The 1990s was a classic decade for kids movies. Sure, some youngsters might find some films a little dated now, but there’s no denying that family friend movies like Jurassic Park, Hocus Pocus and Toy Story have a certain quality to them that is undeniable. In fact, there seems to be something of a ’90s movie revival: not only have we had the Jumanji sequels, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungleand Jumanji: The Next Level, but there’s even a follow up to the Bugs Bunny basketball movie, Space Jam, out this year.
If all that isn’t a sign that you should get nostalgic and introduce your kids to some of these ‘90s gems then we don’t know what is. Get caught up with Tim Burton, fall in love with the late Robin Williams’ best roles and rediscover magic with Matilda with our list of the best kids' movies from the '90s.
Photograph: Courtesy Zade Rosenthal/20th Century Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
In true Tim Burton fashion, we're treated to an eccentric and spooky character in this '90s classic. Edward—the product of a deceased scientist—is left with scissors for hands, which doesn't exactly help him blend in with the rest of suburbia. What happens when a local Avon lady decides to take him in? Rated PG–13.
What's more difficult: Handling a group of five-year-olds or exposing a drug lord for his crimes? One cop is about to find out. John Kimble goes under cover as a kindergarten teacher, oddly enough, hoping this role will put him in close quarters to the alleged drug lord's ex-wife. There's mayhem, laugh-out-loud moments and even love in this action-packed flick. Rated PG–13.
Jesse lands himself in a mess of trouble when he's caught vandalizing a local theme park. As punshiment, he's tasked with working at the attraction. Soon, this becomes something he looks forward to after he develops a close relationship with the Orca named Willy. The two become so close, in fact, that they start doing tricks...which is problematic once the venue's owner catches wind of their friendship. Rated PG.
A Halloween staple for the faint of heart, Hocus Pocus takes place in Salem, Massachusetts—a town best known for its witchy history. When a brother and sister explore their new home, they accidentally manage to free a coven of wicked witches. Talk about getting off to a good start! Rated PG.
Being a paleontologist is easy...you know, when the dinosaurs you're studying aren't walking right next to you. A group of scientists are brought to a theme park where dinos are anything but extinct, and to cut to the chase: No one is safe. Rated PG–13.
Photograph: Courtesy 20th Century Fox
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Robin Williams has the power to move us to tears—first with laughter, then with heartbreak. In this popular flick, a funny, carefree husband named Dan must face the music when his marriage starts to take a tumble and his wife asks for a separation. Dan devises a plan to get more time with his kids by going undercover as a nanny, gaining an even closer relationship with his family in the process. Rated PG–13.
The creepy Jack Skellington is king of the pumpkin patch...but he's had enough of Halloween. What happens when he gets a taste of Christmas cheer? Will he soon be singing carols instead of scaring young kids? Rated PG.
Photograph: Courtesy 20th Century Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
The Sandlot (1993)
Known for the everpopular line, "You're killin' me, Smalls," this classic coming-of-age tale of friendship and adventure focuses on town newbie, Scottie Smalls. Scottie befriends a group of kiddos who play baseball, and a wild adventure unravels when he joins forces with this crew. Rated PG.
Directed by Danny DeVito, this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s novel about a young girl who discovers she has magical powers is probably the perfect ’90s kids movie. Kids will be enraptured by Pam Ferris’ terrifying, ridiculous and villainous turn as Miss Trunchbull, while the magical montage sequence set to Thurston Harris’ ‘Little Bitty Pretty One’ is still as wondrous as it was 25 years ago. Rated PG.
Baby Simba has a lot to endure—the loss of his father and a devious uncle who wants to take what rightfully belongs to Simba. What happens when Simba grows up—and his uncle realizes he's not giving up without a fight? Rated G.
Babe is the king of the farm—one who manages to escape becoming a holiday dinner. Phew! But trouble doesn't stop there. How will this little piggy interact with the other animals, some of whom aren't terribly pleased with him? Rated G.
Photograph: Courtesy Sam Emerson/Columbia/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
The Baby-Sitters Club (1995)
A group of teens longs to make its babysitting services an official summer business, despite the hardship they receive from some annoying neighbors. Along the way there's drama, teen angst and of course, a few crushes. Rated PG.
While exploring their new home, a brother-sister duo discover an old game nestled in the attic. But this game is anything but ordinary. Soon, they'll be on an adventure with wild creatures, an insane hunter and other crazy stuff—even meeting Alan, a boy (now man) who was sucked into the game until the kids picked it up 26 years later. With two wildly successful sequels released in 2017 and 2019, now is the time to show your kids the original Jumanji. Rated PG.
What '90s movie roundup would be complete without then-teen heartthrob, Jonathan Taylor Thomas? In this departure from the original story, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom and Huck witness a gruesome murder and swear to keep the crime a secret, but that's impossible to do. Rated PG.
We can't resist journeying to infinity and beyond with Buzz and Woody. Cowboy Woody thinks he's Andy's favorite toy, but when an out-of-this-world spaceman named Buzz shows up, things get complicated between the toys (all of whom come to life when Andy leaves the room). Rated G.
Now a cult classic, this flick follows a wicked alien theme park owner who attempts to steal Bugs Bunny and co for his venue's betterment. How will they settle it all? With a basketball game, of course. A sequel starring LeBron James, Space Jam: A New Legacy, is slated for release in 2021. Rated PG.
Things are difficult for Josh after he loses his father and moves to a new school. However, things take a turn when he starts playing basketball...and realizes his dog has some serious skills on the court, too. Rated PG.
Young Tommy Pickles feels like he's second fiddle when his brother Dill shows up on the scene. After receiving a bout of widsom from his older cousin Angelica (who's known for having a mean streak), Tommy soon goes on a journey with his diaper-clad crew in an attempt to return his baby bro to the hospital. Rated G.