Staff picks: Nostalgic movies

‘Journal’ staff share their favourite childhood movies

Image by: Amna Rafiq
Staff share their memories of childhood movies.

Ratatouille (2007)

Pixar’s Ratatouille instantly comes to mind when I think of movies and nostalgia. I owe part of its nostalgic value to my frequent viewings as a kid. There was a point when I had memorized most of the scenes but would still willingly watch it again. 

I still watch Ratatouille these days. Linguini hiding Remy in his hat, the bustling kitchen atmosphere, the iconic character of Collette, and Gusteau’s wholesome message that “anyone can cook” exist at the core of my childhood memories.

Another reason I love the movie is the visuals and soundtrack. Even when I didn’t think very deeply about the messages, Ratatouille evoked a sense of wonder and dreams with its gorgeous effects. 

Influences of Ratatouille have made it back to places like TikTok and the rest of pop culture, but I’ll forever remember it for being my childhood favourite.

—Katharine Sung, Editorial Illustrator

Anastasia (1997)

When I moved from house to house as a kid, the one constant in my environment was going to my parents’ room, fiddling with a cassette, sliding this movie into the VCR, 

and watching it over and over again with my dad. 

It became our little tradition. I felt bad for making him watch the same film over and over again, but hey, we bonded, and when I watch the movie, I think of him. 

I was beyond obsessed with this movie; I don’t remember a time in my life when this movie wasn’t a part of it. I maintain it holds up to this day. With its beautiful, expressive animation and the great tunes, I still watch it to this day.

It’s a staple in my family; we echo “and be grateful too!” to tease each other, and we’ve watched it so many times we can recite most of the lines.

—Clanny Mugabe, Assistant Lifestyle Editor

The Notebook (2004) 

Back in 2009, I was a bored eight-year-old kid flipping through the TV channels on my grandma’s old floral sofa chair. My mom was on the phone with her long-distance friend from California, sitting in the room next to me. She mindlessly twirled the wire of our antique rotary phone, and I could tell she was going to be occupied for a while.

 During this rare period of no supervision, I came across The Notebook. My eyes flashed to the 1940s vibrant dresses and silky hair but stayed for our Canadian gem Ryan Gosling. I felt devious and a little sneaky, but decided to kick my feet back, relax, and watch the show.

I observed them at flirt at the carnival, was absolutely scandalized by that steamy sex scene, and memorized Noah’s angry cry to Allie that he wrote her letters “every day for a year!” I was glued to that movie until the bitter end.

The finale—no spoilers—shattered my eight-year-old heart, and yes, I shed a tear or two. It was the first time I’d ever cried during a movie, and to this day, I still consider The Notebook a romantic tragedy, rarely going back and watching it. 

Thus, I have to say The Notebook is very nostalgic for me—but maybe not for the best reasons.

—Suzy Leinster, Features Editor

The Little Mermaid (1989)

When I was little, I wanted to be Ariel when I grew up. I dressed up as The Little Mermaid for three years in a row, and as my mom will tell you, I barely took the costume off between Halloweens. 

The Little Mermaid will always be my favourite Disney movie—and most nostalgic movie. The French chef chasing Sebastian around with a knife the size of my head, Ursula’s explanation of “body language,” and Ariel and her sisters flipping through the charming 2D-animated waters will never be matched. Plus, the songs are some of Disney’s best. “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World” are incredible; the latter gives me goose bumps.

When I watch this movie now, I remember what it felt like to run around in that Halloween costume and to play Mermaids in the pool. There’s something freeing about it. I can’t wait for the live-action remake.


—Julia Harmsworth, Managing Editor

The Dark Knight (2008)

I don’t consider myself a nostalgic person, but The Dark Knight always takes me back in a way few other movies can.

My parents wouldn’t let me watch it when it first came out—Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker is undeniably disturbing—but them making me wait just built anticipation for the moment I finally watched it in all its glory. 

I still love The Dark Knight. I think it’s by far and away the best ‘superhero’ movie ever made on several levels. However, I’d be lying if I said my personal connection to it wasn’t rooted in all that pent-up anticipation.

Watching it takes me back to being a kid and wanting nothing more than to see Batman at his, well, darkest.

Why so serious, am I right?

—Ben Wrixon, Editor in Chief


Anastasia, Movies, nostalgia, Ratatouille, The Dark Knight, The Little Mermaid, The Notebook

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to

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