Recently on a trip with my extended family, I detected strange noises and foul smells coming from some nearby woods. This led to all sorts of fantastic explanations and theories, mostly made up by me.
As I thought about the different ideas that everyone shared and some of the other events from the trip, I realized that in three days I had heard probably fifty or more people relate to movies they had seen as children. Some were younger and some were older, but most were people my age reflecting on fond memories, and more often than not, those memories seemed to center around movies.
Noises in the woods became Bigfoot, which of course led to talk about Harry and the Hendersons. The full moon got one woman talking about Monster Squad. Several generations related to Peter Pan in one way or another, and all the talk of fairies reminded a twenty-something of Fern Gully. The Great Outdoors, Uncle Buck, Ghost Busters, and E.T. were all topics of conversation, and other movies were casually referenced.
Some of the films have stood the test of time, while others have almost faded into distant memory, but they informed who we are to the extent that we are still talking about them decades later. Maybe the presence of young kids got us all thinking about our youths. Maybe in our efforts to return to the fantasy of it, we recalled all the fiction we had seen.
Whatever it was that sent everyone down that path, there is something almost magical about movies, and even more so the ones we haven't seen in years.