MovieRob’s Childhood Flashback Movie Challenge – D.A.R.Y.L (1985)


For the next guest blogger who accepted my Childhood Flashback movie challenge, I present you with a post by Table9Mutant from Cinema Parrot Disco.  She has an amazing great site and like me, a true passion and love for cheesy 80’s movies.  She is fun to converse with on just about anything movie related including movie fan art.

Thanks to Table9mutant for joining in on this challenge.

Still looking for more guest bloggers to submit to this challenge.  If you’re interested, here’s what to do:

The goal here is to re-watch movies from your youth that you loved back then and see if you and your “young self from yesteryear” can agree on your opinion of this movie or whether years of new perspectives have changed those feelings.

If you would like to participate in this, feel free to shoot me an email ( with your review so I can post it. It’s very important that you show the similarities or differences between the you of now and the you of then.

and Now I want to turn things over to Table9Mutant…..

Daryl 1“General, a machine becomes human when you can’t tell the difference anymore.” – Dr. Ellen Lamb

Number of Times Seen – Not sure. It wasn’t quite as easy to get access to and watch movies over & over again in 1985! Probably saw it a good three times between 1985-1988 or so. And again now in January 2014.

Brief Synopsis – A young boy named Daryl is found wandering alone in the woods with no memory. He’s taken in by a foster family & soon becomes good friends with a boy next door named Turtle. Daryl appears to be a normal (if somewhat perfect) 10-year-old boy. Everyone is unaware that Daryl is actually a top secret government experiment on artificial intelligence (his name stands for Data-Analysing Robot Youth Lifeform). They’re also unaware that the government is hunting for D.A.R.Y.L. and want him destroyed.

My Take On It – I love 80’s movies. I admit it. Anyone who has spent much time on my blog will know that by now. Some have aged well but most have not. How does the 1985 D.A.R.Y.L. stand up to a 2014 viewing?

Well, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s very dated, though. As much as I love any film with a sci-fi element, I know those movies often don’t age as well since anyone watching this for the first time in 2014 probably has a smartphone that contains more advanced technology than that on display in the movie. The film also has that cheesy 80’s look & feel & wholesomeness that I’m sure a lot of people hate about 80’s movies (But I love that. It was a nicer time! We were nicer people in 1985!).

Being much older now & having seen LOTS of different types of films, I can see D.A.R.Y.L.’s flaws and I know that anyone who tries watching it for the first time in 2014 is unlikely to like it (unless they’re an 80’s movie lover). But, for me, I can see its potential. It’s funny how it starts out as a movie about a family & friendship as we watch Daryl with his foster family & great naughty little friend Turtle (who is a brat but I found him quite funny. he even calls his sister a hooker & kind of makes a rape joke. the things we got away with in 80’s movies!!! we were so innocent…). Then it suddenly turns into this dramatic sci-fi movie as D.A.R.Y.L. is on the run for his “life” and one of the scientists is questioning the government’s decision to destroy D.A.R.Y.L. as he appears to be displaying human emotions. The government simply sees him as a failed experiment as this was never meant to happen – they were hoping to create unfeeling military soldiers. So it raises all these important questions on what makes something human and all that but doesn’t ever explore this in-depth and instead keeps things pretty light & entertaining in that very 80’s wholesome-family-movie kind of way. Which is fine by me. If you want something deeper, you can watch Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence. I know it’s a better “film” but I still prefer D.A.R.Y.L. And Short Circuit, which is D.A.R.Y.L. without a cutie pie 10-year-old.

Bottom Line – It’s very dated, it’s very cheesy, it’s very wholesome. The acting (especially from Daryl’s friend Turtle) is far from Oscar Worthy. However, the film does make an attempt to be a bit “deeper” in its final half and it does have a great concept to work with that, quite frankly, many films have tried and very few have gotten right. It’s still a fun movie and I’d happily watch it with a 10-year-old (and then get annoyed when that 10-year-old thinks it’s old & sucks). This is actually a BAFTA-and-a-half but since Rob doesn’t do half points, I’m rounding this up to….

Rating – Globe Worthy

Once again, Thanks to Table9Mutant for doing this wonderful guest post.


Check out my *updated* movie stats here

To see my reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here

24 thoughts on “MovieRob’s Childhood Flashback Movie Challenge – D.A.R.Y.L (1985)

  1. Pingback: D.A.R.Y.L. (1985) Review for MovieRob’s Childhood Flashback Movie Challenge | Cinema Parrot Disco

  2. Nice work Cinema Parrot Disco. I have very limited and vague memories of this thing but in 1985 I was more interested in failing to learn how to surf and chicks then movies about robot boys.


  3. Nice job, you two! I’ve never seen this one before, but it definitely sounds like it’s at least worth a view. And Rob, I still want to do this! I promise I haven’t forgotten! Are you continuing this series into next month or is it just for January?


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