10 Reasons why…The Goonies is still the best kids’ adventure movie ever!
October 20, 2012 Leave a comment
Richard Donner’s quintessential coming of age/adventure movie is now almost 30 years old. It’s really hard to believe that, unlike a lot of eighties movies, The Goonies, still after nearly three decades has aged so little. It captures perfectly what is required to make, what is arguably, the best kids’ adventure movie ever made. The movie boasts so many memorable moments squeezed within the confines of two hours of celluloid. With this in mind, I feel it’s necessary to take a retrospective look at a childhood favourite that even today thrills, entertains and makes you laugh out loud. And here’s 10 reasons why:
The Truffle Shuffle
The kids make Chunk do the titular dance/wiggle/shake thing before they grant entry into the house. The Truffle Shuffle involves the fat kid lifting up his shirt and jiggling his curvy exterior for the entertainment of his friends and us at home. And he’s called Chunk. Genius. In a time when political correctness is rife, finding amusement in a fatty boombatty shaking his stuff on screen is quite liberating.
The Statue & The Dick
Chunk, once again is mocked here for not only being fat, but also for his clumsiness. He sits back and knocks over Mikey’s mom’s statue of a disrobed man. He quickly picks it back up, but something’s missing. The penis has broken off; to which Mikey exclaims ‘That’s my mom’s most favourite piece!’. Hilarious. They then glue it back on…upside-down. Just when you think the scene is over, another little gem is the icing on the cake.
The Hot Cheerleader
For an 80’s movie such as this, it would never have stood the test of time if it didn’t have a hot cheerleader in it. Our main guy is a 12-year old Mikey who fantasises about the older hot girl at school. All boys did. We can all empathise with him; and also sympathise as none of us would ever get a girl like that. It’s a lesson we have to learn. Mikey though, the sneaky bastard, nabs a kiss from the cheerleader, when she inadvertently makes out with him thinking he was his older brother. Score! Mikey, we salute you.
Mouth & The Maid
Mouth (Corey Feldman) translates for Mrs. Walsh when explaining her duties to the new maid, Rosalita. This scene is one my favourites and it’s so simple. The age-old joke of changing the words for the foreigner. Funny for us, at their expense. Here are the best bits:
- Irene Walsh: Pants and shirts go in the… oh, forget about it. Just throw everything into cardboard boxes. Clark, can you really translate all that?
Mouth: For sure, Mrs. Walsh.
Mouth: [in Spanish to Rosalita] The marijuana goes in the top drawer. The cocaine and speed go in the second drawer. And the heroin goes in the bottom drawer. Always separate the drugs.
- Irene Walsh: [to Rosalita] This is my supply closet. You’ll find everything you need – brooms, dust pans, insect spray… I would really like the house clean when they tear it down. Clark, can you translate?
Mouth: [“translating” to Rosalita] If you do a bad job you’ll be locked in here with the cockroaches for two weeks without food or water.
Irene Walsh: [to Mouth] You are so fluent in Spanish. That was so nice of you.
Data, everyone’s favourite neighbourhood inventor brings the gadgets and the ethnic diversity. The Goonies are always a little sceptical of Data’s contraptions, but when you’re being chased by some baddies, they came up trumps. Besides the extendable boxing mitt (which he usually punched himself in the face with), Data’s greatest creation was ‘Slick Shoes’. These are, of course, sneakers that open up at the heel to disperse a trail of oil. Traversing a log over a cavernous waterfall and being pursued by some assholes means it’s Slick Shoes time. Squirt = baddie slips over, legs akimbo and cracks his nuts. High five!
Puzzles & Booby-Traps
With the possible exception of one or two movies, such as Stand By Me or more recently, Super 8 (all Spielberg Productions), The Goonies showcased a bunch of child characters that weren’t stupid. Here they were worthy adversaries for the bad guys and intelligent enough to solve the puzzles and avoid the traps. The skeleton pipe organ is the best example that proved these kids were wise beyond their years; deciphering clues resulting in musical notes, that when played, opened a door if correct, or made the floor fall away if they were wrong. In what is a predominantly male orientated movie, it is the cheerleader, Andy, here, who proves she’s the smart cookie.
These Italian mumbling idiot mobsters are more a device to keep the movie flowing than a fearsome presence as they chase our heroes down. Where the kids rule, the adults are foolish miscreants; the brothers arguing and fighting with each other, and of course, who can forget Mama Fratelli? The tiny lady with a stomp and a gurny face is the most despicable of foes. And although, she is a dominating, yet miniature figure in heels, she does not form the major threat…
The main reason these bunch of kids go off on a treasure hunt in the first instance is because their parents cannot afford to keep their houses (The Goon Docks). This is just as relevant now as it was 30 years ago; even more so. So prevalent it is currently, that today’s kids and adults alike can understand that this as a major threat. None of this spy shit or singing in a school cafeteria rubbish, The Goonies focuses upon something undeniably imperative to any childhood, the importance of friends. Yeah ok, they find a treasure map and go on an adventure to find it; but the peril and the possibility of having to move away from your friends has never been so real.
A joke in of itself; but one that they could get away with in a kids’ movie. And it’s not as blatant as calling him dickhole the pirate. One-Eyed Willy was a pirate so despicable that he set booby-traps so even after he died, some unfortunate sons of bitches would meet their demise. That’s a great villain, right there. He’s a baddie who’s so conniving that his living self never need make an appearance in the movie. Besides a skeleton pirate is far scarier than a parrot adorned, moustached hook-handed matey.
A disfigured, wonky faced, pointy headed, toothy, ugly giant becomes the hero of the movie! Not some ripped, chisel jawed ladies man. The outcast of the group of kids, Chunk, finds friendship in this hulk of a man after he shares his chocolate bar with him. And then the chained monster, the other Fratelli brother, breaks free and sets about saving the day. There are a few severe moments of truth however; when Mama Fratelli apologises for dropping Sloth on his head (more than once) when he was a baby. Harsh. Ultimately though, just like any great movie, audiences always know a particular piece of dialogue; and it’s Sloth who utters these very lines that will echo in the halls of great movie moments for ever more. All together now: