I don’t want to grow up

I’m the kind of guy who thrives on nostalgia, and nothing gets me going more than my favorite band of mutated turtles. In order to satisfy my craving for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I decided to go out and buy the original live-action film from 1990. A staple of my childhood, I was eagerly awaiting my reunion with my favorite turtle of them all, Raphael. I popped in the DVD and began to watch. It wasn’t what I remembered.

You see, while watching “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” it occurred to me that while I’ve matured, the way I perceive movies has matured as well. I wasn’t watching the same Turtles I remember seeing when I was five. They weren’t kicking Shredder to the curb, nor were they devouring a pizza. What I saw in this movie was a film that addressed the corruption of parentless teenagers who resort to crime because they’re rejected by society. The Turtles represent innocence because of their “father,” the mutated rat Splinter, actually played a significant role in their lives.

Instead of taking this as a heartwarming, entertaining movie, I over-analyzed and found that this movie is actually stressing the need for better parenting. Instead of finding the clever jokes and puns to be absolutely hysterical, I found myself forcing out chuckles and putting on faux smiles. The only things I really laughed at were the film’s faults and the sheer cheesiness of the movie.

This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this change. In fact, this has become somewhat of a trend for me. Whenever I watch, let’s say, “Rugrats,” I find it not quite as enjoyable as it once was. I take a serious approach, and in the end, it really cuts down on the experience. Right now, the only cartoon of my childhood that I can actually find entertaining is “Ren and Stimpy,” and I don’t even consider that a children’s show.

Alas, the reality of this situation finally hit me when I was watching “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” At 17, as I begin to apply for college and plan my future ahead, my childhood and I begin to separate more and more. Movies and television shows I once found insanely hilarious are now too childish for my tastes. “Small Soldiers” is now “Saving Private Ryan.” “Batman & Robin” has changed to “The Dark Knight.”

This wouldn’t be so hard to come to grips with if movies weren’t the last thing left of my childhood. No longer can I sit down and play with Spider-man action figures. Racing Hot Wheels is out of the question. These are all signs of the inevitable; I’m growing up.

But I just don’t want to.