This post will probably come off as self-serving or aggrandizing, but it is not intended that way in the slightest.
I’ve got four children, the youngest three are ~5, 3, and 1 3/4. They love movies (obviously; they’re children) and so it’s been tricky for me to decide what kind of shows and films they get regular exposure to. I think we all begin such decision-making processes by referring to what’s familiar–namely: what each of us grew up with at a similar age. Personally, I think this is as close to an ideal approach as can be devised, though your mileage may vary.
So I dug into some of the older ‘classics’ that I was raised on and one of the earliest ‘hits’ from the old VHS pile was Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971). This film has got all kinds of stuff going for it: Gene Wilder is a *perfectly* demented Willy Wonka, riding the edge of tolerable insanity throughout what is ostensibly a children’s film; there are multiple memorable songs; the prime set pieces are vivid, with the obvious show-stealer being the garden of candy (or whatever it’s called) with the chocolate river flowing through it; and the morality tales of each ‘bad child’ and his/her punishment is something that makes discussing morality and ethics pretty easy for a first-time parent.
Anyway, the thing that caught my attention after just a few re-viewings with my now-almost-five-year-old-daughter was the song linked below.
It took being a parent to see how this song could be about anything but a ticket made of gold. To me, this song will now forever be an anthem of love for his grandchild–who is, and will forever be, his Golden Ticket to happiness, joy, and fulfillment.