Mon May 30, 4: As a child of the 80s, I grew up watching a lot of weird stuff. My parents love movies, from glorious technicolor musicals hi, mom! Kids are fun like that. In the meantime, here are my own personal top five trauma-inducing movie moments from childhood mostly , in no particular order… Artax Succumbs to the Swamps of Sadness—The NeverEnding Story Oh, Artax. For better or worse, children of the 80s got the spectacle of a depressed horse sinking into the ghastly black depths of the Swamps of Despair, as his tearful, panicked human companion sobs and screams at him to fight against the sadness crushing in on him.
The story throws its field mouse heroine, Mrs. When Nicodemus, the wise, kindly leader of the rats, agrees to help move the Brisby home to safer ground, Jenner sees his opportunity to seize power and advance his own nefarious aims.
He plots to murder Nicodemus by cutting the ropes during a critical point in the move, crushing the elder rat while conveniently making his death look like an accident. Brisby in a frenzied attempt to silence her and steal the magic stone Nicodemus entrusted to her earlier in the film. In the ensuing struggle, he wounds Justin, the Captain of the Guard, and slashes the neck of his former crony, Sullivan, when he attempts to intervene. Justin stabs Jenner and leaves him for dead, but Jenner manages to creep up behind Justin in order to deliver a killing blow.
The fact that he carefully plots and successfully carries out the cold-blooded murder of Nicodemus is still one of the more surprising aspects of the film, and that treachery certainly stuck with me over the years as an example of ruthless, pre-meditated evil.
The made-for-TV movie focuses on Cindel Towani, the flaxen-haired moppet who had starred in the previous film, which saw Cindel and her brother happily reunited with their parents at the end, with the help of Wicket and the other Ewoks.
As the sequel opens, their family is preparing to leave the forest moon of Endor when a savage band of marauders attacks—both parents are wounded, and Cindel is forced to escape with Wicket, leaving her family behind to their doom. As a big fan of the earlier movie, I was already pretty invested in the Towani clan, since the whole first movie centers on getting Cindel and Mace safely back to their parents. All I really wanted was an Ewok, or maybe a Mogwai, and my six-year-old bucket list would have been beautifully complete.
Damn you, George Lucas. The movie starts off with a rabbit creation myth in which an act of rabbit hubris results in a divine smackdown, as the predators of the world are unleashed upon rabbitkind and begin gleefully and graphically slaughtering the peaceful and unsuspecting bunnies. The movie then switches to the more realistically-animated tale of Hazel, Fiver, and their quest to survive in the face of these ancient enemies and more modern, man-made dangers.
I was captivated by the movie, as a kid, but I was also deeply disturbed by it—as I got older, I read and loved the novel it was based on, but if I had to do it over, I would have preferred to watch the movie after reading the book, when I was a bit older and better able to contextualize the images and experiences being represented, and the emotional reactions they produced.