Today: April 16, 2024
This image released by The Orchard shows Julian Dennison, left, and Sam Neill in a scene from "Hunt For The Wilderpeople." (The Orchard via AP)

Our Favourite On-Screen Tearaways

Rebellious teens, trouble making pranksters – the kind that we try our very hardest to keep our own children away from, yet we love to watch their antics on our screens!

In Taika Waititi’s latest film, we follow a journey of a defiant young city boy, who finds himself on the run in the wild New Zealand bush, with his cantankerous foster uncle.

In celebration of the release of the hilarious Hunt For The Wilderpeople which is available to own on DVD & Blu-Ray on 16th January, we take a look at some of our favourite on-screen tearaways.

Ricky Baker – Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016)
Described by his social services worker as “a really bad egg” — breaking stuff, stealing stuff, hitting stuff, and setting stuff on fire are among the many sins he’s committed, Hunt For The Wilderpeople sees Ricky Baker sent to live with foster aunt and uncle in a remote farm.

When his aunt suddenly passes away, child services decide to take Ricky back to a care home. Defiant of their decision, Ricky runs away into the wild New Zealand bush, with his reluctant foster uncle, Hec, in pursuit. Coming to the conclusion that Hec has abducted him, a national manhunt begins.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the highest-grossing locally-produced film of all time and smashed box office records for highest-grossing opening weekend and highest-grossing first week following its phenomenal reception at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

Kevin McCallister – Home Alone (1990)
When bratty 8-year-old Kevin McCallister throws an almighty tantrum, he is made to sleep in the attic the night before a family trip to Paris. Wishing his family would disappear; Kevin gets his Christmas wish as he is forgotten and left home, alone. The excitement soon vanishes as he realises two con-men are attempting to rob the McCallister residence. Alone, he must protect his family home.

Macaulay Culkin was nominated for a Golden Globe for the role of Kevin McCallister and Home Alone went on to become the highest-grossing live action comedy film of all time in the US, holding the record worldwide until being overtaken by The Hangover in 2011. Home Alone then spawned a successful film franchise with four sequels.

Ferris Bueller – Ferris Buellers Day Off (1987)
Full-time trickster Ferris Bueller graced our screens in 1987, with a day-adventure of a life time, much to the frustration of his head teacher, and sister.

Insistent on making on last duck-out before graduation, Ferris calls in sick, ‘borrows’ a Ferrari and embarks on a one-day journey through the streets of Chicago with his girlfriend and best friend, all the while on the run from high school principal Rooney, determined to catch him out.

Written, directed and produced by John Hughes in less than a week, the film was shot over three months, featuring many famous Chicago landmarks. The film was said to be Hughes’ love letter to the city, capturing the spirit, as well as the landscape of his beloved Chicago.

Horrid Henry – Horrid Henry The Movie (2011)
A classic, beloved British literary tearaway came on to the big screen in 2011, with Horrid Henry: The Movie.

Henry is a self-centred, naughty prankster who has big issues with authority. His main tactics when faced with a problem include trickery, rule-breaking and elaborate practical jokes. Horrid Henry: The Movie focuses on Henry and The Purple Hand Gang as they fight to prevent the closure of their school by an evil private school Headmaster.

Based on the fictional character Horrid Henry from the children’s book series by Francesca Simon, Horrid Henry: The Movie was the first British film for children to be shot in 3D.

Bart Simpson – The Simpsons (1987 – on-air)/ The Simpsons Movie (2007)
First airing in 1987, The Simpson’s went on to spawn one of television’s top pranksters – Bart Simpson, the son, and troublemaker of the Simpson family. Cartoonist Matt Groening first ‘conceived’ Bart, along with the rest of the Simpson family in the lobby of producer James L. Brooks’ office. Sketching out his version of a dysfunction family, The Simpsons were born.

Bart (an anagram of the word brat) holds many prominent characteristics such as mischievousness, rebelliousness and a strong disrespect for authority.

Many parents have cast him as a bad role model for children, with his on-screen rebellious attitude and pride at underachieving – however his hilarious stereotype made him a much loved icon of television today. Bart hit the big screens in The Simpsons Movie in 2007.

HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE is available to own on DVD & Blu-Ray on 16th January

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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