Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kid Flicks: 3 Ninjas

Every family has a movie (or movies) that, for one reason or another, takes the VCR/DVD Player hostage and receives more repeat viewings than it deserves. In our house, some of those movies were Sister Act, D2: The Mighty Ducks, and The Meteor Man. These are just some of the movies I want to write about in my new series, Kid Flicks.


My brother and I lived and breathed 3 Ninjas. For us, it wasn't corny at all. In fact, it was more than a movie, it was a step-by-step training manual for becoming a ninja.

What little kid didn't want to be a ninja? Movies like 3 Ninjas were just an excuse for siblings to practice karate on one another. And "practicing karate" was just an excuse to kick the hell out of each other while screaming loudly. "HI-YAH!" "LIGHT UP THE EYES!" "YOU MADE DAD LEAVE!"

When I was young, I hated visiting my grandparents. Old people, in general, made me uneasy. But Rocky, Colt, and Tum Tum's grandpa was pretty different than mine. Theirs was a ninja. Mine was a mailman. Theirs was inexplicably Japanese. Mine was white, just like the rest of us.
Maybe if my grandpa gave me throwing stars and a food-related nickname, he'd get a phone call every once in a while.

I recently showed my wife 3 Ninjas. She'd never seen it before. Needless to say, she didn't love it. In fact, she didn't make it all the way through. Whitney, if you're reading this, you already know I can cut off family for not supporting my 3 Ninjas love. Maybe you give it another chance, yeah?

Most Memorable 3 Ninjas Images:
1. The "Light up the eyes!" dummy
2. That disgusting old babysitter lady in the closet with pizza all over her disgusting face.
3. Ohhhh! The masks with the light-up eyes! They'd let you know when your parents were coming. Best invention ever.


simoncolumb said...

Yeah, we all have those films: Me and my brother had the turtles movie played all the time and, obviously, Jurassic Park and yet I have never seen three ninjas ...


Heather said...

It's like what Eagan said about Weird Al...if you didn't grow up watching 3 Ninjas, I doubt it's going to do much for you when you're 25, almost 26. If you saw it as a kid, it was pure gold and it will always have a special spot in your heart. But if you didn't see it as a kid, it won't have the same effect now.
I think that's probably the case for a lot of these Kid Flick movies. There's just something about seeing these movie with kid eyes. You empathize with the character more, the little kid humor is funnier, the storylines seem more plausible, you're not jaded by the harsh years of your twenties (I just made that up...).
That's not to say that adults can't appreciate Kid Flicks. I just think with a lot of our favorite-movies- as-a-kid (those kind of silly, light movies), if you didn't see it as a kid and have some experience with it growing up (like training to be a ninja after seeing the movie. And wanting those masks to put over your doorway to alert you that your parents are coming), it just doesn't have the same appeal.

Ronan Wright said...

That's the post I would have loved to have written. You just brought back my Saturday night memories with the 3 ninjas and a big bag of sweeties.
That radio thing does work!!
There is a similar film with 3 different little ninjas that was pretty good too, but I can't remember the name of it.

Danny King said...

Ha, it is so funny that this is the film you mention because I have probably seen this film more than five times. Whenever me, my brother, and my dad are in a stupid/goofy kind of mood, we usually put this on and get a kick out of it.

It's worth noting that there are 2 sequels which are equally enjoyable (in a stupid way). One stars Hulk Hogan, and the other feature the 3 Ninjas as little league players.

elgringo said...

Simon, heed Heather and Eagan's words. If you didn't see it as a kid, it probably won't do anything for you now.

Heather - Nowadays, the only person I'd need a mask for is the missionaries.

Ronan - Are you thinking of Surf Ninjas? Maybe Pocket Ninjas?

Danny - I'm pretty sure there are three sequels. The Japan one, the American Indian one, and the Hulk Hogan theme park one. The Japan one is my favorite!

Heather said...

Missionaries AND crazy drunk neighbors that want to form a better relationship with you at 1 in the morning...

I was pissed when the Japan sequel (3 Ninjas Kick Back) came out because they replaced Rocky with a different actor. An ugly actor that had to wear ugly glasses. I had a crush on the initial Rocky. I was a very superficial movie viewer. [I could care less that they replaced the initial Tum Tum actor]. That being said, I still read the book before the movie came out (oh, book orders!) and then saw the movie. But then strangely, the original Rocky actor was back in the next sequel, 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up. [And then a different actor again for High Noon At Mega Mountain...which I never saw. I can't justify that shit in 8th grade!]

And Surf Ninjas!! I had totally forgotten about that movie. Wasn't Tone Loc in that movie?! That reminds me of another kid movie I watched all the time, Blank Check.

elgringo said...

You know, Heather, that lady never came back. The second I shut the door, I realized the opportunity missed. The opportunity to form a new and lasting friendship.

And you're very right about the 3 Ninjas actor switch legacy. Consequently, I found the MySpace profile for the original Tum Tum. I hate to say it...but it looks like he grew up into quite a douchebag.


And don't you worry, Blank Check will be written about soon. As will First Kid.

Heather said...

After you said Tum Tum is a douchebag now, I was curious to see what they all look like (the original cast).

Tum Tum definitely looks like a douche bag: http://i417.photobucket.com/albums/pp256/chestermcmaster/ChadPower.jpg

Rocky just looks like a frat boy: http://themixtapemonster.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/michaeltreanor04.jpg

And Colt totally got the shaft in the looks department: http://i417.photobucket.com/albums/pp256/chestermcmaster/MaxElliottSlade.jpg
He was so much cuter when he was younger.

First Kid!! That's another one I completely forgot about. Sinbad as a secret service agent for the President's son?! Genius!

Heather said...

ah man, the pic links got cut off. I imagine the full link will appear in the comment that gets e-mailed to you

Erich Kuersten said...

I never liked movies with kids as a kid, and I still don't. I always identified with adults, I wanted to hide my kid roots. I didn't even like Robin in the Batman TV show starring Adam West, which was in heavy syndication after school as a kid and was my group of friends and little brothers' 'fake fighting template' if you will. We'd watch an episode then go out on the lawn and kick each other's ass shouting "Baff!" and "Blamo!" and of course if you were fake hit you were obligated to "OOooff!" and fall over clutching your stomach or chin.

In short, we would have beaten the TAR out of those three ninjas! POW!!

Sorry, got worked up and forgot where I was for a minute. THanks for bringing back those memories... anyway, Carry on!

I loved Batgirl and the Julie Newmar catwoman. Sighhh...

Unknown said...

Just looking stuff up on 3 ninjas cast switch (why) and stumbled across this. Great write AND comments. I always stop and watch old childhood favorites when on. Cool to find my fellow 20 somethings with the same movie nostalgia. My favorite 3 in this order, The Sandlot, Serf Ninjas, 3 ninjas. And yes who didn't wanna do karate. Me and a friend were also really into Van Damm movies lol

Unknown said...

Ok, found out why the cast switch. Kick Back (2nd) was shot a year after Knuckle Up (3rd) but was released as the sequel