Tag Archives: childhood

15 Nostalgic Movies to Binge Before Halloween

Spooky season is upon us. You know what that means: a little less studying and a little more movie marathons!

Here’s a list of Halloween movies from your childhood that you might’ve forgotten about but are a necessity to watch before October 31st creeps upon us.

The Halloweentown Franchise  (1998-2006)

If you were a kid in the late ‘90s or early 2000s, chances are that you’ve heard of this Disney Channel movie series. Throughout the entire series, we see the kids of the Piper family go from finding out about the magical wonders of “Halloweentown” to mastering their very own magical powers. If you want to spend all day binging one series of movies, then this is the series for you.

Where to watch: Disney+ (subscription), Hulu (premium subscription), Amazon Prime ($3.99/ea), YouTube ($5.99/ea), Google Play ($5.99/ea), Disney Now (free with cable)

Hocus Pocus (1993)

‘90s kids, this one is for you. The idea of old spirits having to acclimate to a more modern age of the 90s is always an interesting concept, and “Hocus Pocus” is no exception. A group of kids that save the day with some supernatural help? That’s everything a 90s movie needs! This film just hits you right in the nostalgia.

Where to watch: Disney+ (subscription), Amazon Prime ($2.99), YouTube ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99)

Casper (1995)

Rewatch for the adventures, and weirdly enough, the puppy love that comes to flourish between Casper and Kat in this 1995 film. If you want a throwback to watching reruns of “Casper” during October when you were a kid, then here you go.

Where to watch: YouTube ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), Amazon Prime ($3.99)

Ghostbusters (1984)

Now, we all know this classic, right? Watching this monster hunting quartet defeat some of the most iconic creatures in cinematic history is always a necessary watch for Halloween.

Where to watch: Hulu (premium subscription), Vudu ($2.99), Amazon Prime ($2.99), YouTube ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99), Freeform (free with cable)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Whether you consider this classic a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie (or both if you’re feeling crazy), that’s up to you. But, this remains a top contender for Halloween movies for me. It’s safe to say that this is an iconic movie for the 2000s kids.

Where to watch: Disney+ (subscription), Amazon Prime ($2.99), YouTube ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99)

Coraline (2009)

I think that anyone who has ever watched “Coraline” is either in love with this film or completely terrified (or at least when they were kids). Personally, this is one of my favorite movies to watch (even when it’s not Halloween, sue me). It’s one of those oddball movies that both weird you out, but also make you reflect and learn something. Definitely a top-tier Halloween watch.

Where to watch: Hulu (premium subscription), Starz (subscription), Sling TV (premium subscription), Amazon Prime (premium subscription), YouTube ($2.99), Google Play ($2.99), Vudu ($2.99)

Twitches (2005)

If you were a fan of the Mowry sisters in the 90s and early 2000s, then you probably know this DCOM gem. The long-lost twin story where they come together to save the world, although probably overdone by now, was a crazy plot back in 2005. In this quirky movie, we see Tia and Tamera Mowry save the entire world from darkness on their birthday, October 31st. (I would also recommend watching this movie’s sequel, “Twitches Too” (2007).)

Where to watch: Disney+ (subscription), Google Play ($7.99), Hulu, (premium subscription), Amazon Prime ($3.99), YouTube ($5.99), Disney Now (free with cable)

Child’s Play (1988)

Okay, so this isn’t really a movie that we should’ve watched as kids, but we all did it anyway. This is one of those Halloween movies that we were terrified of when we were kids but laugh at now that we’re older. Also, the SFX of the late 80s is definitely something when you rewatch this movie. Although not really a feel-good movie, it brings back memories of watching this with your friends when you weren’t supposed to.

Where to watch: YouTube ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), Amazon Prime ($3.99)

My Babysitter’s a Vampire (2010)

Weirdly enough, I do think this movie warrants a spot on this list. The constant referencing other vampire-centric movies of the time (I’m looking at you “Twilight”) makes this movie a ton of fun to rewatch. Vampire movies are always great to watch, whether they’re more serious like “Twilight” or goofier like “My Babysitter’s a Vampire”.

Where to watch: iTunes ($7.99)

Corpse Bride (2005)

Ah, Tim Burton does it again. That man never really missed when it came to kinda odd, but kinda cute movies (animated or not). I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t watch “Corpse Bride” until a few years ago, but this is definitely one of Burton’s more romantic(ish) movies. This film, although living in the shadow of Burton’s more famous “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993), does hold its own if you give it a chance.

Where to watch: Hulu (premium subscription), YouTube ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99), iTunes ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), Amazon Prime ($3.99), Freeform (free with cable)

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

“Hotel Transylvania” is one of those movies where you might’ve not watched it when it first came out. Maybe you thought you were “too old” to watch animated movies, but it’s actually a very enjoyable movie. Although a bit childish with some jokes, the overall concept of an overprotective dad wanting the best for his daughter will always resonate with the audience, no matter what age.

Where to watch: Hulu (premium subscription), Vudu ($2.99), Amazon Prime ($2.99), YouTube ($3.99), iTunes ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99), Freeform (free with cable)

Scooby-Doo (2002)

I’m not sure if everyone has seen this oddly iconic movie, but this one is a very good representation of everything about the early 2000s. From the wonky CGI to the exaggerated personalities of the characters, “Scooby-Doo” is a trip and a half, to say the least. I would highly recommend watching this with friends who will probably just laugh along with the cheesy storylines and terrible CGI that scared us half to death as kids.

Where to watch: HBO Max (subscription), YouTube ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99), iTunes ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), Amazon Prime ($3.99)

Spooky Buddies (2011)

Let’s be honest here, who doesn’t love puppies? Watching the Halloween installment of the “Air Buddies” franchise is perfect for Halloween spooky prep. As always, the pups get themselves involved in some mischief that causes problems that they eventually have to solve. If you want just a totally feel-good movie, then “Spooky Buddies” is the perfect match for you.

Where to watch: Hulu (premium subscription), HBO Max (subscription), Amazon Prime (premium subscription), iTunes ($2.99), Google Play ($3.99), YouTube ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99)

Beetlejuice (1988)

Being one of Tim Burton’s first movies as director, Beetlejuice marks the beginning of the odd and weirdly endearing movies for many. Definitely recommended for those who are more into the 80s Halloween movie vibe, but a great movie to watch to really get you into the creepy, spooky Halloween mood.

Where to watch: YouTube ($3.99), iTunes ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99), Amazon Prime ($3.99)

Monster House (2006)

This movie, while still scary, has the feel-good messages that we all love in kids’ movies. Whether you watched this movie when it came out in theaters or when it was rerun on TV, you’ll love this one when you see it.

Where to watch: Vudu ($2.99), Amazon Prime ($2.99), YouTube ($3.99), Google Play ($3.99), iTunes ($3.99)

Featured image by the city of St. Helens, Oregon

Christmas Without Santa

Everyone’s favorite time of the year has finally arrived! Christmas, a time with beautiful lights, cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies, and Mariah Carey reclaiming her “Queen of Christmas” crown once again. Yet, especially for children, it’s also a time of approaching the day of the 25th, where the magical Santa Claus enters your home, eats a questionable amount of sweets, and brings toys for all the little children across the world. Many can agree that the big man with the beard is iconic, yet many can also concur that this fictional figure and the holiday itself is highly commercialized. With every passing year, this jolly holiday has unfortunately become a profitable frenzy.  From getting your lights and decorations out as soon as possible to any store business taking the opportunity to establish “Crazy Sales”, Christmas has transformed Santa Claus simply into a logo who carries a coke bottle as well as merely an encouragement to buy what you desire. This leads to an intriguing question; Can one have Christmas without Santa Claus?

Well, certainly yes, it’s indeed possible and I should know that because as a child, I was told that he didn’t exist. To elaborate, no, I was not deprived of a childhood and banned from believing, but due to financial troubles, we couldn’t afford to have that many gifts. In my household, my single mother was balancing between two jobs and taking care of 5 children, leading to not being able to have the joy of waking up to many toys. Yet, I always have been thankful to never have had that privilege as not only has it humbled me but it as well as allowed my family to develop our own merry little Christmas. As my siblings and I began to grow up, we started to give each other little gifts that focused on sentimental value. Before being able to get jobs and make money, we would give one another handmade gifts (i.e. My sister loved making jewelry and I loved writing poetry or drawing pictures) or offer to do each other chores for a week or so by giving little “home coupons.” Although gifts weren’t as extravagant in my household growing up, we would take advantage of having our mother not working by having our own little Christmas party. We would drink hot chocolate and eat food in our pajamas, spending the whole holiday watching “A Christmas Story” on its’ 24 hour marathon, seeing who can last the longest (I usually win). These small traditions continued on till this day, allowing me to truly see that Christmas is a time of family, and appreciating all you have.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This holiday has also allowed me to see that the value of gratitude is important. Growing up, I started to help out in my community to those have also been unfortunate in the holiday season. Doing so has enabled me to truly focus on the real meaning of Christmas, which is to bring goodwill to all people, especially those in need. So, how can one be able to give a little holiday spirit? Well, one can donate toys and other gifts to organizations such as Orange Santa (A UT based tradition), Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, or any toy drive at a local market/shopping mall. Rather than gift giving, one can also go into their local nursing home or women’s shelter and simply spend your time making their day a little special by caroling, giving food, and other good deeds.

Amanda Landa, author, Christmas 2002.

Overall, although Christmas has been about gift giving, it’s also about giving your time and grace to others. Have a Happy Holidays!

Want to help out this holiday season? Here’s more information on the following;

Orange Santa: https://orangesanta.utexas.edu/

Toys For Tots: https://www.toysfortots.org/

St. Jude’s: https://www.stjude.org/give

Salvation Army :https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/ways-to-give/

Featured image courtesy of Jill Wellington from Pixabay

10 songs from our childhood that still slap

For many individuals like me that grew up during or around the 2000s, it’s a good time to be alive. The Jonas Brothers reunited last month, igniting the type of nostalgia capable of making all the childhood memories of their fans and observers come flooding back. In the era (and closely surrounding eras) of the Jonas Brothers, they and their contemporaries produced some teeny-bopper bangers that are still vibes today. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and remember the songs that added magic to a generation.

The Jonas Brothers- “Year 3000”

Why not start off the list with the group who has reignited this new wave of childhood nostalgia? “Year 3000” is actually a cover of British band Busted’s tune of the same name, but the Jo Bros added their own touches to the song, making it one of their staples. The track’s infectiousness will have young-adults belting out the chorus just like they did when the song’s video premiered on Disney Channel in 2007. And as people rock out to this 2000s banger, don’t be surprised if a debate ensues over who the cutest Jonas brother was.

Taylor Swift- “You Belong With Me”

A mega-hit from Taylor Swift’s classic album Fearless, “You Belong With Me” is an anthem about unrequited love that resonates with people across the ages.The iconic video for this song was relatable then, and it remains relatable now.

Miley Cyrus- “The Climb”

It’s got heart, it’s got soul and it’s got truth. The ultimate karaoke or singing-in-the-shower song, “The Climb” doesn’t get old. Talk about an anthem that could motivate anyone with the Monday blues.

Zac Efron as Troy Bolton- “Bet On It”

One of the best songs from High School Musical 2, “Bet On It” was fun then, but with the rise of memes, it’s even better now. Also, who doesn’t love an angsty, theatrical jam about a teenage identity crisis? And Efron’s pirouettes and hardcore parkour on the golf course? Still legendary.

Justin Bieber- “Boyfriend”

“Boyfriend” marked a new era for Justin Bieber. The slick production on the track, Bieber’s vocals and those lyrics that made tween girls swoon are still so smooth —smooth enough to make everyone forget that the singer actually included the line “swag, swag, on you, chillin’ by the fire, while we eatin’ fondue” in the song.

Victoria Justice- “Best Friend’s Brother”

Victorious produced a lot of great tracks, but this one resonates the most. The hook is just so catchy.

Zac Efron/Drew Seeley  and Vanessa Hudgens as Troy Bolton & Gabriella Montez-“Breaking Free”

When one thinks of High School Musical, “Breaking Free” has to come to mind. Whether it was attached to the movie or not, this track would still be pop gold. Zac Efron’s vocals aren’t actually featured in the song, but it’s still a classic that remains enjoyable today. Plus, the scene when the song is performed is so darn cute.

Cheetah Girls-“Cinderella”

Name a fiercer girl group than the Cheetah Girls. “Cinderella” is catchy and sassy. That kind of formula transcends time.

Aly & AJ- “Potential Breakup Song”

Who didn’t scream these lyrics to their non-existent significant other that did them wrong? Now that the kids from the era in which this song was released are all grown up, they can sing the song to their real significant others. Aly & AJ were truly ahead of their time.

Lemonade Mouth- “More Than a Band”

Lemonade Mouth was one of those sleeper Disney hits. Who would’ve thought this movie would produce such good music like the track “More Than a Band”? This acoustic gem still has the power to put anyone in their feels.

Growing up is hard and becoming an adult is strange. But the cool thing about music is that it’s changeless, taking people back to times past and never getting old.