Is The Goonies The Best Kids Movie Ever?

The Goonies poster in the post Is The Goonies The Best Kids Movie Ever?
The Goonies (1985)

Transcending Age

If you were a kid or even a teenager during the mid-1980s, you are, no doubt, already familiar with the movie The Goonies. The film was released in 1985 and became an instant classic, mostly because it offers something for everyone. It has an interesting plot, it’s funny, the music is great, and the kids who star in it are phenomenal. 

Is The Goonies the best kids movie ever? Well that is purely subjective but in my mind I strongly believe the answer to be a resounding ‘yes’. In fact, The Goonies is a great movie to watch even if you’re a grownup because it is not just a kids movie, but rather a human story that transcends age.

The Basic Plot

The movie was produced by Steven Spielberg in 1985 for a budget of $19 million, but it grossed more than $124 million at the box office, making this film a huge success. 

The story centers on a group of kids who live in Oregon in a neighborhood called the Goon Docks. They start out trying to save their homes from foreclosure, but it isn’t long before they discover an old treasure map and decide to follow it so they can discover the hidden treasure for themselves. 

The treasure comes from a legendary 17th century pirate with the nickname One-Eyed Willy, but when a group of criminals also discovers there’s a treasure buried somewhere, they decide they want a piece of the pie and start hunting down the money as well.

As you can imagine, some interesting shenanigans result throughout the movie, and the young actors and actresses that star in it are nothing short of extraordinary. In fact, between their acting abilities and the interesting storyline, there is little wonder why this movie was such a success. In 2017, the movie was even selected for inclusion into the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress because it was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” This is an honor not bestowed on that many movies, and it is not one the cast and crew take lightly.

Who Are The Goonies?

The group of kids calling themselves the Goonies includes Mikey, his older brother Brandon, an inventive kid named Data, a talkative kid named Mouth, and an overweight klutzy kid named Chunk. In Mikey and Brandon’s attic, they discover a doubloon and an old treasure map, and they soon find themselves in an abandoned restaurant that they believe is represented on the map. Unbeknownst to them, the Fratelli crime family is also taking up space in the restaurant, and after they kidnap young Chunk so they can find out where the Goonies kids are headed to next, Chunk is left behind with a deformed Fratelli family member named Sloth.

Meanwhile, with the Fratelli family not far behind them, the Goonies go through tunnels, booby traps, and caves to get to the treasure, which they finally find, and they experience some interesting and dangerous challenges along the way. Eventually, both the Fratellis and the Goonies make it back home, where the Fratellis are arrested and Mikey discovers that some of the gems they found on their adventure are still in his possession, which means their homes won’t be foreclosed on.

Sean Astin in the post Is The Goonies The Best Kids Movie Ever?
Mikey (Sean Astin) leads The Goonies
The 4 Goonies in the post Is The Goonies The Best Kids Movie Ever?
Chunk, Mikey, Mouth and Data on a treasure hunt

There are also some big names in the movie, at least as far as child actors are concerned. Sean Astin of Rudy fame plays the lead role of Mikey, while Josh Brolin portrays his brother Brandon. Corey Feldman is cast as Mouth, and actress Martha Plimpton, who also starred in the movie Parenthood, plays the role of Stef, one of only two girls that accompany the rest of the gang on their adventure.

One eyed Willy in the post Is The Goonies The Best Kids Movie Ever?
One-eyed Willy
Sloth in the post Is The Goonies The Best Kids Movie Ever?
Sloth, the challenged Fratelli brother
Fratellis gang in the post Is The Goonies The Best Kids Movie Ever?
The Fratellis manhandling Chunk

A Great Soundtrack To Boot

The soundtrack from The Goonies is also phenomenal, with songs by artists such as Cyndi Lauper, REO Speedwagon, Luther Vandross, The Bangles, Teena Marie, and Dave Grusin, among others. In fact, Cyndi Lauper sang one of the most memorable songs on the soundtrack, called The Goonies ‘R Good Enough, and she even made a cameo in the movie playing herself. The soundtrack was originally released by Epic Records but was re-released in 2008 by Sony.

So, now you can understand why The Goonies is such a great movie. It is action-packed and at times provides edge-of-your-seat scenes that will have you looking forward to what happens next. Wondering, is The Goonies the best kids’ movie, may also make you want to watch the film again, even if you already know the answer to that question.

Still Not Convinced?

If you’re still not convinced that this is a movie that you have to see, consider a few facts. First of all, it premiered in 1985 and made a whopping $9 million on opening weekend. This means it is second only behind Rambo: First Blood Part II when it comes to money made on its first weekend. The film made nearly $64 million in the United States and Canada, and more than $60 million overseas, adding up to more than $124 million worldwide.

The movie was also nominated for Best Adventure Motion Picture, and Anne Ramsey, who played “Mama” Fratelli, won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. Four other actors and actresses in the film were nominated for various awards, with Astin winning Best Starring Performance By a Young Actor in a Motion Picture. The town where the movie took place, Astoria, is a real city in Oregon, and they have even hosted special events for certain anniversaries of the film, resulting in 10,000 to 15,000 visitors per day showing up to enjoy certain locations shown in the movie.

But of course, it isn’t the awards or the money that make this a great movie. It is the combination of funny lines, a unique storyline, great acting, and fast-paced action that makes it a great kids’ movie that can also be enjoyed by adults. Indeed, The Goonies can be enjoyed by kids of all ages, and if you haven’t seen it yourself, it’s about time you did.

What are your thoughts on The Goonies? Leave us a comment below.

For more cool stuff about the 80’s, read 10 Cool Things From The 80’s.

Pirate ship in the Goonies in the post Is The Goonies The Best Kids Movie Ever?
The pirate ship in The Goonies
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The Goonies Gift Ideas

There is a lot of memorabilia out there, especially on Amazon, Etsy and Ebay. Amazon is usually cheaper with more selection and so I’ve chosen them. And if you’re not super satisfied with what you’ve bought, their returns policy is really good.

With so much to choose from, where do you start? My focus has been on cool, fun and quirky items, all garnering decent ratings from well-priced sellers.

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and receive a small compensation if you use my links, but it will not increase your purchase price. If you use my links, I truly appreciate it 😉

Skeleton Key Replica

Skeleton key as nostalgic presents for men in the post Is The Goonies The Best Kids Movie Ever?

This is a cool accessory for any die hard Goonies fan. It might even get you to do the truffle shuffle.

Check it out on Amazon.


Image of Lego Goonies in Is The Goonies The Best Kids Movie Ever?

Now you can invoke The Goonies nostalgia while you build LEGO structures from the movie. 

Check it out on Amazon.

Fratelli's T-Shirt

Fratellis shirt as nostalgic presents for men in the post Is The Goonies The Best Kids Movie Ever?

After the Fratelli’s downfall in the movie, it would be nice to support them by buying this T-Shirt. All profits go towards their bail.  


Check it out on Amazon.

Goonies Skull T-Shirt

The Goonies shirt as nostalgic presents for men in the post Is The Goonies The Best Kids Movie Ever?

You might not be an official member of The Goonies, but this skull T-Shirt will make you feel like you are. 

Check it out on Amazon.

14 thoughts on “Is The Goonies The Best Kids Movie Ever?”

  1. I fondly remember the movie The Goonies. I think I was between high school and college when I saw it. The part I remember the most is when Chunk met Sloth. It’s been years since I’ve seen the movie but I’m in a nostalgic mood. I’ll look it up in my streaming service. My memory can only remember bits and pieces but I want to refresh my memory. Thanks for sharing your article. It bought out memories of my time hen I was young.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the bout of nostalgia, Courtney. I trust you enjoy revisiting The Goonies after all these years. Many movies from our childhood don’t hold up, but I believe The Goonies will. 

  2. “Hey you guys!”

    No doubt about it, Murray. Yes, “The Goonies” IS the best kids’ movie. EVER! I recently re-watched “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which put me in mind of Sean Astin’s fresh-faced, asthma-suffering but totally adventurous Mikey in the film. I’d determined I would dig it out and watch it soon. So thanks for the timely reminder!

    1. I bet Sean Astin never thought he’d top his success with The Goonies, but he surely did with Lord of the Rings. Both are great adventure movies.

  3. A resounding yes.  Saw this the first time in 1985 with my youngest brother at the theater.  Still making payments on the popcorn, cokes and Junior Mints.  LOL.  

    My wife and I bought the DVD and watched it with out children in the nineties.  Then in 2010 we broke it out and watched it with one of our grandsons.  

    Your post has me wanting to dig through the DVD stack and get it out again.  We have a four year old, a couple 2 + year olds and a seven year old who have not seen it.  I would definitely anjoy watching this fabulous movie again.  Definitely a work of art.  Chris.     

    1. Some cool memories with The Goonies there Chris. It’s incredible how awesome movies can really enhance memories with the special people in our lives. 

  4. Hey, Murray,

    Great article! I don’t know if The Goonies is the best kids movie ever, but it’s definitely one of the best. It’s one of my favorite movies along with The Little Rascals.

    With some bad language and sexual references, I’d say it’s not suitable for little kids. In fact, they may even get scared. However, for kids 12 and up it’s fantastic.

    Thanks for reviving the nostalgia.

    1. Yes, it might not be completely suitable for young kids but 12 and up should be alright. Of course it’s hard to say The Goonies is the best ever, but for me it comes close. The original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is up there as well.

  5. Joseph Stasaitis

    Very Good Article! I don’t think The Goonies is the best kids movie ever, but it’s definitely up there as one of the best. It’s one of my favorites as well as movies such as The Wizard of Oz and Toy Story.

    Overall it has a lot of the ingredients of a great film but it may be more suitable for kids over 10 since some parts have some adult references. Overall it is a great movie for kids and adults. 

    Thanks for bringing back these memories. 

    1. Those are some good movies you mention there, Joseph, that compete with The Goonies as a top kids movie. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is possibly my other absolute favourite. 

  6. The Goonies is the best movies for kids. It has the adventure plot which all the kinds love, who doesn’t want to go on a treasure hunt and meet the pirates? Not only that you have Cyndi Lauper, the kids now may not know her, but this movie is definitely a win win for me. I am going to find a way to stream the Goonies to night 🙂 

  7. You have almost convinced me that The Goonies is the best kids movie ever. I was 45 when the movie came out and didn’t have an interest at that time. That being said, I would like to comment that I have come to an appreciation of “kids” movies since that time. You have aroused my6 interest in seeing this move for the first time. Most likely I am going to agree with you once I have done that.

    1. Obviously it is very subjective as to which kids movie is the best. The Goonies is up there I’m sure for most people.

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