Coming of age danger films or TV?
August 27, 2016 9:35 PM   Subscribe

I've seen "Stranger Things" and "The Get Down." I love STAND BY ME and GOONIES. I need more kids-in-danger media, particularly where they're smarter/braver/better than the grownups around them. TV or movies of any era. Books and comics are great too.

Realizing that what I liked about "The Get Down" and "Stranger Things" was also what I enjoyed about:
- The Anthony segment of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE
- Marvel's "Runaways"
- "It" by Stephen King (and a lot of early Stephen King like 'Talisman' and 'Firestarter')

In particular, kids that are faced with serious danger or very grownup situations, the media makers respect them as heroes rather than as "just kids," and they're more capable and smarter than all the adults around them.

What should I be watching/reading/partaking in if I need more of this in my life?
posted by Gucky to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Super 8.
posted by southern_sky at 9:43 PM on August 27, 2016 [8 favorites]

TV: Bob's Burgers
posted by bluecore at 9:52 PM on August 27, 2016

posted by rubster at 10:00 PM on August 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Lost Boys
Harry Potter movies
Home Alone
Manhattan Project
War Games
posted by willnot at 10:05 PM on August 27, 2016

How do you feel about anime? "Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie" and "Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Movie Second" are like that. The protagonist is a 10 year old girl named Nanoha who discovers that she has major power as a combat mage.

Her family isn't stupid, though, so this doesn't quite fit your requirement. Nanoha is drastically stronger than they are but not any smarter or braver. Her father and older brother are both fully-trained ninjas and her older sister is in training. But no one else in the family is a mage, and in fact the only way Nanoha discovers her power is that she learns about it from an exterrestrial who looks like a ferret. He gives her a powerful magical device named "Raising Heart" which can speak, and Raising Heart trains Nanoha and helps her in her battles.

She can't really tell her family what she's involved in because she's working for the Time-Space Administration Bureau, a military organization from a planet called MidChild, whose existence isn't known on Earth. They operate a fleet of space navy ships and Nanoha ends up spending a lot of time on one of those.

The second movie (which I think is the better one) takes place about six months after the first. (But if you were to watch it first, it would spoil the first movie with lots of revelation.)

In both movies, the earth is threatened by a "lost logia", the name for profoundly dangerous magical artifacts which, if not handled properly, would destroy the entire planet. One of the major functions of the TSAB is to find and seal away such objects so that they don't cause widespread destruction.

These movies are based a pair of 12-episode anime series, and it led to a larger and much richer canon. The third anime in the canon ("StrikerS") takes place when Nanoha is 19 (IIRC) and the fourth one ("Vivid") when she's 23, at which point she's adopted a daughter which she dearly loves and is raising her as a single mother. A fifth anime is coming out this fall but we don't know what it's going to be yet, except that it's mainly about Vivio, Nanoha's daughter, and two friends of hers.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:51 PM on August 27, 2016

Also, "Pleasantville" might suit your purposes.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:53 PM on August 27, 2016

Spirited Away
posted by Harald74 at 11:08 PM on August 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

Terry Gilliams Tideland?
posted by boilermonster at 11:17 PM on August 27, 2016

When I was a kid I adored John Bellairs' first few Lewis Barnavelt books, The House with the Clock In Its Walls and The Figure in the Shadows. They're supernatural thrillers that follow very realistic and endearing nerdy kids around in the small-town Michigan of the 1940s, and it's very specific and lived-in. Admittedly I haven't gone back to reread them with jaded adult eyes but they won awards and had great reviews back in the day. Clock has illustrations by Edward Gorey!

Buffy was a whole TV show about this. Really, just about any show about kids might qualify!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:59 PM on August 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

I am currently reading the "official book of summer," The Girls, and so far it seems to fit this niche.
posted by Brittanie at 3:37 AM on August 28, 2016

Camp nowhere
posted by Ms Vegetable at 5:10 AM on August 28, 2016

posted by amarynth at 5:55 AM on August 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Maybe The Last Child. Edgar award winning novel with kids on bikes, exploring and solving a mystery. But much darker than The Goonies end of this genre. Lots of abuse, of all kinds. Also, not a group of friends, the kid involved has one strong kid friendship.

Similarly a maybe, The Secret Place deals with older teens, around 16, but definitely does a great job of capturing those intense, us against the world friendships that adolescents have.

This article has some good ideas, or at least gave me some additions to my personal infinite to-read list. And it includes The Lumberjanes which is an excellent suggestion.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:10 AM on August 28, 2016

More Stephen King - The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.
posted by Jeanne at 7:22 AM on August 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Diane Duane - So You Want To Be A Wizard (series.) Book two particularly addresses the kids-in-adult-situations, and how they deal with their parents' ignorance thereof. It's fantasy, but with serious stuff in there.
posted by fast ein Maedchen at 7:32 AM on August 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Holes, both the book and the movie.
posted by angiep at 7:43 AM on August 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

The 100
posted by Sassyfras at 8:38 AM on August 28, 2016

Just saw Let The Right One In, that was excellent.

Turbo Kid is good, although maybe too gory for some (campy gore though, the movie isn't scary)
posted by christiehawk at 9:52 AM on August 28, 2016

Also the TV show Twin Peaks has some elements of this but it's not totally focused on the kids
posted by christiehawk at 10:00 AM on August 28, 2016

Space Camp - movie starring Lea Thompson

Red Dawn - awesome movie

Adventures in Babysitting - another movie starring Lea Thompson, I think. It is all sorts of awesome.
posted by orangemacky at 11:22 AM on August 28, 2016

The Cowboys. A Classic.
posted by bruceo at 1:06 PM on August 28, 2016

Moonrise Kingdom
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 3:49 PM on August 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Over the Garden Wall (ish)
posted by Going To Maine at 5:30 PM on August 28, 2016

Well, E.T.
The Stuff
Treasure Planet
City of Ember
The Faculty
Earth to Echo
Pan's Labyrinth
Secrets of Moonacre
Arthur and the Invisibles
The Dark Crystal
The NeverEnding Story
Honey I Shrunk the Kids
James and the Giant Peach
The Tale of Despereaux
The Boxtrolls
Chronicals of Naria Movies
+1 for The 100, Super 8, Harry Potter, War Games

Clearly this is my genre. I'll update if I think of any more as I feel like I'm missing some.
posted by Crystalinne at 5:33 PM on August 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

And of course my favorite Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. (Though it's more of a drama but it's fantastic.)
Dragon Hunters
Hunger Games Movies
Maze Runner Movies
Divergent Series
posted by Crystalinne at 5:40 PM on August 28, 2016

Bloody Jack book series.
Septimus Heap book series.
Artimus Fowl book series.
(All above are classifies as Young Adult fiction, but grown ups are allowed to read them too.)

The Book Thief (book and movie)
The Journey of Natty Gann (movie)
posted by The Deej at 6:04 PM on August 28, 2016

The Stuff

The Stuff is a superb terrible movie, but it isn’t something that should be considered a serious treatment of this theme.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:05 PM on August 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Fifth Wave.
posted by mule98J at 11:05 AM on August 29, 2016

Seconding Moonrise Kingdom. It's a love story, but the (twelve-year-old) protagonists and all their peers outsmart many grown-ups and get in all sorts of danger.
posted by switcheroo at 12:58 PM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Fresh off the indie film circuit (and now in real theaters and streaming): Hunt for the Wilderpeople
posted by Going To Maine at 11:15 AM on September 24, 2016

« Older The Toast-shaped hole in my life   |   How do I get all my health/medical records from... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.