The Goonies: What’s It Really About?

We take a deep dive into the deeper themes hidden in Richard Donner’s eighties kids classic, The Goonies.

The nostalgia of 1980’s coming-of-age films is an unbeatable feeling. There’s nothing quite as comforting as sitting on your couch on a rainy day and watching a good old-fashioned adventure from your formative years. And for some, Richard Donner’s The Goonies is the pinnacle of such nostalgia. The movie follows a group of teenagers who call themselves The Goonies (after their neighborhood in Astoria, OR) who embark on a treasure hunt through the town’s underground caves, hoping to find the legendary ‘rich stuff’ that local icon One-Eyed-Willy left behind. Along the way, they’re in for encounters with the town’s local crime family, The Fratelli’s. They’re after the treasure themselves and they’re willing to go to nearly any length to get it. 

The movie is a classic, of course, but something that we feel has been missing from the internet is speculation on the film’s many themes and what the movie is truly about. Now, even if the film holds no deeper meaning than just being a fun adventure movie, it would still be one of the decade’s greatest films. However, we think there may be more than meets the eye with this film and today, we’re going to break down the movie and the filmmakers involved in making it to figure out what the Goonies is REALLY about. 

Donner, who directed the film, stated in an on-set interview for the movie that he wanted his film to feel like childhood. So much so that he even went as far as to say that he didn’t enjoy the scenes with the adults. And of course, I must mention that the movie was produced by none other than Steven Spielberg, who stated that the purpose of the movie was to take audiences on the kind of adventure that only a child could find themselves in. To make the dynamic duo a triumphant trio- Christopher Columbus (Dir. Home Alone, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) wrote the script and based it partially on his childhood.

The three primary creative heads involved were all looking to make a movie that inspired us to dream and stay young- and the movie is packed with clues and evidence to support our theory on what the film is really about. So join us in today’s episode and find out once and for all what The Goonies can teach us about growing up.

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