Sunday, March 1, 2009

This Week's Classic Kids' Movie

Ok, when was the last time you thought about the original "Lassie" television series? You haven't, right?

I'm not always digging up semi-obscure or offbeat movies for kids, sometimes I'm just digging up the true classics, and "Lassie" is one of them. Netflix has a special anniversary collection featuring 24 episodes of the 1954 television series, and I'm not going to say I've seen all of them recently (ok, any of them), nor that I remember it, for God's sake (of course I don't! How old do you think I am?), but I will say this: If, when son K was five or six years old and I was OD'ing on Barney or Disney and had thought of "Lassie," I would have run off to the video store in a flash.

You can't get more wholesome than Lassie. "Little House on the Prairie" and "The Waltons" are right up there at the top of the classic, family fare television show list, but those series sometimes dealt with some fairly serious themes and might skew to a slightly older group of kids (say, nine and up). "Lassie," on the other hand, works for younger kids, and employs straightforward tales of integrity, courage and honesty to cook up a little bit of drama.

Give it a try. You might get all verklempt for the old days when things seemed a heck of a lot simpler. Those knotted muscles in your neck and shoulders might actually melt away. You might actually enjoy it.

(There are two "Lassie" movies from 2005 and 1994, but both have clear PG ratings. There are also "Lassie" films from 1944 and 1945 [one with Elizabeth Taylor!], that have G ratings.)

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