I will set the scene. It is about week 2 of the new government initiative, a 39 week school holiday period. Some of you may not even know what day it is anymore, with home days blurring into one long fight between tiny versions of yourself over who touched who first. Bliss. Then there is kids face timing each other. All of the day. Every day. I would like to meet the person who thought face timing was a good idea and just ring them 78 times an hour from 6am til 10pm.
So after the runaway success of our 80s family movie list, it seems that parents want to take back control of the TVs during this year of insanity, and stop watching Ryan’s Toy Review. Good to hear. That kid does my head in. Did you know he makes millions every year just by unboxing toys? How is that even a thing? Sorry I digress…cabin fever is getting me.
90s family movie time! This is where Teenage Tim lived and awkwardly navigated his way through high school. Good times. Not talking about my undercut, that was horrendous, but in movie land (sneaky nod to an old fave movie store from the 90s!) there is sooo much to pick from here. Disney and Pixar knocked it out of the park, so I will just mention a couple of their hits so don’t hate me (they could fill the whole list!). Now once you finish our 80s list, make your way to our 90s trip down memory lane. Trust me, you will have time. So so much time. By the way this is a top 12, because the 90s were just that little bit better than the 80s.
12) Cool Runnings – Hands up who had a lucky egg after watching this classic? The incredible true story of Jamaica’s bob sled team is a must watch. Sadly I actually remember seeing this when it came out. I am so old
11) Free Willy – Watched this with the kids last week and it is just as awesome as I remembered. Runaway boy makes friend with captive killer whale, they bond over harmonicas (as you do) and then the best end scene of all time. Just watch it for that. Jump Willy jump!
10) Mighty Ducks – If you were at school in the 90s and this didn’t inspire every sports day/carnival, making you smash out some Queen, then you lived under a rock. Not The Rock, a rock. Crap sporting team makes good with the legendary ‘Flying V’. Don’t google ‘what happened to Goldberg’….things didn’t go well for him.
9) Flubber – How good was Robin Williams! What a legend. The mad scientist who invents a crazy green goo thing, which does a whole heap of funny, whacky things. The kids will love the slapstick antics and the parents can remember the genius of Robin.
8) Space Jam – Look I will be honest here. It hasn’t aged well. Your kids, who are used to the latest Pixar and being able to yell at a virtual assistant box thing in the kitchen to find out the weather, may find the CGI a bit meh. Plus the GOAT Michael Jordan isn’t a you tuber and probably doesn’t have a tik tok account. But what do kids know? This was revolutionary for its time and an absolute smash hit. Give it a try!
7) Matilda – See Sandlot Kids. Just a perfect fam movie. Again I have seen this so many times it probably speaks poorly of me as a person. I just love it. Maybe its the ‘underdog beats the bully’ sort of vibe, or me wishing I was the kid who had to eat the giant chocolate cake. Either way, this is a gem!
6) The Sandlot Kids – This is my left field entry. I have seen this cult classic a hundred times. Kid moves into a new neighbourhood and makes friends playing baseball at the local park. It is funny, has fantastic funny characters and has a story that will make you feel good inside for years to come. And done we need that now more than ever!
5) Men in Black – Forget the steaming trash fire which was the reboot (Sorry Chris Hemsworth, I still love you), the original MIB (and soundtrack) is brilliant, funny, original and launched Will Smith into Superstardom which lasted right up until he made that weird space movie with his son. Your kids will love this as much as teenage me did.
4) Lion King – No not the CGI one, the original. The best. Starring one of the guys from the original Full House (think his name was Scott or Chad?) and the cute kid who was probably on the posters in your bedroom from Home Improvement, just don’t forget the tissues. Damn Hyenas.
3) Jumanji – I love The Rock. That is no secret, and his new Jumanji efforts are top notch. But! The original will make your kids fear giant mosquitos and want a lion in the spare room. It is incredible and teenage me had the biggest crush on Kirsten Dunst in a big way. Robin Williams is an absolute genius.
2) Toy Story – It is incredible how well this stands up after 25 years (25! Where has my life gone). An absolute master piece which is so good, that I am still buying the toys for Christmas for my kids. Your kids would have seen parts 3 and 4, just make sure they see the OG.
1) Home Alone – No matter how many times you watch this. You still wet your pants laughing. Not just the best Christmas movie of all time (sorry Die Hard), but one of the best of any movie. If you think you are struggling during this work from home/full time teacher/parent madness, at least you didn’t leave your kid at home while you flew to Europe.
The 90s are chock full of awesome family movies….here are my special mentions! The Little Rascals, Indian in the cupboard, Aladdin, Bugs Life, Back to the Future 3, Baby Sitter’s Club, Mrs Doubtfire, The Parent Trap, Edward Scissorhands, George of the Jungle, Casper, Rookie of the year, The Santa Clause.