The Legacy of The Goonies (1985)

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What’s wonderful about films is that they allow us to escape. They give us the opportunity to forget what’s going on in our lives and enter a completely different one. A particular film that many love because of its charm and the adventure-based story is The Goonies. Released in 1985, the film won over cinema-goers and was successful both commercially and critically. 

While many films get released and are pretty much forgotten about instantly, others live on. The Goonies is one of those few films that manage to have a lasting appeal, with people who watched it as kids now introducing it to their own kids. In this article, we’ll have a closer look at the film and its legacy. Give it a read to learn more about this well-appreciated movie and see how it’s earned an impressive reputation for itself in the decades following its release. 

What Is The Goonies About?

The film follows a group of kids who live in the Goon Docks area of Astoria, Oregon. They call themselves ‘The Goonies’. There’s ‘Mikey’ and his brother ‘Brand’, as well as ‘Chunk’, ‘Mouth’ and ‘Data’. Their homes are facing foreclosure because a nearby country club is expanding and has permission to take over the land where their home is. The kids gather and spend a final weekend together, during which they find a centuries-old treasure map.

This map supposedly leads to a treasure buried by ‘One-Eyed’ Willy, who is considered to be the original ‘Goonie’. He was a pirate from the 17th century, and his exploits are well-known. The kids embark on a quest to uncover the lost hoard, but along the way, they encounter the Fratelli crime family. After making their way through underground tunnels and evading a number of booby traps, the kids make it to Willy’s pirate ship, Inferno. The ship is full of treasures and gold, which the kids try to take. However, they’re stopped by the Fratellis, who strip them of their new riches and make them walk the plank.

A booby trap causes the grotto where the ship caves in. Both the Goonies and the Fratellis end up on Astoria’s beach. The story has a happy ending as it’s revealed by one of the Goonies’ parents that there’s enough money to negotiate a new deal and stop the foreclosure.

Details and Facts

  • The Goonies was released on 7 June 1985. 
  • It was produced on a rather modest budget of $19 million and ended up with a worldwide gross of around $124 million. 
  • It’s based on a story by Steven Spielberg and had its screenplay written by Chris Columbus. 
  • The cast includes Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman and Jonathan Ke Huy Quan as the five Goonies. 
  • The production took place over the course of five months, and many of the scenes were shot in and around Astoria, the real-life port city where the film is set. 

The Legacy of The Goonies

These days, The Goonies is seen as something of a cult classic. Even though thousands upon thousands of films have been released since 1985, The Goonies is still well remembered and well respected. In fact, in 2017 the Library of Congress selected the film to be preserved in the United States National Film Treasury, deeming it to be ‘culturally, historically or aesthetically significant’. Films started being added to the registry at a rate of up to 25 per year. As of 2019, there are nearly 800 films and other pieces of media that are listed. 

When the film was released, it generally received favourable reviews. Critics praised the child actors’ performances and seemed to enjoy the plot, though some pointed out that the film takes a little while to properly get going. These days, many people like the film because of its simple but exciting plot, its fun treasure hunting story and the Goonies themselves. Words such as ‘heartwarming’, ‘untouchable’ and ‘classic’ are often used to describe the movie.

Astoria has received a lot of attention and extra tourism thanks to the film’s long-lasting popularity and success. It’s held a number of special events to commemorate the film, and each one has attracted in excess of 10,000 people. The last major celebration was in summer 2015, the year of the film’s 30th anniversary. The house used as Mikey and Brand’s home was particularly popular with tourists. So much so, that measures had to be put in place to restrict visitor numbers and prevent overcrowding. 

A reunion took place in 2020. It was organised by actor Josh Gad (best known as voicing Olaf in the Frozen films) as part of his Reunited Apart virtual reunion series over the platform Zoom. This series was created by Gad during the pandemic to raise funds for charities. The Goonies reunion featured most of the living members of the main cast, including its director, writer and producer. It was decided that funds raised from this particular episode would be donated to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. The Goonies reunion attracted a lot of attention online and helped introduce a new generation of people to the film.  

It’s common practice for successful films to receive a sequel, prequel or spin-off, or any combination of the three, at some time or other. Even 35 years of its release, The Goonies still remains a standalone film. Despite it being profitable and earning a solid reputation in the decades since its release, a second instalment has never been confirmed. There has been demand, of course, but nothing’s ever been put into production. Several ideas were put forward, and a sequel was actually strongly rumoured at one point, but it never came to pass. The film’s owner, Warner Bros., passed on a sequel thinking that it wouldn’t be successful enough. 

Though a film hasn’t been confirmed, a TV series has. In February 2020, it was announced that a new drama series based on the film was going to be made. The premise is that a teacher is helping her students create a full remake of the original film, shot by shot. The status of this project is currently unknown. It’s very likely that it’s been delayed because of pandemic and that its release date has been pushed back. 

The Goonies In Gaming

Such is the popularity of The Goonies that the film has even had some online casino games themed to it. The provider Blueprint, which is a particularly well-known supplier of games for online casinos, has released a total of three games themed to the film.

The Goonies online slot features the main characters and is very well themed indeed. It makes you feel as if you’re in the film itself thanks to its detailed, high-quality graphics, its realistic sound effects and its attention to detail. The film’s most prominent characters make appearances in the slot, too. The slot has 20 paylines you can win on and no fewer than six different bonus rounds, plus six special features.

Then there’s The Goonies Jackpot King. This is pretty much the same as the original The Goonies slot, except it has an extra feature: a progressive jackpot. As well as the two slots that are themed to the film, there’s a scratchcard game. This offers three separate games, each with its own way to win. There’s also the chance to collect Hidden Key symbols to play a bonus round or win an extra prize. 

If you’re after Goonies free play, you’ll find lots of online casinos where the games themed to The Goonies can be played for free. Most casinos let you play in demo mode without paying once you’ve signed up and got an account created. What’s great about demo mode is that it lets you have as many goes as you like without your budget being affected. You can’t win or lose any actual money, but you can play with no risk at all.


The Goonies is a much-loved film about a group of adventurous kids who enjoy a series of thrilling escapades and end up saving their homes from foreclosure. It’s an uplifting film that children and adults alike can enjoy. A firm family favourite, it’s still watched and loved by many today and is just as appreciated as the glossier, more expensive and more modern films that people are used to seeing. 

If you haven’t yet seen The Goonies, it’s strongly recommended. It’s available on various streaming platforms and can be bought on DVD. Give it a watch and follow the Goonies as they track down the treasure and try to stop their homes from being foreclosed. You might find that this cult classic becomes your new favourite film; you never know until you watch it! If you’ve already seen the film, why not watch it once more and experience it all over again? 

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