one, post it in the comments.

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9 Responses to “What happened to movies like “The Sandlot”?”

  1. Jeremy Petersen July 30, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    I think part of the reason we may not be seeing those kinds of movies because we’re not looking for them. Think about it. If Sandlot came out today and you had never heard of it, would you go see it? We’re not the target demographic, so we shouldn’t be surprised that movies like that fly under our radar. When I think of coming of age movies these days, high school movies are what come to mind.

    On a tangent, wasn’t the early 90s a great era for baseball coming of age movies that taught valuable life lessons? We got Rookie of the Year (Float it!), Little Big League (probably still my favorite childhood film–taught me the art of the water balloon and also discussed the real world implications of trying to get fast food in the Batmobile), and Angels in the Outfield (“Angels can’t help win championship games”) all in the space of a few years.

    • Chris Petersen July 30, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

      I agree with your point about us not being the target demographic, but I research a lot of movies and hear the buzz for children’s movies all the time from different websites and none of them are mentioned past maybe a year or two (unless they were infamously bad). Meanwhile, The Goonies, Stand By Me, and The Sandlot are all still talked about. I am just wanting to know if I missed something. Maybe I should interview kids.

  2. Debjyoti (DJ) July 31, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    Nice Article.

  3. Debjyoti (DJ) July 31, 2010 at 2:53 am #

    If possible do visit my site http://debmoviereviews.com

    It would be great if you give some inputs on how this site can be made much better…I have just started but guess it will be fully functional in a month.

  4. Dad August 1, 2010 at 7:28 am #

    Chris – Great article. I think those movies have now been taken up with the computer generated graphic movies like Shrek, Nemo, etc. that hit both children and adult demographics at the same time.

    • Chris Petersen August 1, 2010 at 9:36 am #

      I agree that there have been a lot of animated movies for both kids and adults, but I am disappointed that they haven’t been able to make a great live action one in a long time. I love the Pixar movies and Despicable Me, but coming of age tales aren’t the same when it is done in cartoon format.

  5. Mum August 2, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Chris, yes, I don’t think they make these types of movies anymore. You did come from a different generation/genre. Stories were, I think, more tangible, concrete. Could also be the advent of the ability to generate more special effects.
    I also agree with the person who commented that those movies have been replaced by the animated films, Shrek (as you know, never one of my faves), but Finding Nemo, etc.
    I think there is something different about a childrens’ imagination today. All, I think, mostly a result of digitized everything.
    Young brains and imaginations are being trained in a whole different way now.
    My comments may perhaps always come across as “When I was your age…”

  6. Andrew K. August 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    I think a big part of it is the computer animation vs. live action. Sure, little dinosaurs are funny, but there is no relatability. Everyone could say they knew humans like Smalls or Yeah-Yeah, and it allows them to connect more and it stays with them longer. Also, a lot of the animated movies feature adults; adult dinosaurs, adult guinea pigs, adult ogres. When you have a kids movie with human kids doing kid stuff in a real world place you can easily recognize, I think it has a different effect on kids and sticks with them longer.

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