90’s Movies That Can Salvage Any Bad Childhood

Movie makers in the 90’s truly understood the generation that they were aiming to please–my generation. Nothing that bad could really happen in your childhood while you were watching a movie. No one disrupts a child with it’s eyes glued to the tube. At least I don’t.

I’m definitely not saying that I had a bad childhood. I had one of the best, if not the best. That’s right, I said it, my childhood was better than yours. These movies helped shape my younger years. They’re creative, funny, and make you feel good. Any 90’s child, or parent of a 90’s child would agree.

The Sandlot (93). Boys, baseball, the 60’s…what more could you want in a flick? The best part, at least in my opinion, is that they don’t focus on the game of baseball that much. That would be a snore-fest. The movie’s main character, Scott Smalls, moves to a new neighborhood where he comes across a group of boys that play baseball in an abandoned lot all day, every day. Smalls doesn’t even know how to throw a baseball, but he soon befriends the leader of the group and becomes one of the guys. It’s a fun-filled story. Plus, there are some great lines. Like the famous, “You’re killin’ me Smalls!”

Jumanji (95). Jumanji oh my lord almighty, Jumanji. This movie was genius. I tried introducing it to my husband yesterday and he said it was “alright.” Ummm excusez moi? Unfortunately Jumanji‘s main character is played by Robin Williams. But don’t worry, he doesn’t really make any weird noises like he does in Mrs. Doubtfire (another 90’s classic)–Dave Coulier style. The story revolves around a board game that’s alive, in a sense. Every time someone rolls, a new danger comes out of the game-forcing the players into a crazy whirlwind of events. Bonnie Hunt is in it. She totally knew what was up in the 90’s.

Heavy Weights(95). This movie was perfect for all of those 90’s kids who thought they were fat. Or for all those kids that actually were fat. Ben Stiller was at his prime in this flick. He plays Tony Perkis, the new manager of what was once an awesome fat camp. He turns it into hell for these chubby guys. The campers lock Tony up and hilarity ensues. This movie made me want to go to an all-boys fat camp.

It's impossible to feel bad about your bod after watching this flick.

Home Alone (90). If you were a 90’s child and your parents never introduced you to Home Alone, I’m sorry but that’s reason enough to call the child abuse hotline. Every kid has wanted the freedom to be home alone. Except me. I was terrified of being left alone, forgotten, or having to live with some other family. Remember how I told you I had the perfect childhood? Yeah, I was literally scared that I would have to be part of some other, lesser family. Kevin McCallister showed me that being home alone can be awesome. You can eat whatever you want, watch The Grinch, and go through your brother’s possessions–“Buzz’s girlfriend, woof!” Kevin outsmarts burglars all by himself and ends up probably having a better vacation than his stupid family in Paris. Who goes to Paris for Christmas? Kevin, your family is what the french call, les incompetents.

Me, every day since I was able to stay home alone.

Cool Runnings (93). Man, ’93 and ’95 were good years for kid’s movies. Not only is Cool Runnings an awesome story, it’s based on a true story! AND John Candy is in it. He was also in Home Alone, but I mean…He, Bonnie Hunt, and Robin Williams all sold their souls to the gods of the 90’s.  The movie is about a Jamaican bobsled team. That’s pretty much the extent of it. It teaches kids that anyone can be a bobsledder. It also teaches you that you won’t always win. Even if you travel all the way from Jamaica to participate in the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. Remember kids, there’s always a big chance that you’ll lose.

Matilda (96). Matilda is the awesome story about a normal girl with magical powers. Her parents were played by Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman. Matilda looked surprisingly normal despite having them for parents. She went to an elementary school with a super scary principle, Miss Trunchbull. The story is whimsical and teaches kids that if their parents abuse them, one of their nice teachers will probably adopt them some day.

Hope these lightened your day as much as they did for my childhood!




38 thoughts on “90’s Movies That Can Salvage Any Bad Childhood

  1. Home Alone is one of the best movies of all time, period. And even tho it can’t be categorized as a 90s movie, Uncle Buck, which features John Candy in all his splendor and which inspired Home Alone, is a cornerstone of childhood movies too.

    • Yes! I was thinking about Uncle Buck as I wrote this! Unfortch, I didn’t own Uncle Buck as a child, so I didn’t view it as much as these–but it’s still a winner! RIP John Candy.

  2. Chantel says:

    Those are all incredible movies and definitely part of what makes me who I am today. Did you see Indian in the Cupboard? My life wasn’t the same after that one, I kept trying to make my toys come alive by putting them places and then peeking at them. I would also open my bedroom door really fast to try to catch them alive.

    • Yesss I totally know what you’re talking about! I love how back then we could just call them Indians and no one would care. Now it’s Native Americans or First Nations or whatever. Sigh…

  3. Cool Runnings! I had that on VHS tape and loved it. Amazing film.

    I rewatched it fairly recently and couldn’t believe how cheesy it was. Some of the acting was awful as well.

    Still awesome though.

    • Yeah! Wasn’t it on channel 4 online last year or something? Why do I know that? I was in England for way too long. It’s always weird going back and watching childhood movies because they are incredibly cheesy. But yeah, still so good!

  4. Love all these films especially Jumanji, Cool Runnings and Home Alone. Even now when Jumanji is on tv I get drawn in and have to watch it. Cool Runnings is cheese and has horrible JA accents but I still like it. Home Alone, basically I wished that was me as a kid stuck at home by myself for a bit, minus the robbers of course.

    • Yes! Lol I love their accents…”ya know we can’t believe..Jamaica has a bobsled team!” Takes me back! Jumanji was such a great childhood adventure. I was wayyy too dumb to fool those robbers like Kevin did in the movie. I was always in awe of his skills!

  5. These are all classics. I also think they’re therapeutic. You can literally grow emotionally from these movies – it’s like they offer kids another way to see things. They let kids know, you’ll survive, it’s not so scary, you’re as strong and as smart as adults, etc. Don’t you think?

    • Yeah they’re really the bes. Watching Jumanji the other day, I was like “OMG this is so good!” Hahah Paul was like ummmmmmmmmmm. Yeah Matilda was good at showing kids that sometimes parents aren’t always right. I always remember Danny Devito saying to Matilda “I’m smart, you’re dumb!” and it made me sad for her 😦

    • Lol yeah I feel like your generation was desperate for actors. Molly wasn’t that great. She was a ginger with the worst hair cut. The whole Brat Pack thing…oy. But a lot of good John Hughes films came out of your generation. So bravo!

  6. Love this you did this post!
    I think I watched Sandlot and Heavyweights just in the past 8 years or so. Crazy, I know. I’ve never watched Jumanji, but think I should.

    Home Alone, my brother KILLLLLLED. He had the video and he watched it EVERYday until it refused to play any more (or I messed it up… something like that. Doesn’t matter.).

    Have you ever watched Misfits (SO GOOD)? One of the guys in it totally looks like Darece from Cool Runnings. I can never even remember his Misfits name because I keep calling him Darece. *shrugs*

    Sanka, ya dead? Yah mon’!

    • Yesss! Hahah Home Alone is such a classic. I try to save it for Christmas each year, but I really feel like watching it now!
      No, I’ve never seen Misfits! But I’ve heard of it! Omggg am I missing out? Sanka, ya dead? Yah mon! hahah so good. I need to name my first born Sanka!

  7. Marya says:

    “You’re killing me Smalls.” My boys and their friends lived for “Sandlot.” I had a group of five-year-olds in my home 7 years back and they climbed up onto the armoir in our family room and “stole” the autographed, displayed baseballs for a rousing game of baseball. As the boys were filing out of my house, I looked at Adam’s friend Joey and said, “Joey, could you get the baseball out of your pocket?” Joey replied, “What?”

    I never talk or share birthing stories. It can be braggy and one-up-man-ship-like. The only labor story I do share is one while having Elizabeth. “Cool Runnings” was playing on the inter-hospital television channel. The speaker (on high volume…for Craig) fell into my ear during a contraction. When the contraction ceased, I kindly whispered to Craig, “I like that movie. But, please turn it off.” The rest of the labor was dealt with in silence. Nobody was allowed to talk or make a peep.

    “Give this to Kevin.”

    I love that you loved your childhood. Kudos to your ma and pa.

    • Hahah You should have named Elizabeth after a Cool Runnings character. It was obviously meant to be. Maybe Sanka or Darece? Or maybe Candy after John Candy? Hmmm
      Haha Sandlot is the best! I only wish I knew how to play baseball when I was younger so I could re-create the movie as well. I would have been Squintz for sure!

  8. I had all of these on VHS, and, now have them on DVD in my NanaCloset. Yes, I have a NanaCloset, because one day, I will have grandchildren (even if I have to rent them) and they must see these films. I shall also show them how to jump (well, tell them, I may have bad hips by then) from sofa to sofa to avoid the lava flow below them on the floor.

    Great post, Lily!! Enjoy your visit with your Mom!!

  9. Pete Howorth says:

    Home Alone, Jumanji, Cool Runnings and Matilda are epics! Deffo my favourite movies as a child too, it seems we both had an excellent taste in films as children. Miss Honey was so hot.

    Little tidbit for you, Mara Wilson who played Matilda, her last acting role was in Thomas and the Magic Railroad where she played a character named “Lily” 😛

    • OMG really?! I didn’t know that. Did you know that Mara Wilson is my same age and clearly wants to be me?
      Lol Miss Honey was pretty cute. Too bad she never smiled in the movie. Well, maybe she did. IDK PETE IDK.

      • Pete Howorth says:

        What did she have to smile about when she used to get abused by Trunchbull, would you be smiling?! I think not.

  10. Cool Runnings is the only one I never saw. That always seemed too…adult? I know John Candy wasn’t swearing throughout but it always seemed boring. Bobsledding Jamaicans seemed too strange for me.

    Home Alone 2 had the most memorable scenes when I think back to it. The whole thing with the voice recorder was great. And I love when Buzz plays the fake candlesticks on Kevin’s head. I even recorded it on my phone this past Christmas.

    I read the Jumanji book. It was a lot different. Also probably like 30 pages and had pictures. The monkeys were really mean in it. Basically it was The Cat and the Hat but with monkeys raiding the fridge from what I can remember.

    • I know what you mean about Cool Runnings. Looking back on it, I really don’t know what attracted me to it. I think my brother liked it a lot so I just watched it because it was always on.

      Watching Home Alone 2 is blasphemous! Actually, I feel like I’m the only person who hasn’t seen 2 or 3. So I don’t know what you’re talking about. I guess they were more relatable for you since they were filmed in NY, right? The original was in Chicago 🙂

      I bought the Jumanji game after the movie came out. That’s kind of like reading a book, right? The game wasn’t the same at all, in case you’re wondering.

  11. Seen em all, good cross section. A buddy of mine was in Cool Runnings for about 5 seconds. He was on the New Zealand bobsled team (really) and competed with the Jamaicans. He always maintains that if it wasn’t for the Jamaicans, they would have made a movie about them.

    • Haha that’s awesome! Who woulda thought that all of these warm climate countries would be so good at bobsledding! Your friend was lucky to be in such an awesome movie. And…pretty lucky to be participating in a winter Olympic sport!

    • Ahhh I knew someone would mention Hook! I’ve actually never seen it! I know, I know. I’m ashamed. I need to watch it alone and pretend that I’ve seen it all along. Adding to the list!

  12. oh god yes! SANDLOT!
    beg pardon, and i know what i’m about to say may spark some controversy due to it’s lead actress(es), but does The Parent Trap not belong on this list??? And it’s partially set in London, shouldn’t you love that?

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