How good was the 90s? Grunge and hip-hop ruled the airwaves, happy pants were a thing, Seinfeld and Friends changed the sitcom game, and looking after your pet Tamagotchi became an obsession. It was also a fantastic time for movies, especially if you were a kid. While the 80s might have been the decade for coming-of-age movies, many of the best children’s movies came out in the 90s.
The best 90s kids’ movies include a large range of family-friendly features full of laughs that still stand the test of time today. During that era, you would head to your local Blockbuster and stock up on all the best weekly movies for weekend marathons with your friends. Films from every genre catered to kids, not just animated movies from Disney. Drama, romance, action, and of course, comedy, were all hot topics for 90s kids’ movies.
There are so many fantastic films from the 90s that it’s hard to choose the best, but we’ve done our best to come up with 14 of our favorites we believe are still as watchable today as they were over two decades ago. So grab some popcorn and settle in with one of these incredible kids’ movies and fuel your feelings of nostalgia.
14 of the Best 90s Kids Movies
1. Home Alone (1992)
Not only is Home Alone one of the great kids’ movies of all time, but it also ranks as one of the best Christmas movies. The simple premise finds Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin accidentally left home alone when his super large family heads overseas. At first loving the freedom, things take a serious turn when a pair of bungling criminals (Joe Pesic and Daniel Stern) try and break in. Forced to defend himself, Kevin turns his home into a fortress full of bobby traps.
Laughs ensue as Pesic and Stern find themselves overwhelmed by Culkin, with some of the traps incredibly inventive and pain-inducing for the robbers. Home Alone is a 90s classic that turned Culkin into a huge star and continues to be a big hit with both children and adults every Christmas.Watch on Disney+
2. The Lion King (1994)
Forget the 2019 remake, the Disney original is where it’s at. The Lion King helped push Disney to the forefront of animated movies in the 90s with this tale about a lion cub robbed of his birthright as a child and trying to claim it back as an adult. It features a cast of colorful characters voiced by some of showbusiness’s biggest names, including Matthew Broderick (Simba), Jeremy Irons (Scar), and James Earl Jones (Mufasa), with the animation for that time eye-catching.
The Lion King set the template for future Disney movies and ushered in the golden age of animation in the 90s. It also spawned several sequels and spin-offs for those who can’t get enough of Simba, Timon, Pumbaa, and co. In one word: classic.Watch on Disney+
3. Hocus Pocus (1993)
Although a film about witches, Hocus Pocus is a riotous comedy that rides the line of comedy and horror, with enough thrills and spills to entertain both adults and kids. Witches Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy are hilarious as resurrected sorceresses who play havoc in the small town of Salem as they try and stay alive.
Hocus Pocus wasn’t a massive hit at the box office, but it developed a cult following and has become one of those movies you watch at Halloween. A sequel with much of the same cast was released in 2022. It has received similar mixed reviews to the original but is sure to become another underrated gem.Watch on Disney+
4. Mrs Doubtfire (1993)
This won’t be the first time Robin Williams pops up on this list. Throughout the 90s he was a force to be reckoned with and starred in some of the biggest and best comedies of the decade, including Mrs. Doubtfire. Williams is doing it tough after quitting his job and then finding himself faced with divorce. Wanting nothing more than to be with his kids, Williams devises a plan to become his kids’ nanny by dressing up as Mrs. Doutbfire, an English nanny.
It sounds ludicrous, and to be honest, it is, but Mrs. Doubtfire is comedy gold. This is prime Williams who provides plenty of laughs as the wise-cracking Doubtfire who is trying to bond with his children while cock blocking Pierce Bronson, who is trying to get with his ex-wife Sally Feild. A goofy, feel god 90s flick you can’t help but love.Watch on Hulu
5. Space Jam (1996)
Whoever’s decision it was to put Michael Jordan in an animated Looney Tunes movie deserves all the plaudits. Space Jam turned out to be a massive hit, combing animation with live-action in a comedy about Jordan needing to help save the Looney Tunes from an invading alien army via a basketball game.
All the big Looney Tunes characters make appearances (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and more) as well as a slew of famous basketball players (Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and more) in this fun comedy that got a 2021 sequel, Space Jam: A New Legacy, with LeBron James in the Jordan role. It’s not very good.Watch on HBOMax
6. Aladdin (1992)
Based on a famous Arabic fairytale, Aladdin is another one of Disney’s great 90s animated movies. Street urchin Aladdin finds a magic lamp with a genie who grants him three wishes. He uses these to get close to Princess Jasmine, who he has a crush on. Things don’t exactly go to plan as Aladdin realizes sometimes it’s better to be yourself than pretend to be someone you’re not.
Aladdin has made over $504.1 million since its release and is one of the highest-grossing animated movies of all time. It features a talented voice cast, with Robin Williams the standout as the Genie, adding his comedic touch to this fun family movie. The flick did so well that it spawned two sequels, an animated television series, a Broadway musical, and a 2019 live-action remake starring Will Smith as the Genie.Watch on Disney+
7. Richie Rich (1994)
On a roll after Home Alone, Macaulay Culkin took a stab at playing the comic book character Richie Rich in a big-screen adaptation from Warner Bros. After Rich’s parents seemingly die in a plane crash and the evil Lawrence Van Dough takes control of Rich enterprises, only child Rich must use all his wits to defeat Van Dough and take the company back.
Critics weren’t big fans of Richie Rich, but the movie did ok at the box office and even better on home video where it made around $125 million. Culkin is as charming as ever, and while the plot is a little meh, there are plenty of good gags and a standout performance from John Larroquette as the menacing Van Dough.Watch on Prime
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8. Hook (1991)
Proving Robin Williams’s dominance, this 90s kids’ flick is the third movie he appears in on this list. Hook serves as a sequel of sorts to J. M. Barrie’s classic 1911 novel Peter and Wendy. The titular Peter Pan (Williams) is now an adult who has all but forgotten about his Peter Pan persona. But when his great nemesis Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) suddenly reappears and kidnaps his children, Peter Pan is forced to head back to Neverland to save them, along the way rediscovering his imagination and zest for life.
As often is the case with these types of films, the critics hated it but the public was all about it. Hook was another Steven Speilberg smash hit (although even he’s not a fan) that racked in an impressive $300.9 million against a budget of $70 million. There are a lot of fun parts in Hook and the actors are all great, although the plot and dialogue are a little shaky. Look out for Phil Collins’ cameo as Inspector Good.Watch on Prime
9. Toy Story (1995)
Tom Hanks recently said of all the films he’s made only “four of them are pretty good,” with the rest just being average. While Hanks didn’t disclose his favorite roles, we think Toy Story has to be part of the conversation. The super popular Pixar animation stars Hanks as cowboy figure Woody who becomes jealous of his owner Andy’s new toy Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen).
It’s a truly remarkable film about friendship and realizing your place in the world with an incredible voice cast (Hanks, Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, R. Lee Ermey, and more) who bring these animated toys to life. The animation was also mind-blowing for the time and helped turn Toy Story into one of the biggest animated franchises, with three sequels, a 2022 spin-off about Buzz Lightyear, and a toy line that made even more money than the films.Watch on Disney+
10. Jurassic Park (1993)
Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur epic might be a little frightening for some, but most kids absolutely love it. Dinosaurs have been brought back to life and put in a theme park. While giving a group of specialists a private tour before it opens, all hell breaks loose as the dinosaurs escape and cause absolute chaos. Enough said really.
Seeing a T-Rex brought to life on the big screen is an experience that no child who saw Jurassic Park in a cinema forgets. The special effects are incredible and the dinosaurs are so life-like you’d think they are real. The cinematography is great, the script action-packed, and the cast is full of A-listers, including Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum.
As you can imagine, the movie was a massive success and has endured for three decades thanks to five sequels, a comic book series, video games, and an amusement park ride found in Universal Studios across America.Watch on Prime
11. My Girl (1991)
Here’s a 90s tearjerker for you. Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky are two young kids from different sides of the tracks who form a tight friendship during the summer of 1972. My Girl is a touching flick about friendship, loss, and death, with enough funny moments thrown in to balance the heavy stuff.
Culkin and Chlumsky (in her first major film role) are fantastic and have great chemistry despite being such young actors. The soundtrack includes a lot of classic 60s and 70s songs, including The Temptations hit the movie is named after, “My Girl.” Just be sure to have a box of tissues close by for the final act.Watch on Netflix
12. Little Rascals (1994)
Based on Hal Roach’s Our Gang series of short films, Little Rascals is a feel-good 90s kids’ movie with lots of laughs and some great performances by a cast of unknown children. Alfalfa, the leader of a group of boys who run an all-boys club falls in love with the new girl in town, much to the disapproval of his friends. They try their best to stop the two from getting together, getting up to all sorts of mischief.
Throw in a rival suitor, a high-stakes go-kart race, and the boys’ clubhouse burning down and you have all the ingredients for a hilarious kids’ movie that ticks all the right boxes. And if you’re a fan of the movie, there’s also an animated series and 2014 sequel, The Little Rascals Save the Day.Watch on Netflix
13. Matilda (1996)
Recently remade as a musical, it’s hard to go past the original Matilda. Based on Roald Dahl’s timeless children’s novel of the same name, the movie centers around the title character Matilda, played wonderfully by Mara Wilson. A child prodigy neglected by her parents (Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman) who has to deal with the domineering Miss Agatha Trunchbull, the principal of Crunchem Hall Elementary School, Matilda discovers she has telekinetic powers that she uses to get revenge on all those who wronged her.
Smart, funny, and engaging, Matilda does a great job of translating Dahl’s book into the realm of film, even if it takes a few creative liberties. Everyone involved in the movie is great, resulting in a fantastic 90s kids’ movie.Watch on Philo
14. Jumanji (1995)
No, not the remake with The Rock and Kevin Hart but the original Jumanji starring that man again, Robin Williams. After becoming trapped in the game 26 years earlier, Williams finds himself back in the real world after two young kids start playing and unleash the board game into the real world.
This is a fantastic adventure movie with lots of exciting set pieces and visual gags that is much more fun than playing Monopoly. Williams is once again at the top of his game and ably supported by the two kids, Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce.
2005 saw the release of spin-off Zathura: A Space Adventure before Dwayne Johnson got involved and made two wildly successful sequels, 2017s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and 2019s Jumanji: The Next Level.Watch on Prime
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