Remember the first time you saw Star Wars? As kids, our minds were collectively blown. On TV, superpowered heroes like the Hulk, Wonder Woman and Isis captivated us. And the comics were constantly giving us new superheroes as well: the ‘70s and ‘80s gave rise to the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-Men and the Avengers. Maybe Generation X kids didn't have a lot of money or choices, but we helped to bring an explosion in entertainment that’s still here today.
So now, we take our kids to see the movies based on the stuff we loved – new chapters of Star Wars, toys we adored and superheroes who evolved decades ago. This trend is fantastic because it gives parents the opportunity to share our childhood with our progeny. But really, it’s time kids got their own superheroes and their own generational-identifying films instead of just recycling our hand-me-downs.
Now, I believe, they have. Guardians of the Galaxy, based on Marvel’s 2008 comic book series, offers superheroes kids today can claim as “theirs” and appreciate. Here’s why:
* Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot share many of the same characteristics of kids today: self-confident, self-aware and environmentally conscious.
* The Guardians look different from any other gang of superheroes -- one is green, one is a raccoon and one is a tree – and of course, embracing diversity and what makes you unique is modern thinking.
* The Guardians are a group of outsiders and outlaws; while it’s always cool to be cool, being a misfit carries its own prestige in youth culture.
* Iron Man aside, most superheroes aren’t funny. The Guardians of the Galaxy bring the laughs – one of the qualities kids value the most in entertainment.
Guardians opens next Friday, August 1. Meantime, here are three movies to see with the kids this weekend:
Hercules. Dwayne Johnson gets mythical as the sword-wielding demigod in this action film for teens.
Planes: Fire & Rescue. Dusty Crophopper shows moviegoers that when things don't go your way, don't just bounce back - bounce FORWARD.
Earth to Echo. When four middle-schoolers find and protect a lost extraterrestrial, they find an adventure and true friendship.