The 1990s was such a good decade for pop culture in general, but it was specifically noted for great music and great movies.
In particular, it was a good decade for family movies. The 1990s had that in-between feel when it came to films like you find yourself in between future cool events while tripping down nostalgic moments. Every decade has its own characteristic, and for Gen X-ers, that is how that decade felt.
So imagine what kind of films the people in that era preferred if they are in such an intersection of feelings. Many dramas, comedies, action films, suspense thrillers, and epics came out then, but it's good to see that there are also many notable family films and children-oriented films that came out of that era. And it's also good to note that these films are also child-friendly because that's another kind of characteristic altogether.
So, do you think you can identify some of these famous and popular '90s family movies if we give you some snapshots of their notable scenes? We'll give clues to boot!
Come on, let's do this!
"Home Alone" is the 1990 comedy that introduced Macaulay Culkin to moviegoers around the world. He was a successful child actor of that decade, appearing in other films, such as "My Girl," "Richie Rich," and "The Good Son."
Emilio Estevez is the adult protagonist of "The Mighty Ducks," but it was the kids who also catapulted this movie to popularity. The 1992 movie actually had two sequels which came out in 1994 and in 1996.
The 1991 film, "My Girl," starred Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin in the leads, which was a success. A sequel called "My Girl 2" was made in 1994, which featured Austin O'Brien as the new boy "love interest," since Culkin's character died in the first movie.
The gender-bending 1993 comedy, "Mrs. Doubtfire," featured the comedic genius of Robin Williams in the title role, playing the role of a nanny so his character could get close to his kids who were living with his ex-wife. Sally Field and Pierce Brosnan also star in this film under the direction of Chris Columbus.
Perhaps people associate the 1993 film "Free Willy" more to the theme song of the film, which was written by no less than the King of Pop -- Michael Jackson. That hit song is entitled "Will You Be There" which could also be found in MJ's album, "Dangerous."
"The Parent Trap" featured two Lindsay Lohan characters playing twins in this 1998 remake of a 1961 film. Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson play the parents in question, who get "trapped" into getting back together by the twins.
"Hook" explored the idea of the greatest "What if" question of story development: "What if Peter Pan grew up?" If he did, then it's a hoot that Robin Williams played his grown-up version in this film, as Dustin Hoffman played his nemesis Captain Hook.
"Fly Away Home" is actually a kind of biopic in a way, since the story of the film is a dramatization of real-life events that happened in 1986. The 1996 film starred Anna Paquin, Jeff Daniels, and Dana Delaney.
Alfonso Cuaron directed the 1995 film adaptation of "A Little Princess," which was based on the novel written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Emmanuel Lubezki is the brilliant cinematographer who helped Cuaron make this book come alive via cinema magic.
Scarlett Johansson made her film debut in the 1994 adventure comedy, "North," which starred Elijah Wood. The film was an adaptation of a young adult novel written by Alan Zweibel called "North: The Tale of a 9-Year-Old Boy Who Becomes a Free Agent and Travels the World in Search of the Perfect Parents."
The 1995 movie, "The Baby-Sitters Club," was an adaptation of the popular children's book series penned by Ann M. Martin, first published in 1986 which already had around 80 titles before the movie version even came out. The author wrote the first 35 of these novels, but since it became popular, many ghostwriters were employed to create more titles in the series.
The 1991 live action version of the animated tale, "101 Dalmatians," featured a perfectly cast Glenn Close in the role of Cruella De Vil. Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson, and Joan Plowright also co-starred in this Disney film.
Film buffs may know "Jumanji" as that 1995 film starring Robin Williams and a young Kirsten Dunst, but the story originally came from a children's picture book penned by Chris Van Allsburg, first published in 1981. After the book and film became popular, a sequel book appeared entitled "Zathura" which also became a film called "Zathura: A Space Adventure," prior to the release of the updated 2017 film version called "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle."
Every parent in the world could relate to hapless parents dealing with a very troublesome child, to the point that you'd think he's the spawn of the devil! This was the basic premise of the 1999 hit comedy called "Problem Child" and starring John Ritter and Amy Yasbeck as the parents and Michael Oliver as their problem kiddo named Junior.
Get two of the hottest '90s teen heartthrobs, put them in a narrative from a classic American novel, and you'll get a certified hit. That happened to "Tom and Huck," the 1995 film adaptation of Mark Twain's novel, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," where Jonathan Taylor Thomas played Tom Sawyer and Brad Renfro played his friend, Huck Finn.
The unmistakable booming voice (and booming presence) of James Earl Jones could be experienced in the kiddie baseball film called "The Sandlot." This 1993 film was actually set in 1962, showing how children played baseball during that summer.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas is the kid who makes the 1995 film, "Man of the House," a certified family movie since it's about a kid who clashes with a soon-to-be stepfather. That stepfather was played by Chevy Chase, while Farrah Fawcett starred as the mother.
A very young but greatly talented Christina Ricci practically steals "The Addams Family" film from veteran lead actors Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia, who played Morticia and Gomez Addams, respectively. The 1991 film finds Ricci playing Wednesday Addams, as Christopher Lloyd played Uncle Fester and Jimmy Workman played Pugsley Addams.
Did you know that there are five sequels to the 1992 hit movie, "Beethoven"? There was even an animated television series that was made, still based on this original, which was incidentally written by John Hughes, and co-written by Amy Holden Jones.
If you're fond of talking snowman creatures, then you'll love the 1998 Christmas-themed family movie called "Jack Frost." The film featured Michael Keaton who played a man reincarnated inside the body of a snowman.
The renowned Polish filmmaker and scriptwriter, Agnieszka Holland, directed the 1993 film adaptation of "The Secret Garden," the novel penned by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Two cinematographers worked on the film: Roger Deakins and Jerzy Zielinski.
Bickering adults Rick Moranis and Ed O'Neill starred in the1994 family movie called "Little Giants." The two comedians played rival coaches of kiddie football teams, so imagine where the children get their occasional nuggets of toxic masculinity, in between the laughs.
if you're a kid who has his own McDonald's at home -- meaning a working fast food chain inside your mansion -- then you're "Richie Rich!" The 1994 live action film adaptation of this famous cartoon character starred Macaulay Culkin in the title role.
"George of the Jungle" is a cartoon that aimed to spoof the serious and legendary adventure story of the Tarzan character lore. This cartoon spoof appeared as a TV series in 1967, while the live-action film adaptation was released in 1997, starring Brendan Fraser as the titular character.
A totally different generation of '90s kids got reintroduced to popular kiddie characters who first appeared in American pop culture from the 1920s up to the 1940s. These characters are the kids from the short films called "Our Gang," which was made into one feature film entitled "The Little Rascals" in 1994.
It was a hoot to see the live action version of the beloved Flintstones cartoon characters of the '60s in the 1994 film version called "The Flintstones." The film had perfect casting to boot, with John Goodman playing Fred, Rick Moranis playing Barney, Elizabeth Perkins playing Wilma, and Rosie O'Donnell playing Betty.
Leave it to the folks at Disney to create and reimagine existing stories to give them a new fun flavor, like what they did with "A Kid in King Arthur’s Court." The 1995 film is about a baseball playing teen who suddenly gets transported in the realm of King Arthur, where he meets the king and also his famous Knights of the Round Table.
Michael Crichton's 1990 sci-fi novel called "Jurassic Park" was the start of this still-evolving franchise, which Steven Spielberg translated into the big screen in 1993. This big hit spawned so many other films, even theme park attractions, comic books, video games, and animated TV shows that it's now considered as a full-on multimedia franchise.
The retro-looking 1991 film called "The Rocketeer" features a story set in the late 1930s about a pilot who can fly with a jet pack, without the use of an aircraft. The nostalgic-looking family film starred Bill Campbell in the titular role, together with Jennifer Connelly and Timothy Dalton.
First, Kevin's family mistakenly leaves him "Home Alone" in their house as they hurriedly catch a flight, then in the 1992 sequel entitled "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York," Kevin mistakenly boards a flight to New York while his family boards their plane to Florida. Knowing how airlines and airports operate, you'd really know that this film stretches their artistic license a bit here, storytelling-wise, since these plots may not be too plausible if given a reality check -- but it's Hollywood, and it's a family film, so filmgoers laugh it off and just enjoy the happy family movie fantastical ride.
The 1993 heartwarming animal-oriented family film called "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey" was actually a remake of "The Incredible Journey," the 1963 film which was based on a novel. That children's novel is the 1961 book also called "The Incredible Journey" which was penned by Scottish writer Sheila Burnford.
"Dr. Doolittle" tells the tale of a special doctor who can communicate with animals -- and they communicate with him, too! The 1998 film version starred funnyman Eddie Murphy, and the character was based on the children's short story character, Doctor John Doolittle, penned by author Hugh Lofting way back in the 1920s.
How can a tropical Caribbean country like Jamaica have a Winter Olympics team for the bobsledding competition? That was the main premise of the entertaining 1993 sports-oriented underdog-themed film called "Cool Runnings" which was actually inspired from real-life people and events that took place in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Calgary, where Jamaica actually had a bobsleigh team that entered and competed there.
One of those happy/sad kind of family movies was the 1996 film called "Jack," starring the talented Robin Williams in the role of a kid who grows up faster than average, as a result of premature aging conditions. The great director Francis Ford Coppola directed this one, with Diane Lane paying Jack's mother, Bill Cosby playing Jack's special tutor, and Jennifer Lopez playing Jack's public school teacher.
The famous comic strip characters created by Hank Ketcham in the 1950s were given a live-action film version in the 1993 family movie called "Dennis The Menace." Mason Gamble essayed the role of the very naughty Dennis while Walther Matthau essayed the role of Mr. George Wilson, the kid's neighbor whom he loves to tease, to the old man's annoyance.
Did you know that the family-friendly animal-focused 1995 film called "Babe" was actually produced by Australian "Mad Max" director/producer George Miller? He also co-wrote it, together with fellow Aussie director Chris Noonan, while Jim Henson's Creature Shop had a hand in helping the animals come alive here.
The 1992 underdog-themed film, "Sidekicks," features Jonathan Brandis as an asthmatic teen boy who aspires to be good at martial arts. He even daydreams as being the sidekick of legendary Hollywood actor-martial artist Chuck Norris, who appears as himself in this feel-good film.
"Hocus Pocus" is the fun 1993 film featuring three witches who came from ancient Salem. This family film had a story that's family-friendly enough, even though it featured "dark characters" who were actually comedic, thanks to the portrayals of Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Kathy Najimy.
Video game enthusiasts got excited when they saw the live action version of "Super Mario Bros." back in 1993 because the film breathed life into their usual 2D game faves. The film featured Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as Mario and Luigi, Dennis Hopper as King Koopa, and Samantha Mathis as Princess Daisy.
"Kazaam" is the 1996 family film that starred basketball great Shaquille O'Neal in the titular character role. He played a very, very, very old genie who appeared in front of a '90s kid via a boombox -- and yes, he also grants wishes.