10 of the best kids movies from the 90s
Being an adult is rubbish. All those responsibilities, all that work, all that pretending to know what you’re talking about. Sometimes we just want to stick some Power Rangers pajamas on, eat too many biscuits and watch kids movies from the best decade ever – the 90s (argue in the comments) – all day.
The good news is there’s nothing to stop you doing just that, apart from the Power Rangers pajamas because they don’t make them in a big enough size (we checked). Erm…anyway, here are 12 essential 90s movies for kids if you’re planning a blast to the past.
Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny form a basketball team to take on a group of B-Ball playing aliens who’ve absorbed the skills of various beloved 90s NBA stars, while R Kelly hollers about believing he can fly in the background.
Space Jam is like someone had a really weird dream, wrote it down and made a movie – and that’s probably why it’s so great. It also has the most 90s website ever, which makes us love it a even more.
When left alone, most kids will watch too much television or eat a big bag of Maltesers in one go. Kevin McAllister, the star of Home Alone, cooks up various ways of inflicting horrific violence on a pair of burglars. Disturbingly, he’s really good at it too.
Nevertheless, you’ll struggle to find anything more entertaining than watching a man get hit in the head with a paint can. And don’t worry about it being a ‘Christmas’ film; Joe Pesci getting set on fire is funny all year round.
What would happen if toys could come to life? According to Toy Story, a) they’d get really jealous of each other, b) they’re delusional and c) at least two or more of them are getting it on.
We wouldn’t have them any other way though. Through Buzz and Woody, we learnt that friendship can get you through anything, including believing you’re a spaceman, being tortured by the next door neighbour and jumping into the back of a speeding truck.
Oh, and it was Pixar’s first movie too. They’ve done pretty well since…
In the 90s, Robin Williams was like everyone’s favourite uncle, a reassuring presence that guaranteed laughs and some heart-warming life lessons.
Take Mrs. Doubtfire, for example, which taught us that if you aren’t allowed to do something, dress up like a kindly Scottish nanny and trick everyone into letting you do what you’re not supposed to be doing.
Of course, the real message is about the importance of family although we were too busy laughing at Robin Williams setting fire to his fake boobs to reflect on that too much.
Another lesson from Robin: don’t play weird board games, because you might end up unleashing an unstoppable stampede of wild animals and a weird hunter bloke who wants to shoot you.
Jumanji is peak 90s family entertainment, with a completely ridiculous plot that you can’t help getting wrapped up in. It also spawned a pretty awesome cartoon.
Drop Dead Fred
Rik Mayall is best known for inflicting serious injury to his good friend Adrian Edmonds but to many, he’ll always be Fred, the imaginary friend who causes all sorts of trouble by gurning and generally being a bit antisocial (but in a good way).
Watching it today, it’s hard not to be slightly worried about main character Elizabeth’s health, especially as her imaginary friend Fred seems to appear as a result of serious emotional trauma. But just ignore that and laugh at the fart jokes instead.
The Lion King
We could have filled this list with Disney animations to be honest, but that wouldn’t be fair. So, we’ve opted for The Lion King, which is equal parts hilarious and traumatic.
Poor old Simba is forced to grow up when his father thrown under the hooves of a stampede by his evil uncle (important 90s lesson: stampedes are dangerous). Simba eventually meets a meerkat and a warthog who teach him to be super laid back…until he meets his evil uncle and promptly chucks him to a pack of hungry hyenas.
Like we said: hilarious and traumatic.
The Addams Family
Part comedy, part instruction manual for anyone who was planning to become a goth in the early 00s (see also: Marilyn Manson, Emily Strange and The Crow), The Addams Family tells the tale of a creepy but caring family and their weird disembodied hand servant.
The Addams Family also follows the much-missed 90s tradition of having a novelty rap track theme song, with none other than MC Hammer spitting bars on the legendary (read: slightly rubbish) Addams Groove.
The Iron Giant
A lesser-loved 90s cartoon, The Iron Giant ditches the cheese for a big old helping of emotional trauma. A giant robot drops down from space and befriends a young boy, teaching him important life lessons about morality and friendship…until pesky government suits and the army decide ol’ Iron Chops is a threat to national security.
It’s basically E.T. for a new generation, except no-one saw it and it only got the recognition it deserved years later when director Brad Bird made a little film called The Incredibles.
Nickelodeon heroes Kenan and Kel work at a rubbish burger joint threatened by a new swanky burger joint opening over the road. In true Kenan and Kel style, it takes a series of wacky schemes to save the day.
It’s more or less a long episode of Kenan and Kel, which is obviously a very good thing.
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