Weekend Movie Reboot: Animated Classics from the ’90s

In the spring and summer, movies are always a surefire, fun way to beat the heat. Indoors, cool air, maybe some popcorn, and great entertainment. Sounds nice when it’s nearing 90 degrees outside, right?

It’s easy to forget, though, that there are some hilarious, engaging animated children’s films just sitting in the vault, seemingly forgotten.

That’s why this weekend I propose taking a short jaunt back in time with your family. Instead of heading to the movie theater or checking out the latest blockbuster at Redbox, fire up Netflix, iTunes, or head to your local movie store (if you’re lucky enough to still have one!), and look into one of these animated classics from the 90s.

Rated G; 1993

A 1993 animated sci-fi adventure film produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblimation animation studio, We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story features the voices of stars like John Goodman, Rhea Pealman, Jay Leno, Julia Child, Martin Short, and more. A parody of Jurassic Park, which was released the same year, the film is narrated from the perspective of Rex, a Tyrannosaurus rex, and is similar to The Land Before Time, another children’s movie classic I highly recommend viewing if you haven’t already.

Rated G; 1995

This is a particularly great film for fathers and sons. I loved it when it came out. A 1995 musical comedy produced by DisneyToon Studios, A Goofy Movie features characters from the old Disney Afternoon TV series “Goof Troop” and acts as a sequel to the show. But having seen the show is not a prerequisite, as the plot revolves around the father-son relationship between Goofy and Max.

Rated G; 1996

Based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach was a hit when it first came out in the mid-90s. Produced by Tim Burton, the story is about an orphan with horrible guardians (aunts) who finds himself befriending human-like bugs who live inside a giant peach and take him on a journey to New York City.

Rated: G; 1998

Flik, a misfit ant, is the lone dreamer who sets out to rescue his colony from servitude. He recruits “warriors” for the task of liberation: bold performers from a traveling flea circus. Featuring the voices of Kevin Spacey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, A Bug’s Life was one of the first children’s films to really wow with its meticulous, brilliant animation.

Rated G; 1998

This ia a tale of female strength; Mulan is a character who shows more grit than glamour. When the Huns invade China, she dresses as a male soldier to take her sick father’s place in the army, finding she has an easier time wielding the family sword than pleasing the local matchmaker. 

Rated PG; 1999

The plot revolves around a boy whose best friend is a robot. Set in 1957, The Iron Giant focuses on Hogarth, a fantastically imaginative 9-year-old boy who daydreams of alien invasions and battles with Communist agents. When Hogarth hears from a local fisherman one day that a 50-foot robot has fallen from the sky into a nearby lake, he sets out on a mission to find him, despite the disbelief of his mother, Annie (voice of Jennifer Aniston). When Hogarth does find the robot, he fishes him out of water then finds a place for him to hide, just as the government gets wind of the so-called mechanical invader. What Hogarth learns, though, is that his new friend is, in fact, friendly, and the two become closer as the government tries harder to wipe the robot out.

Andrea Fisher is a Triad-based writer, movie lover, and content specialist for Dish2u. She has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Chicago Tribune and Business Insider. Read more of her work @andreafisher007

Categories: Movies for Children