Top 90s Kids Movies

by Stephen Hamilton 3 years ago in movie / list

As classics that have truly stood the test of time, 90s kids movies offer never ending entertainment for generations to come.

In the 90s, binge worthy entertainment included films full of mediocre special effects, entertaining storylines, and the debut of stars who would go on to shape the movies we watched. You have never seen such an awesome collection of 90s kids movies in one place, including Free Willy, Mrs. Doubtfire, and The Parent Trap. These films, which entertained children and adults alike, have stood the test of time and have been handed down to the younger generations. As kids, we wished we were able to perform magic with our mind like Matilda, be part of a real life board game like Jumanji, or challenge monsters to an epic basketball game alongside Michael Jordan in Space Jam. Classics will provide entertainment for many years, and the best 90s kids movies will make you feel nostalgic for times past or incite new fun for kids and families.

This modern classic brought the heartbreak and mistreatment of animals in water parks to the forefront of the public's eye before anything else. Free Willy tells the story of Jesse who befriends a killer whale in danger. Although the photo on the poster is a little bit of a spoiler for the ending, you will still be crying when you watch the film. Free Willy spawned four sequels, so you can have a bit of a binge if you want. Stars include Jason James Richter, Lori Petty, and Michael Madsen.

This movie is quite literally the perfect childhood movie, absolutely timeless. Based on the much loved book by Roald Dahl, Matilda has everything; love, laughs, magic, danger, excitement, people getting hats glued to their heads, and giant chocolate cake eating challenges. This was directed by Danny DeVito, who also stars along with his wife Rhea Perlman as Matilda’s horrible parents. It also stars the absolutely adorable Mara Wilson, who has the cutest lisp on the planet, and was a bit of a darling of 90s kids movies. You simply cannot go wrong with this film.

Casper was based on the comic book series that was first published in 1949 and has been enjoyed by countless children since. This live action comedy centers on Casper, a young ghost seeking a friend, and several of his more mischievous, less friendly ghost uncles as they interact with a paranormal psychologist and his young daughter. Spooky but in a generally lovely way, you will grow to love Casper. Stars include Bill Pullman and the very talented Christina Ricci.

Little Giants is a classic in the underdog-sports-team-makes-good genre. An unlikely coach forms his own misfit peewee football team of the children rejected from the elite local team, which just happens to be coached by the misfit coach’s brother. Shenanigans ensue, relationships are tested, and life lesson are learned. Starring 90s stalwarts Rick Moranis and Ed O’Neill, Little Giants is a lot of fun. It scores extra points (do you see what I did there?) for featuring a girl (Shawna Waldron) as a key football player, and also everybody’s 90 kids movies crush, Devon Sawa.

The 90s wouldn’t have been as funny as they were if it wasn’t for the late great Robin Williams. This man is a legend of comedy that you will happily watch over and over again, and should definitely introduce your kids to. His best roles are those in which he’s been allowed to cut loose and do what he wants, and this is the perfect example of that. Williams plays a father who is denied access to his children, so he dresses up as an English nanny to be close to them. Mrs. Doubtfire also stars Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, and lovely little lisper herself, Mara Wilson.

A classic for Halloween, Hocus Pocus stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker as a trio of witches terrorizing a town. The strange ladies are resurrected after 300 years in Salem, Massachusetts and begin causing all sorts of trouble. This is another 90s kids film that sounds like it’s a bit spooky for children, but it’s really lots of fun.

The Sandlot is a gorgeous film that tells the story of one group of children’s adventures throughout the summer of 1962. The new boy in town is taken in by a misfit baseball team and many crazy antics ensue. This is just a lovely film which you can very happily put on for your children to watch and know they’ll be entertained and uncorrupted. Starring Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar and Art LaFleur, The Sandlot was so much fun they made three sequels.

Have I mentioned that I like Robin Williams? This man is a god of comedy and the world is a little bit darker without him in it. Jumanji is one of his absolute classics; the tale of a board game that you can’t stop playing once you’re started and that lets loose all sorts of jungle animals and other creatures in your town. Williams plays a little boy who gets sucked into the game and then spends the next two decades in the jungle on his own. The thrills are a mile a minute, the effects lots of fun for the kids. Jumanji also stars Bonnie Hunt and Kirsten Dunst in a very early role.

This movie takes the adorable Little Rascals from the short films between 1920s and 1940s, and the television show from the 1950s, and lovingly places them in the present day. The children are cute, the dialogue is endlessly quotable, and the cameos are stellar. The Little Rascals tells the story of a member of the "He-Man Woman Haters Club" who falls in love with one of the enemy, and the schemes his friends get up to stop him courting her. It is very innocent fun, you will love it and your children will too.

Based on the novel of the same name written by Louise Fitzhugh, eleven-year-old Harriet, played by Michelle Trachtenberg is a wise-beyond-her-years spy and writer. Keeping her findings in a secret notebook, disaster arises when the notebook is discovered by the wrong people. Starring Rosie O'Donnell as Harriet's beloved nanny "Golly," Harriet the Spy is a fun 90s kids film for boys and girls, alike.

In a rollercoaster ride of special effects, Space Jam film mixes life action and animated heroes in a high stakes basketball game. Starring none other than Michael Jordan alongside Bugs Bunny and his pals, this movie is definitely one for the ages. Light, fun, funny and something that absolutely belongs in your 90s kids movies collection.

Oh Lindsay Lohan, you had such promise. The Parent Trap is a remake of the film of the same name from 1961, which follows the unlikely premise that identical twins are split by their parents as babies, find each other at camp as youngsters, and then swap places and try to get their parents back together. I know, it sounds awesome right? Lohan is fantastic as both twins; this film also stars Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson, and is truly something you can watch again and again.

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Stephen Hamilton

Definitive movie buff. Quickly realized that it was more financially prudent to write about film than trying to beg for millions of dollars to make his own.

See all posts by Stephen Hamilton