Top 10 Films Of A Ten Year Old

I jumped into a time machine and went back to visit myself as a ten-year-old circa mid-1990s. I asked myself: what are your favourite films of ALL TIME right now…this was my reply…

All this talk of childhood got me thinking about my favourite films when I was ten. If I was to travel back in time and ask my ten-year-old self to name his top 10 films, what would they be? With a little creative thinking and a look at the latest releases around my tenth birthday (which occurred in 1993), I managed to come up with a list of films I believe closely resembles my favourites at the time.

Interestingly, and perhaps unsurprisingly, Steven Spielberg features very heavily. He has four films on my list, and mentored and produced two more. If you consider that Joe Johnston, director of Honey I Shrunk The Kids, which appears below, also went on to direct Jurassic Park 3, the second sequel to Spielberg’s epic dinosaur classic, the mastermind behind Jaws, E.T. and Indiana Jones has a dominating presence.

But Spielberg is a kid at heart – Close Encounters of the Third Kind was about childhood innocence trapped in an adult body while E.T. allowed Spielberg to explicitly see the world through a child and Hook allowed him to vent his adult frustrations through the boy who never grows up. It is little surprise he makes, inspires, and produces great family films that work perfectly for young audiences. It is even more impressive that those films work just as well for adults – then and now.

“If I was to travel back in time and ask my ten-year-old self to name his top 10 films, what would they be?”

I remember watching Star Wars a lot, Aliens eventually became a favourite in my teens, as did Scream, but at ten, it was the following films that were on repeat in our VHS player.

10. Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, USA, 1939)

It was between this and The Sound of Music for “old” film favourites when I was younger.

9. Harry and the Hendersons (William Dear, USA, 1987)

John Lithgow quickly became a favourite actor after seeing this. The ending always made me cry; Harry the affectionately named Bigfoot always made me smile.

8. The Karate Kid (John G. Avildsen, USA, 1984)

I had to endure endless “Daniel Son’s” at school following this but I always loved that ending. I used to practice doing that kick on my sister!

7. Honey I Shrunk The Kids (Joe Johnston, USA, 1989)

I have distant memories of seeing this in the cinema. I do remember being truly immersed in it. The special effects were brilliant for the time.

6. The Goonies (Richard Donner, USA, 1985)

A great adventure story with brilliant characters who could endear themselves to all sorts of children.

5. Hook (Steven Spielberg, USA, 1991)

One of those films that has dropped off my “favourite2 radar since childhood but I remember seeing this in the cinema and, like Honey I Shrunk The Kids, being totally amazed by the special effects.

4. Raiders Of The Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, USA, 1981)

I was bound to fall in love with this film. It was one of my mum’s favourites and was endlessly played whenever we needed a “good film”. I remember we had an ex-rental VHS copy of the film with no cover art on the box. As such, it became known as the film in the black box.

3. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, USA, 1975)

Words cannot describe my love of this film – then or now. A true masterpiece and the first horror film I ever saw.

2. Back To The Future (Robert Zemeckis, USA, 1985)

Special effects again. I never liked cartoons or animated films. I wanted to see things that looked real so live action special effects films became keen favourites of mine. Back To The Future was great because I loved the characters, the time travel, the music and Marty Mcfly’s mum!

1. Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, USA, 1993)

The film that came out the year I turned ten. We went to see the film as a family – Mum, me, my sister and Nana. We all loved the film. Audiences hadn’t witnessed special effects as seamlessly integrated with live action before. For my young mind it was a groundbreaking experience. I left the cinema dazed and confused and remember begging my mum to pre-order the video. It was the only film we ever pre-ordered before the advent of DVD.

Written and compiled by Daniel Stephens.

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Your turn – What were your favourite films when you were ten years old?

Top 10 Films of a Ten Year Old:
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About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Avatar
    Castor Reply

    I would add Home Alone, Beethoven and Mrs Doubtfire to my own list 😉

  2. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    @Castor: Oh, great choices Castor! Mrs Doutbfire was a definite fave back in those teen years as was Beethoven. Home Alone, however, still tops many of my lists! 🙂

  3. Avatar
    Chris Reply

    Love all your choices apart from no 8 and no 9. I have a pretty good memory for my 10-year-old self ( :
    I was into Bond movies at that age. Also, Flash Gordon, Big, The Abyss, Batman(Burton), Flight Of The Navigator I couldn’t get enough of. Enjoyed Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves that came out 1991 when I was 10. Hook did too, and likewise I was amazed by the special effects ( :

    By the way, I recently viewed “Adventures in babysitting” from your previous 80s list, pretty good stuff!

  4. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    @Chris: What!? You didn’t like Harry and the Hendersons. I actually found it on DVD in the supermarket really cheap last week and gave it a watch for the first time in many years. It isn’t a great film but it has some good moments – the beginning where the family encounter Bigfoot for the first time used to scare me half to death as a child.

    Flash Gordon was one I remember liking – again I found it strangely frightening and I did love Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

  5. Avatar
    Pete Reply

    Awesome idea for a list! The Goonies was definitely my number 1! Home Alone would be up there, Back to the Future 2, Ghostbusters 2, Grease. I was about 9 I think when I saw Nightmare on Elm Street, The Terminator and Child’s Play and I instantly loved them (partly because they had swearing and violence)!

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    DEZMOND Reply

    those were all big films from our childhoods. So sad and even depressive that today’s kids will be saying the same about TWILIGHT, HUNGER GAMES, DARK KNIGHT and similar morbid and irresponsibly dark crapfest :((( Films have stopped being dreams and they became nightmares 🙁

  7. Avatar
    DEZMOND Reply

    and yes, yes, yes, FLASH GORDON and DUNE were my absolute faves back in those days 🙂

  8. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    @Pete: It is interesting that you loved the sequels. Back to the Future 2 was another of my favourites. I remember seeing it in the cinema.

    @Dezmond: Another vote for Flash Gordon. FLASH Ah ah…!

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    Rodney Reply

    My list would include (in no particular order)

    The Last Starfighter
    The Neverending Story
    Back to the Future Trilogy
    Return Of The Jedi

    (I turned 10 in 1985, even though a lot of these films came slightly after….)

  10. Avatar
    3guys1movie Reply

    Great topic Dan. I think I would watch most of your ten year old selections right now. Well other than Harry and the Hendersons and Honey I shrunk the kids.

    It is hard to remember that far back but my top ten would include

    Star Wars
    Empire Strikes Back
    Lord of the Rings (animated)

    thats all I can rattle off right now probably because I am so old.

  11. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    @Rodney: some great choices Rodney. How many of them are still in your top ten now?

  12. Avatar
    Rodney Reply

    @ Dan – Raiders, Neverending Story, and Jedi would all still make my top 10….

  13. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    @Rodney: Raiders and Jedi I can understand but The Neverending Story is definitely a surprise.

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    Evan Crean Reply

    I was definitely a Spielberg/Lucas kid growing up.

    Loved BTTF, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and ET. I have to admit Ghostbusters was also a big favorite.

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    Andina Reply

    I think my list would’ve had Home Alone and some classic Disney like Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella (princess little girl) haha. I don’t think I watch many movies when I was 10.

  16. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    @3guys1movie: Not a Harry and the Hendersons fan? I watched it recently having found it very cheap on DVD in the supermarket. Not a great film but it still has some good moments. Superman was another one of my faves back in the early 1990s, as was Star Wars.

    @Evan Crean: Oh yes, Ghostbusters was another favourite of mine too.

    @Andina: Strangely, I was never a huge fan of Disney’s animated films. I think I like them more now than when I was a kid.

  17. Avatar
    David Reply

    Don’t laugh at me,when I was 10 years old,I did not know what film is,but these films are definitely my favs when I started watching films.

  18. Avatar
    Chris Reply

    @Dan: Harry and the H’s was too scary for me as a kid, a creepy-looking wookie! ( : And don’t get me started on the witch in Wizard of Oz.
    Must get around to watching Karate Kid, though I would have prefered to see it with my innocent, uncritical 10-year-old eyes…

    ps Inspired by your article, I posted an 80s tribute today

  19. Avatar
    niels Reply

    This is probably my favorite top ten of yours. In fact, I will “steal” your idea and do one for myself. It’s a great exercise in memory and maybe I’ll find a couple of examples of films that I have fallen out of love with.

    All of your choices are very interesting. It’s refreshing to see films like “Harry and the Hendersons” and “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” mentioned in here being that both are close to my heart and they are not considered classics by any means.

    I think at least Jurassic Park will feature, and maybe The Goonies, but I have to think about it.

  20. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    @Chris: Great 80s post! Glad I could be of some inspiration. I think Jaws also scared me senseless as a ten-year-old but the fact I still loved it probably went some way towards me becoming the horror fan that I am today.

    @niels: I’m looking forward to the post niels. Glad I could offer some inspiration. I was thinking of running this as a blogathon as I thought it would be quite popular but didn’t fancy the whole organising aspect of it. Now, hopefully, it won’t need any organising and everyone will get involved. I’ll link to your post when it’s up.

  21. Avatar
    Kay Noske Reply

    My 10 year old self simply ADORED the following:
    1. Swiss Family Robinson (Disney)
    2. The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes(More Disney! With Kurt Russell)
    3. The Wizard of Oz
    4. The Parent Trap (Hayley Mills)
    5. The Moonspinners (Hayley Mills)
    6. Summer Magic (Hayley Mills–do you detect a pattern?)
    7. Robin Hood (Flynn)
    8. The Sound of Music
    9. A Hard Day’s Night
    10. HELP (Beatles)

    So, you can picture a lot of treehouse building and dreaming about boys with cute British accents–and meeting Hayley Mills someday. Which I did at last year’s Turner Classic Movie’s Film Festival. And guess what? She was just exactly what I would have hoped and dreamed she’d be–charming, funny, lovely and warm. Thanks for a nice trip down Memory Lane! Such fun!

  22. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    @Kay: Lovely post Kay – thanks for that. It is nice to see a very different selection of films to those posted above. I can imagine you were a big fan of The Beatles!

    …and what a lovely story to hear about your meeting with Hayley Mills. I had a similar experience when I met Jeff Goldblum and found him to be really charming and very kind – especially giving autographs and having pictures with fans.

  23. Avatar
    Kay Reply

    WAIT, you MET Jeff Goldblum? My Hollywood sweetheart??? SIGH! Oh, I hope I look good in green!! Warmly, Kay
    PS-my latest blog post re: old school spring break with WHERE THE BOYS ARE is up…enjoy!

  24. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    @Kay: He’s such a great actor isn’t he! We went to a presentation of Speed The Plow in London – it was based on a David Mamet play and featured Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum. Afterwards they both came down to sign autographs and chat with fans. Goldblum was terrific – signing all sorts of memorabilia like Independence Day posters etc. but Spacey would only sign programmes for the play so all The Usual Suspects’ DVDs had to be hidden away! 🙂

  25. Avatar
    Jaina Reply

    Great list. Makes me feel incredibly nostalgic! I think I nodded my head throughout your entire list. Goonies, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, Honey I Shrunk the Kids – all on my list too.

    I remember being strangely obsessed with The Golden Child when I was young – had it on a recorded VHS and watched it over and over. God knows why!

    Loved Beethoven, Turner & Hooch, anything with animals in it. Ghostbusters, Robocop, Terminator. All good things for kids to see 🙂

  26. Avatar
    Amy Reply

    What an amazing list! I think the old Return to Witch Island would have been on my list, as well as Mrs Doubtfire and Jumanji! Such a brilliant film!

  27. Avatar
    mark Reply

    When I was 10, I’d mostly only seen films at the drive in the town where I lived. My favourites were:

    (1) The Wild Bunch (saw it before it was re-released with an R classification)

    (2) The Great Escape

    (3) The Mechanic (Bronson/Winner)

    (4) Juggernaut

    (5) The Dirty Dozen

    (6) The Towering Inferno (saw this 2 months before I was 11)

    (7) The Poseidon Adventure

    (8) Enter the Dragon

    (9) The Manipulator (with James Coburn – it has a few names, I think)

    (10) Diamonds Are Forever (stopped watching Bond after Moonraker, which was dull; rewatched this Connery classic on TV at the end of 1983/early 84 while smoking pot and couldn’t stop laughing).

  28. Avatar
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  29. Avatar
    movies4forever Reply

    Wizard of Oz is my all time favorite and I love it you put that on your list.

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