I Can’t Remember The First Movie I Ever Saw…

April 24, 2012 at 10:10 am

The Birth of a movie nerd | The Athletic Nerd


Movie moments can inspire and motivate.  They can change the way you look at the world.  They can show you worlds you’ve never seen.  They stick with you.  Birth of a Movie Nerd is about the genesis of my movie obsession.  But that’s not necessarily limited to the movies that inspired me.

Watching movies is only the beginning of a film nerd’s journey.  A film fan’s life is full of wonderful moments that reach far beyond the beautiful darkness in a movie theater.  We all have specific memories of these moments.  We are all addicted to fueling our imaginations.  We live for good stories and memorable characters.  We immerse ourselves in the movies we love and we long for the film’s we can’t wait to experience.

But it all has to start somewhere right?

When I began brainstorming how to start this series, I focused on a moment that many film fans fondly remember.


Unfortunately, I have absolutely no memory of my first movie experience.  It makes me sad.  I feel like I’ve robbed myself of something.  Everyone looks forward to looking back on the memories they cherish.  I feel like, if I remembered, the first movie I experienced would be extremely special to me.

Still, if I can’t remember a specific film, I can at least narrow it down based on the childhood I had can’t I?

I Can't Remember The First Movie I Ever Saw... | Birth of A Movie Nerd

My parents weren’t really that strict with movies when I was growing up.  But I was still sheltered from horror films as a youngster.  My guess is my first movie was a cartoon or a goofy comedy.  Something my parents would have put on while I laid on a blanket trying to avoid an afternoon nap.  We all know kids lose that battle 9 times out of 10 so does that mean I slept through my first movie?

I think I may be over thinking this a bit…

I was born in 1983.  Realistically, I wouldn’t remember much until the age of 5 so that’s a good place to start.


According to Box Office Mojo, the top grossing movie in 1985 was Back to the Future. (Nice!)  I kind of doubt that was the first movie I ever saw but I wouldn’t be disappointed if it was.  I didn’t see The Goonies until a few years ago which is tragic but eliminates another classic.  There were a few that jumped out at me but non that really felt right.

What if I didn’t see my first movie in theaters?  It could have very well been on television.  So my next stop is 1984 since it took a long time for movies to appear on television and video in those days.

Ghostbusters, Temple of Doom, Gremlins, Terminator,The Natural, The Neverending Story…  The list goes on and on although I seriously doubt Terminator was my first film at the age of 5.

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I Can't Remember The First Movie I Ever Saw... | Birth of A Movie Nerd

I tend to think it would have been a Disney animated film.

Disney released 25 animated films by the time I turned 5 years old but not all of them found their way into our families collection.  So I narrowed those 25 down to 10 that I cherished the most.

  • 10. The Fox & The Hound
  • 9. Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs
  • 8. Fantasia
  • 7. Pinocchio
  • 6. Robin Hood
  • 5. Bambi
  • 4. Alice In Wonderland
  • 3. Sleeping Beauty
  • 2. The Jungle Book
  • 1. Peter Pan

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When I finished ranking the top 10 Disney movies released before 1985, a memory popped into my head.  I was young and my family was searching for something to watch on a summer night.  My parents made popcorn and we curled up with Peter Pan.

I remember gathering an excessive amount of pillows and blankets on the floor in front of the television.  I was transported to Neverland.  So I’ve decided to make Disney’s Peter Pan my honorary ‘first movie’.  There are probably other options out there (Perhaps The Muppet Movie?) but Peter Pan feels right.

At the end of the day, just going down memory lane considering the possibilities has been fun.

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