The main theme within 'Stand by Me' is the closeness of pre-teen boys, 'hanging around' in gangs and generally trying to grow up too fast. It is in the 'coming of age' movie genre. The opening sequence reflects the close bond still shared by the two main characters (Gordie and Chris); as we see from the headline that Chris has been shot dead. The young boys wanting and trying to grow up quickly is shown in the tree house; they have decided upon a secret knock to gain entry to the tree house, as if they are part of a very important secret gang. The whole film watches the boys go on a journey, not just physically but mentally as well; the journey to adulthood.
The non-diagetic narration helps fill in the gaps along the way so we understand jokes and other events that may happen throughout the film.
For example, when Gordie meets the deer after the emotional scene with Chris, the narrator (older Gordie) explains the significance of this meeting. As well as the explanation, the audience recognises the similarity between Gordie and the deer. The innocence of both is reflected in the other. I also think Gordie's obsession with the body which grows throughout the film stems from the death of his bother, as when Gordie sees the body; he starts crying and wondering why his brother died when he did. As Chris comforts Gordie, we see that they are the closest within the group. This is also shown when Gordie stands up to Ace to save Chris's life, which has connotations with the western genre as Gordie holds the gun up into the air and shoots.
We see the boys smoking whilst playing cards, and this has connotations of...