News flash! If you were a kid in the nineties, your favorite childhood movies are at least 21-years-old now. How does that make you feel? When we came to this obvious realization, we felt like a discarded, dried husk. Alas! Many of the films we enjoyed time and again as children are now considered classics. We’d like to be referred to in the same way. You know the movies, the ones you had on VHS and watched so many times that the picture started to get janky? Those ones!
We decided to take a walk down nostalgia lane to revisit some truly remarkable films that helped shape many of our childhoods. From animated wonders to all-too-real children’s dramas to creepy thrillers, the decade had it all. We compiled a list of the movies we think most nineties kids have seen and probably loved. If you see a title on this list that you somehow missed, you better find that baby and watch it right away because you’ve missed out! Check out these 15 movies only a kid of the 1990s will have seen!
The Iron Giant (1999)
The Iron Giant is an animated film that premiered in 1999 near the end of the decade but it still feels quintessentially nineties. It’s an adaptation of Ted Hughes‘ Cold War fable. Vin Diesel, Jennifer Anniston, and Harry Connick Jr. all did voice work for the heartwarming film.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Three pets are left behind while their owners go on a holiday. Thinking they have been abandoned, the pets embark on a journey to California to be reunited with them. Do you think a movie like Homeward Bound would be made today? The talking animal genre was all the rage and we just don’t see this happening for a live-action feature.
The Parent Trap (1998)
It was a more innocent time for Lindsey Lohan and all the rest of us, but she played a set of twins in this nineties remake. Lohan stole the show and solidified her stardom for many young viewers with this role. This film made us believe in love again even though we didn’t even know what that was yet.
A Little Princess (1995)
We were lucky to be alive in a time when Alfonso Cuarón directed a children’s movie. It had magic, mystery, thrills, and was full of beauty. If you haven’t seen this movie since you were a child, believe us when we tell you that you need to see it as an adult. You won’t believe how incredibly well-made this film is. Your child-self had a great taste!
Home Alone (1990)
Ah, yes. Home Alone, the film that made us all try our hand at a million booby traps. We knew we didn’t have engineering in our feature when not a single one of ours successfully worked. This movie was essentially a Looney Toon cartoon adapted for live-action. Bring on the slapstick!
Ferngulley: The Last Rainforest (1992)
A movie that made you eco-conscious at a very young age, Ferngulley probably inspired you to save a rainforest. Who could forget Robin Williams‘ work in this film as a short-circuiting bat? Sadly, the issues the film raised so many years ago are still present today.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
If you haven’t watched Hocus Pocus every Halloween from 1993 on, were you even alive in the nineties? This horror-musical-comedy delight was seen and enjoyed by kids and people still love this wacky movie today.
The Addams Family (1991)
Before you were obsessed with the creepiness of Hocus Pocus as a child, chances are you were big on The Addams Family. If you went through a “goth phase,” you probably have this funny movie to thank. We all wanted to be as darkly cool as Wednesday Addams, right?
The Lion King (1994)
The Lion King is considered one of the best animated films for an entire generation. The movie had amazing music, lovable characters, and a heartfelt story that made us feel all the feels as children. We wanted Timon and Pumbaa to be real so that we could be friends with them. We imagine we weren’t alone!
Drop Dead Fred (1991)
This film was rated PG-13 but somehow we all got away with seeing it before that age. Perhaps our parents just thought because the movie was about an imaginary friend it was okay? Who knows? However, this movie did encourage us kids to believe in ourselves above all else.
Did you see Matilda and long to have her TK powers? Did you want Ms. Honey to be your actual parent? You were not the only one! This classic movie was such an enjoyable romp. Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman probably scared you a little, but they make the movie!
Now and Then (1995)
Demi Moore, Christina Ricci, Thora Birch, Melanie Griffith, Gaby Hoffmann, need we say more? This coming of age story felt so real and spoke to a time of great social and political change in the early seventies. Fun trivia fact: the movie was directed by Lesli Linka Glatter who has directed at least one episode of your favorite TV shows over the last decade. No joke. She’s helmed episodes of Homeland, The Walking Dead, Masters of Sex, The Leftovers, Mad Men, The Good Wife, Justified… The list goes on and on. She’s prolific!
The Witches (1990)
Anjelica Huston was positively terrifying as the Grand High Witch in The Witches. Did we secretly want to be turned into mice? Perhaps! But, that didn’t make the creepiness of this movie any less palpable.
Free Willy (1993)
Sorry for getting “Will You Be There” by Michael Jackson stuck in your head! Free Willy was ahead of its time in its indictment of keeping killer whales in captivity. As an adult, you probably saw the documentary Blackfish, and it confirmed all that this movie told you as a child.
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My Girl (1991)
Heartbreak. My Girl most likely made you fear bees in an illogical way. The nineties most sought after child actors, Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin starred as two unlikely friends on the verge of their teens trying to understand life and aging out of childhood. What a tearjerker!
There you go! 15 movies that all nineties kids have seen. If you somehow managed to miss one of this touchstone movies of the nineties, you need to schedule some time to rectify that.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 The Iron Giant (1999)
- 2 Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
- 3 The Parent Trap (1998)
- 4 A Little Princess (1995)
- 5 Home Alone (1990)
- 6 Ferngulley: The Last Rainforest (1992)
- 7 Hocus Pocus (1993)
- 8 The Addams Family (1991)
- 9 The Lion King (1994)
- 10 Drop Dead Fred (1991)
- 11 Matilda (1996)
- 12 Now and Then (1995)
- 13 The Witches (1990)
- 14 Free Willy (1993)
- 15 My Girl (1991)
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