Like a dark prophecy that fulfills itself with each semester, finals are quickly approaching. So with your tests, essays, and hours of Bobsting comes the need for the general comfort of nostalgia — especially in the form of some childhood favorites.
Rather than gather up the usual lineup of Hey, Arnold! and The Lion King, we here at NYU Local searched through our instant queues for those alternative cult classics of our childhood. These are some of the best forms of entertainment from our generation that are not of the popular Disney-infested camp. We’ve got the movies and television shows that will tickle your fondness for the simpler days that do not get the TBS rerun treatment.
A Little Princess
This ’90s adaptation of the Shirley Temple classic is beautiful. Everything from the period boarding school setting the protagonist inhabits (with the girls’ matching uniforms and bow-tied hair) to the imagery of the the Indian tale she tells her fellow peers is breath-taking. The story centers on Sara Crewe, a young girl raised freely and passionately in India, after her father enlists in World War I. She is sent to a school for girls run by the stern Miss Michin.
Melodrama, tearful reunions and exotic magic ensues. Though the film did not fair well at the box office, it was definitely a must-see for a child of the ’90s, as it is a classic well-worn as a VHS copy. So skip over to Instant, press play and spin around in a circle in a beautiful snow fall. All girls are princesses! Every one!
This Jim Henson classic stars Jennifer Connelly as a tween who wishes goblins would steal away her baby brother (and of course they do). She then has to set off on a quest through the labyrinth-like world (mentioned in the title) in order to rescue him from the King of the Goblins, who is obviously played by David Bowie. In case you aren’t getting it, one more time: magical world inhabited by Jim Henson puppets and David Bowie. Perfection.
Arguably it’s the stopping point between H.R. Pufnstuf and Pan’s Labyrinth. This film rides the line of being dark and childish in its tone, and on another note, entirely trippy — all elements that have guaranteed its affection as a cult classic.
Essentially the black sheep of the animated Nickelodeon family, Invader Zim never quite stuck its landing, but it became a beloved and off-kilter fan favorite. The series follows an inept alien invader and his barely-functional robotic assistant as they attempt to conquer an obese, deranged and greasy vision of Earth.
There are random, twitchy characters, the word “doom” is overused, and there are countless other illogical outbursts. But the common thread weaving all of the madness together is its original, sick, and sometimes oddly-intelligent sense of humor. Highlights include “Plague of Babies,” “Game Slave 2″ and the truly hilarious send-up of Unsolved Mysteries, “Mysterious Mysteries” (of course that’s the title).
Go get your Zim on, sans the Hot Topic wear.
Alice in Wonderland (1999)
Best adaptation of the story. Period.
The Hallmark production sticks closely to Lewis Carroll’s original tales of whimsy, and boasts an all-star cast which includes Ben Kingsley as the Caterpillar, Miranda Richardson as the Queen of Hearts and Whoopi Goldberg as the Cheshire Cat. With no wide release, this gem floated around via VCR. It’s is a great version of the story, sadly it’s just not frequented enough.