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Movies I Wish I Was Introduced To Back When I Was 12

I think my title deserves an explanation, so here it goes: I grew up in a family with various age differences. When I realized that one of my younger siblings was entering her teen years this year, I wondered what movies should I begin to introduce her to before she turns 13. That's when it hit me: what movies do I wanted my younger self to be introduced to if I were back at her age? Granted we both like different things (so her list would be different from mine) so I dug into movies that I've only seen recently (in my late teens to present at 23) that I wished I've seen when I was her age. I've taken to account the appropriateness of the content, and if I would appreciate it or understand it during that time. Here are the seven (and a bonus pick) movies that made it to my list, in no corresponding order.

I think I would be deeply impressed and horrified with dinosaurs if I have seen this at an earlier age. The intensity of watching people running for their lives would be so heightened that I think I would probably be screaming the entire time. The CGI work was fantastic, and I would be very excited with all the merchandise when I visited the parks (I think Universal Studios had something with Jurassic Park). 

Despite growing in an environment of people who loved watching movies, I am surprised and at the same time appalled that nobody threw this in my direction. This was one of my blind spots last year, and I loved it (and now I end up watching it whenever I catch it on TV). My favorite scenes were mostly at the latter half, but I would have been very amazed with E.T., just like the main character. 

I saw bits of James Bond (the Pierce Brosnan ones), and the first Indiana Jones, but not Batman. To be fair, Batman wasn't so big at home, but my first foray to that world was the 1997 Batman and Robin movie (judgment, you have failed me!) so I thought that was that. I did not know at the time that there were three other Batman movies and now I'm wishing I've seen the first two when I was younger. It has Michael Keaton as the titular hero, and I really liked where the second movie headed - dark, gritty, and wonderful. 

This one would probably be my fault, as I've only seen M:I 2 lying around and a man climbing a cliff did not interest me. However, the first movie is a different story. It might have disappointed me that it was so short and was cut off when it was getting better, but it might have piqued my interest to watch the movie where the only part I've seen was the man climbing said cliff (it seems I never got past the opening credits!). 

Reading subtitles may have not been my thing when I was younger (where everything gets easily dubbed around here) but I would definitely go for something colorful and delightful as this. I was always looking for non-Disney animated movies, and My Neighbor Totoro would have fit the bill. I also see this as a great introduction to the Studio Ghibli movies, as I think this one of the more approachable works of the studio. 

The people I spent most of my summers with were either in their formative teenage years or in the early adult stages of their lives so it's either 'intellectual horrors ', movies I get shooed out of the room of, movies I don't understand much of, or rom-coms that they have lying around. However, The Princess Bride would have been a very welcome movie to the whole romantic comedy movies I've seen. It's romantic, it's funny, it's witty - what's not to like?

Because I know what happens in Terminator 2, but not Terminator 1. You can't make a kid watch the second one and just explain what happened in the first movie!

Bonus Pick
I found that this is a great film for introduction to a different kind of fantasy world. Sure, most of the movies on the list are ideas that spawned from imagination, but there's something different with the fantasy and the world that Guillermo Del Toro introduced. It might be a bit too dark for younger audiences, but the beauty of the film will certainly not be lost when viewed. This makes a bonus pick because I was already 15 when this came out. 

What almost made it to my list: I think I would enjoy Bugsy Malone, but it's not an ultimate must-watch for me. I took out Pulp Fiction from my list because I don't think I would appreciate it at that age. Same goes for Blade Runner and Shawshank Redemption, the latter I think would have darker themes.

So, what would make it on your list? 


  1. Very unique list with some great picks. Since I'm quite a bit older, I could come up with a list of dozens. I'll just stick with movies from the last few years and say:

    The LEGO Movie (don't know if I would've gotten it all, though)
    Super 8 (fits so perfect with movies that actually came out when I was 12-ish)
    Paranormal Activity (yeah, I was into horror flicks as a kid)
    Megamind (wonderful inversion of a superhero flick)
    World War Z (would've loved it even more than I do)
    All of the Marvel flicks + the X-Men movies
    Raimi's Spider-Man flicks

    1. Definitely with you on the Marvel and Raimi's Spider-Man movies, they are some of the best superhero movies I've seen!

  2. What a great topic for a post! I love your picks. I definitely wish I could have been introduced to Studio Ghibli movies when I was 12.

    1. I think I'm going to try to introduce Studio Ghibli movies to my youngest sibling - hopefully she enjoys them as much as I do.

  3. First time I saw Jurassic Park was when I was 10 in the cinema. It really was incredible.

    1. I really think I would have been more amazed (and less critical of the adult characters) with Jurassic Park if I saw it back then.

  4. I love this, because film is so important to me and I want it to be important to my kids. I have watched so many movies with them that I personally didn't get introduced to till I was much older because I love the idea of them swooning over other things than constant Disney.

    My kids have watched a ton of Studio Ghibli as we discover these gems together.

    We are planning a Star Wars marathon with some friends for my seven year old soon.

    1. That sounds really awesome; I can't wait to pass down my love for films when I have children!

  5. Such a unique list and post! My mom and relatives really let me get away with watching a lot of movies. There weren't many that I was shied away from. Perhaps I should do a list of movies I shouldn't have seen at 13. haha (I'll credit this post, of course!)

    1. Thank you! I wish I had seen more movies when I was younger, I feel like I'm still catching up with all the movies others have already seen. Looking froward to reading your list, if you decide to make one! :)


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