What’s the best kids movies from the 1990s? We answer that question right here!
As a 28 year old, the 1990s was when I first began to enjoy movies. My buddy Mike proposed an idea to me: to create a bracket and determine the best kids movie from the ’90s! So we rounded up two more buddies (Chris and Dan) for the Bracket Committee and met on Sunday, December 8, 2013 for the big discussion. But prior to all of the debates, we needed to figure out a method to determine all the seeds. So this is what we did…
Based on a 10-point system, we used three separate rankings: IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes (divided by 10), and Box Office gross (divided by 10 million). The sum of these three rankings would determine the seed of each film. For example, Ladybugs grossed $14,796,494, has an IMDB rating of 4.8 and a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 14%. That makes the sum total to 7.6.
After we figured out all of the ratings, we were able to finally seed the movies in order. This also eliminated some movies that we were very disappointed about, but we obeyed the rules. Once the seeds were in order, we finally made out the bracket. Here are the four quarters of the 64-movie bracket:
Now the fun begins! We placed all the match-ups in a hat and pulled them out randomly for debate and discussion. Note: Since there were four of us, in case of a tie, we agreed that the higher seeded film would move onto the next round. This is how the first round went:
#24 Casper vs. #41 Honey I Blew Up the Kid
Dan: What if I haven’t seen either one?
Chris: I don’t know if I’ve seen either one as well.
Mike: [Casper] is better written, and it’s actually funnier as well.
Rob: [Casper] wasn’t that funny! The father dies at the end!
#12 Mulan vs. #53 Andre
Dan: What is Andre?
Rob: Andre is a seal, or an octopus? Or walrus?
Mike: Mulan was famous because it was… (Chris interrupting: AWESOME!)
Mike: Honestly, I enjoyed Andre more than I did Mulan.
Chris: I’ve seen [Mulan] last week. Comedy from Eddie Murphy and the rag-tag bunch of army guys are funny. It had a very cool, epic-ness because you have the Chinese empire about to be taken over. Mulan’s father is retired and being sent back to war because he’s the only male of the family. It has a lot of layers.
#31 Space Jam vs. #34 TMNT 2: The Secret of the Ooze
Mike: [TMNT] Number 2 is the one with Vanilla Ice right!
Chris: This is a great match-up.
Mike: I’m a big fan of the TMNT movie. It has a piece of my heart. But Space Jam is a classic!
Rob: I probably watched Space Jam about three times the past month.
Dan: Yahoo did a video of a fake 30-for-30 for Space Jam. It’s pretty funny.
Rob: I like both movies a lot. It’s an unfortunate first round match-up. As a kid I liked Space Jam a little more, because of the sports element.
Dan: Space Jam has a lot of unintentional comedy.
Chris: I actually owned Space Jam.
Winner: Space Jam
#28 Matilda vs. #37 Small Soldiers
Dan: What’s Matilda?
Chris: Yeah, I never saw Matilda.
Mike: She’s a girl in an orphanage with powers.
Rob: Small Soldiers definitely fits us better because we’re guys.
Dan: [Small Soldiers] is also an adorable movie.
Winner: Small Soldiers
#19 Jumanji vs. #46 Harriet the Spy
Mike: Harriet the Spy was an original Nickelodeon character.
Chris: I’ve also seen this movie pretty recently. Her hobby was to spy on her neighbors and she would keep journals on everyone.
Mike: It’s like a kid version of that Hitchcock movie…
Rob: Rear Window.
Rob: Why are we talking more about the movies that are losing?!
Chris: You know, I’ve never seen Jumanji.
Dan: I haven’t either!
Mike: What?! That is Robin Williams at his finest!
Dan: It always looked cool.
#20 The Parent Trap vs. #45 Hocus Pocus
Dan: You’re going to have to tell me what Hocus Pocus is.
Chris: I’ve never seen it either.
Mike: Is it Barbara Streisand?
Rob: No Bette Midler.
Mike: I always get them confused.
Dan: I vote Parent Trap!
Rob: My buddy Petryszyn says Hocus Pocus is one of the scariest movies he’s ever seen.
Mike: I vote Hocus Pocus.
Rob: I’m going with the Parent Trap.
Dan: I actually kind of like The Parent Trap.
Chris: I never knew that was one girl playing both, until she got famous.
Winner: The Parent Trap
#14 Babe vs. #51 The Mighty Ducks
Chris: Babe’s another one I’ve watched recently!
Mike: Sorry Babe. This is no contest.
Chris: I’ve only owned two movies as a kid. One of them was The Mighty Ducks!
Rob: The other one was Space Jam?
Chris: Yes! And a few Bond Movies.
Rob: Babe definitely is a better movie for us now.
Chris: Yeah, it holds up really well.
Mike: If both movies were on right now, I’d switch to The Mighty Ducks
Dan: Mighty Ducks is clutch because Goldberg has about a .500 save percentage and they still win.
Winner: The Mighty Ducks
#3 The Lion King vs. #62 Spice World
Dan: This seems like a mismatch.
Rob: Yeah, this is a classic first round match-up.
Mike: Chris should explain the plot.
Chris: I don’t even remember. Was there even a conflict?
Chris: The bus driver was Meatloaf!
Rob: In grammar school we were picking what movie to watch at the end of the year. All the girls picked Spice World and because there were more girls in my class, we had to watch that movie and I wanted to shoot myself.
Winner: The Lion King
#15 Home Alone vs. #50 A Very Brady Sequel
Chris: I love the Brady movies.
Mike: I’ve never seen it.
Dan: Me either.
Chris: Those movies are genius! The characters on the show are so corny in the ’70s, and they’re plucked from there and put into the ’90s. In their own little world they’re still the Brady’s from the ’70s and they’re clueless to everything!
Mike: So it’s like Austin Powers.
Winner: Home Alone
#2 Toy Story 2 vs. #63 The Pagemaster
Dan: What the hell is The Pagemaster?
Mike: It’s a Macaulay Culkin movie where he falls asleep in the library while reading a book and he wakes up and goes on these adventures. Well he was asleep the whole time.
Chris: That sounds pretty awesome.
Mike: It wasn’t bad, but it’s totally forgettable.
Winner: Toy Story 2
#30 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York vs. #35 The Flintstones
Chris: I liked The Flintstones movies.
Chris: It had a lot of big people in it, too.
Chris: It was good, but no way is it going to beat Home Alone 2.
Winner: Home Alone 2
#13 Mrs. Doubtfire vs. #52 Little Giants
Dan: This isn’t that tough for me.
Rob: I think Mrs. Doubtfire is overrated.
Dan: I like how it gave us Mrs. Featherbottom from Arrested Development.
Chris: If they were both on TV, I’d put on The Little Giants.
Winner: Little Giants
#4 Aladdin vs. #61 Blank Check
Dan: Oh, I remember Blank Check.
Mike: Blank Check was every kid’s dream!
Rob: Blank Check is such an underrated movie.
Mike: He gets hit on his bike or something, and the guy just gives him a check. He goes to the bank and puts down $1 million on the check.
Chris: That’s it, right?! Why couldn’t he write a 2 down? Or a 3?! He just puts $1 million?! He didn’t want to over-draw the account?!
Dan: He didn’t want to arouse suspicion.
#1 Toy Story vs. #64 Ladybugs
Dan: I’m a big fan of Ladybugs.
Rob: I thought Ladybugs was really good.
Mike: This might be the best Rodney Dangerfield film.
Dan: No way. Back to School, obviously. But it’s up there.
Winner: Toy Story
#26 Hook vs. #39 A Goofy Movie
Mike: Oh man…
Dan: I have to bow out on this one. I haven’t seen either.
Mike: I LOVE A Goofy Movie. It’s such a good film!
Mike: Although, as much as I love A Goofy Movie, Hook is the better film and a lot more enjoyable.
Rob: I’m picking Hook because I’ve never seen A Goofy Movie.
Chris: I don’t think Hook’s a good movie now.
#6 Beauty and the Beast vs. #59 3 Ninjas
Chris: Oh man! I’m voting 3 Ninjas! I know Beauty and the Beast is a classic, but I’m watching 3 Ninjas if that’s on.
Dan: Wait, what’s 3 Ninjas?
Mike: I don’t even know if 3 Ninjas has a plot.
Chris: They’re brothers and they’re trained by their grandfather.
Rob: Why do adults just start attacking the kids?!
Chris: There’s some adult businessman who happens to know karate. The kids are defending the grandfather somehow.
Mike: 3 Ninjas has one of my favorite montages when they’re learning karate.
Winner: Beauty and the Beast
#18 The Nutty Professor vs. #47 An American Tail: Fievel Goes West
Dan: Since it’s the first Nutty Professor, I think I’ll vote for that.
Rob: I was always a big Fievel fan.
Mike: I’m actually going Fievel on this one.
Chris: This is the most boring tie-breaker ever.
Winner: The Nutty Professor
#27 Free Willy vs. #38 Bean
Chris: Bean! Mr. Bean!
Dan: This is a pretty easy call.
Rob: I’m going Free Willy.
Mike: I think Free Willy’s the better movie.
Dan: How dare you!
Rob: Bean is a lot funnier.
Mike: I’ll probably watch Bean over Beauty and the Beast.
#7 A Bug’s Life vs. #58 Thumbelina
Dan: This is easy.
Mike: Has anyone seen Thumbelina?
Rob: It’s another chick movie apparently.
Mike: How did Thumbelina make the list, but The Big Green didn’t?!
Dan: It’s a travesty!
Winner: A Bug’s Life
#16 The Addams Family vs. #49 Jungle 2 Jungle
Mike: There’s a 2 in the title, so is it a sequel?
Rob: I think so.
Rob: Wait, you’re right. I remember thinking it was a sequel because of the “2” but was surprised when it wasn’t.
Mike: Tim Allen is raised by Indians or something.
Chris: I never liked Jungle 2 Jungle. Most of it is just like Tim Allen dealing with his kid. I found it annoying.
Rob: It’s forgettable, so much that I don’t remember it.
Winner: The Addams Family
#25 Homeward Bound vs. #40 Rookie of the Year
Chris: Oh God!
Dan: What was Homeward Bound again?
Chris: What was Homeward Bound?!
Rob: Three pets go missing. How did they go missing again?
Chris: I don’t know.
Dan: Is this the sad one?
Rob: It’s sad for fifteen seconds, then he comes back over the freaking hill.
Chris: Still! Then it’s like happy tears over the sad tears!
Chris: I think Homeward Bound would win 9 times out of 10 if we weren’t four guys voting.
Dan: If I saw Rookie of the Year now though, it probably would be so bad.
Rob: The funny thing about it is that he’s throwing 99 mph. Pitchers throw harder than that now.
Dan: It does have Gary Busey.
Winner: Rookie of the Year
#22 Cool Runnings vs. #43 Beethoven
Mike: I never really cared for Beethoven.
Dan: It’s one of them that I saw that I can’t really remember anything.
Chris: I think I’d rather watch Cool Runnings.
Winner: Cool Runnings
#21 Anastasia vs. #44 The Little Rascals
Chris: Who’s going to explain that one [Anastasia]?
Mike: Is Anastasia the one with the dancing mops?
Rob: That’s Fantasia!
Winner: The Little Rascals
#32 My Girl vs. #33 The Sandlot
Dan: I’m going to need an explanation on My Girl.
Rob: That’s one of the most depressing movies I’ve ever seen.
Chris: Doesn’t a kid die in the end?
Rob: McCauley Culkin.
Mike: …and there’s this other young girl.
Chris: Well we all know how Sheehan feels about McCauley Culkin!
Mike: In my head it sounded right.
Mike: It’s so sad! But it’s a really well done movie.
Rob: We’re dudes, so we’re going to pick The Sandlot.
Winner: The Sandlot
#29 James and the Giant Peach vs. #36 The Brady Bunch Movie
Dan: Oh boy. I don’t know.
Rob: I remember liking [James and the Giant Peach] a lot, and I don’t really like Tim Burton.
Mike: I can go either way on this one.
Chris: I really like the Brady Bunch Movie.
Mike: I’ll go Brady Bunch on this one.
Dan: I don’t like the Brady Bunch, so I’ll go the other way.
Winner: The Brady Bunch Movie
#8 Hercules vs. #57 101 Dalmatians
Rob: I don’t know how Hercules did in the box office or in any rankings, but I loved Hercules as a kid. I thought it was so freaking cool
Dan: Wait, is that how you got HerculesRob?
Rob: No! I got that nickname when it was at lunch once and no one could open this pickle jar and then in one try I opened it.
Chris: That’s awesome!
Mike: I would go with Hercules.
Dan: I remember liking it, but I don’t remember anything about it.
#10 The Santa Clause vs. #55 D2: The Mighty Ducks
Rob: I love the Santa Clause, plus we’re in December.
Chris: D2 was good, definitely for a sequel. I don’t think it was as good as the first one. Although I do think a lot of people think that.
Rob: I like all three Mighty Duck movies equally.
Chris: They did a good job bringing in new people.
Chris: I just love The Santa Clause. It was Tim Allen in his prime.
Rob: It’s just a classic that you watch every year.
Dan: We saw it recently and I was kind of amazed how it was a lot better than I thought it would be.
Chris: I watched it last night.
Winner: The Santa Clause
#17 Pocahontas vs. #48 Jingle All the Way
Chris: I don’t really remember Pocahontas. I was telling you that the other day. All I remember is that one song.
Rob: And I don’t think you said the song correctly, like “The Colors of the River.”
Mike: I remember Pocahontas being pretty boring.
Chris: Maybe it was the marketing, or I don’t know, the iconic figure. It’s interesting because of why it was so popular and we thought it was really good. Maybe because it was an icon.
Rob: The songs were good.
Rob: We were actually talking about this at work… was this Sinbad’s only good movie?
Mike: Sinbad’s in the movie?
Winner: Jingle All the Way
#11 The Hunchback of Notre Dame vs. #54 Air Bud
Rob: I don’t remember Air Bud that much. I remember a dog that plays basketball.
Dan: What else do you need to know?
Rob: Didn’t the dog lose a leg in real life?
Chris: Because of the movie?!
Chris: That has a very sad scene it in. It’s because he’s the kid’s dog and there’s a creepy clown guy who claims it’s his dog. And then they have this big scene where they’re on different sides of the room and they’re calling the dog and he starts going to the evil guy but then he turns around and goes back to the kid.
Rob: That sounds intense.
Rob: I don’t remember Hunchback at all now, but I do remember as a kid I really liked it.
Mike: I’m going for Air Bud.
Chris: I’m not sure if I’ve seen Hunchback.
Winner: Air Bud
#5 Jurassic Park vs. #60 Baby’s Day Out
Mike: Don’t even read the next title.
Dan: What the hell is that [Baby’s Day Out]?
Mike: I’m not sure but I swear Joe Peschi’s in this movie playing a robber.
Dan: Baby robbers?!
Winner: Jurassic Park
#23 George of the Jungle vs. #42 Angels in the Outfield
Chris: Is that Brendan Frasier?
Rob: He got really popular and then just fizzled quickly.
Mike: He said something on camera about someone else in the industry that people got really mad at him. It was pretty bad.
Winner: Angels in the Outfield
#9 The Mask vs. #56 Richie Rich
Mike: I think this is a very tough match-up.
Rob: I don’t remember Richie Rich that much.
Chris: Me neither.
Dan: Hey Richie Rich was good!
Mike: I think he creates a laser beam and redesigns Mount Rushmore.
Chris: Yeah that sounds right.
Winner: The Mask
That concludes the first round for the 90s Kids Movies Tournament! All of the discussions were recorded and will be posted soon for anyone willing to listen to our whacky debates. Stay tuned for the Round of 32.