Growing up in the 1970s meant having access to some of the finest and worst children’s media. Beautiful and inventive international children’s films (“The Railway Children”) elbowed up against Disney’s most abysmal period (“Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo”?) and some of the weakest Saturday morning animation in cartoon history (“The Funky Phantom”?). As a kid in walking distance of a movie theater and sitting in front of a TV that never turned off, I devoured it all the same. But as a new (and aging) father, the question is: does any of this stand the test of time? What are the chances my son will find any of this palatable?
This blog is a survey of my efforts to rescue diamonds from the rubble of my childhood, rewatching and reviewing films and television that stand out in my memory, but which simply may be too awful to consider foisting on my own offspring, who is still just a little too young for cinema right now in any case. Was the post-psychedelic era one that produced timeless classics, or raw indigestible drivel? It’s an empirical question. One I will seek to answer here.
Figure 1: Interior of the Cooper Theater, Denver Colorado, circa 1975. Note the smoking lounge on the left.
You’ve found your true calling,
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