Ghostbusters (U.S. Box Office: $238,632,124)
In my opinion (obviously, this is a blog afterall), this was one of the most original movies of the 80s and much better than the follow that came after. The idea of being some random dude and putting on a suit to capture ghosts is almost better than going to the future...almost. Oh, and, like the number 1 on this list, an awesome car to drive around in and an old firehouse to spend your days.
Back to the Future, Part II (U.S. Box Office: $118,450,002)
Who wouldn't want a DeLorean to drive around in and a creepy old, crazy-haired scientist to mentor you? Oh, and the whole time-travel thing is pretty fantastic too. As I have made obvious before, this is my favorite of the trilogy mainly because I am a sucker for future time travel, regardless of how ridiculous it may be portrayed. But, on top of being able to interact with the future, you can actually use it to gamble on future knowledge and make money in the present? Hell yeah.
Big (U.S. Box Office: $114,968,774)
Every kid wants to be "big" when they are little. Once you get big, you want to be little again but this movie portrayed being an adult as one of the best experiences of your life. Playing with toys, practically running a toy company, living in a huge loft with views of New York City, arcades, trampoline and sleeping with an adult? Yeah, we all wanted that.
Beetlejuice (U.S. Box Office: $73,707,461)
One of the most memorable things about this movie is the amazing model of the town. I always said I would build one of whatever town I lived in, I just keep not getting around to it. But, when Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) and Adam (Alex Baldwin) shrink down into the model world, you get to see one of Tim Burton's coolest sets with toy-like cars and buildings and rubber grass. I'd love to explore this world, especially if it didn't involve an undead ghost trying to marry my daughter (nope, not their daughter, just some stranger so, whatever, Beetlejuice can marry her, what do I care?).
The Goonies (U.S. Box Office: $61,389,680)
Dead pirates, treasure, a pirate ship, hidden passageways, boobietraps, a creep restaurant, fugitives and a long harrowing adventure. What else is there to wish for as a kid? The Goonies was, and still is, one of my favorite movies of all time and I can still watch it with admiration and jealousy to this day. I would give anything to jump off the plank of that ship into the dream-filled water in the hidden caverns of One-Eyed Willie.
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (U.S. Box Office: $40,485,039)
Obviously, I like time travel. Usually I like future time travel, but the thought of going back in time and not only witnessing history but taking part in it and hanging out with historical figures, using them as an upper hand to get good grades in history is deplorable. No, no, it's spectacular, actually. I would do it in a heartbeat.
The Last Starfighter (U.S. Box Office: $28,733,290)
At the prime of video game growth in the early 80s, a boy is stuck in a trailer park, doomed to play a single arcade game forever. That is, until he gets so good at it that aliens recruit him to be a fighter pilot for their defense army. The kid gets to go on an interstellar journey that pulls his life out of the jaws of boredom. Sign me up!
The Neverending Story (U.S. Box Office: $20,158,808)
This almost played out like a superhero movie. It begins with a weakling kid being bullied and thrown into a trash bin. He finds his way into a book store and steals a cool old book, The Neverending Story. He takes it up into the awesomely dark and dank attic of his school to begin reading it. It takes him into the world, which he ultimately needs to save with...imagination. It was a great fantasy though, if fantasy in children's memories were killing those worlds then, I'm sure they are completely annhilated by now. Oh well.
Little Monsters (U.S. Box Office: $793,775)
Probably the least known (and poorest performing) movie on this list but also one of my favorite. Little Monsters stars Howie Mandel as Maurice, a hilarious (at the time) blue monster who's sole purpose is to climb out from under their bed in the middle of the night and get kids in trouble with their parents. When Fred Savage captures Maurice and goes to the "underworld" with him, what he finds below is what made me fall in love with movie sets to begin with. Deep caverns (see a pattern here?) filled with mystery and weird creatures. You can travel around the world in minutes and pop up under anyone's bed, including whoever it is that bullies you (see another pattern?). It was a mix between Monsters, Inc. and the underworld of Corpse Bride before either of those existed.