20 Movies That Defined Our Childhood

The Goonies was released 30 years ago this month, which comes as something of a surprise. Because of the way it was present in our childhoods, thanks to perpetual runs on TV, it feels even older: the kind of tale that's been around since before anyone can remember. Not to mention, we can't be that old, can we?

Whether it's the inspiring story of how little Mikey (Sean Astin) leads his ragtag group of friends on an elaborate treasure hunt the day before their neighborhood is set to be turned over to greedy developers, or just the sound of Sloth calling, "Hey, you guys!" so much about The Goonies was in our consciousness in one way or another. It's part of two decades of kids' movies that shaped us.

Even if you weren't born when Back to the Future or Stand By Me hit theaters, they were beloved classics you could settle into on a Saturday-night sleepover or watch in your PJs on Sunday morning, when they'd randomly appear on cable. Sometimes, we recorded them on our VCRs, commercials and all, so they'd be on hand at any time. (Nope, not nostalgic at all for those warped old tapes with the handwritten labels.)

Were these movies just numbing our tiny brains for a couple hours at a time? No way. We learned important lessons from The Little Mermaid and The Sandlot; looked at our friendships differently after watching Now and Then and My Girl; made use of our mom's tweezers after seeing The Princess Diaries; and contemplated the uses of Wite-Out when we saw Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Unlike anything we'll ever watch in adulthood, these movies shaped our lives.