35 of the Best ’90s Family Movies Parents & Kids Will Love

From 'Matilda' to 'Home Alone'

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There are so many ways to create family bonding time, from outdoor picnics to fun game nights. Our favorite option? Reliving the best ’90s family movies with the kids.

Whether you’re a millennial parent or a boomer with a ’90s kid, you’ve got to admit, this was one of the best decades for kids’ entertainment. Timeless animated classics like The Lion King taught us the importance of friendship and bravery, while seasonal gems like Home Alone showed us the proper way to get rid of scary bandits. And now, we can revisit these nostalgic movies with the younger generation, thanks to streaming platforms like Disney+ and Prime Video. (P.S., you can sign up for just $8 a month, while Prime Video is $15 a month.)

From unforgettable family comedies (ahem, The Parent Trap) to childhood fairytales (like Beauty and the Beast), keep reading for 35 of the best ’90s family movies.

1. Beethoven (1992)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Dean Jones, Oliver Platt
  • Run time: 87 minutes

Calling all dog lovers! The movie revolves around Beethoven, a lovable St. Bernard who gets into plenty of mischief after he's taken in by a suburban family. However, the pup gets into real trouble when they cross paths with an evil veterinarian who does deadly animal experiments. From the charming cast to Beethoven's silly antics, this is family entertainment at its finest.

2. Matilda (1996)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 7+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz, Pam Ferris
  • Run time: 98 minutes

It’s impossible to watch this fun classic and not root for Matilda, a telekinetic young girl who uses her abilities to defend herself, help her peers and fight back against the evil headmaster, Miss Trunchbull. Kids can learn about resilience, friendship, and of course, the power of reading. (P.S., you'll never look at chocolate cake the same way again.)

3. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White, Jerry Orbach
  • Run time: 84 minutes

As much as we enjoyed Emma Watson's live-action remake, nothing beats the iconic, hand-drawn Disney animation film. The classic tale follows a free-spirited book-lover named Belle, who embarks on a mission to rescue her father from the Beast. What ensues is an unlikely romance between Belle and the former prince.

4. The Lion King (1994)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons
  • Run time: 86 minutes

Aside from inspiring countless memes, The Lion King taught us quite a bit about friendship, identity, loyalty and overcoming fear. In the film, young Simba goes into exile after Scar murders his father and starts to rule the Pride Lands. But thanks to his childhood friend, Nala, Simba decides to face off against Scar and reclaim his rightful place as king. Prepare to have a family sing-along to “Hakuna Matata.”

5. Home Alone (1990)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 10+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara
  • Run time: 103 minutes

Home Alone may be holiday-themed, but it makes for great family viewing year-round. When 8-year-old Kevin McAllister is accidentally left behind by his family during their holiday vacation, he's tasked with protecting their home from a pair of dimwitted burglars. Watch for his over-the-top schemes and the iconic TV scene ("Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal").

6. Aladdin (1992)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman
  • Run time: 90 minutes

In this childhood favorite, Aladdin's life is turned upside down when he discovers a magical lamp that contains a genie (played brilliantly by Robin Williams). The young street urchin wishes to transform into a wealthy prince and win the heart of Princess Jasmine, but unbeknownst to him, the evil Jafar has set his sights on the powerful lamp.

7. Mulan (1998) 

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 5+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Miguel Ferrer, Harvey Fierstein, James Hong, Eddie Murphy
  • Run time: 87 minutes

Another Disney classic with an epic soundtrack, Mulan follows the daughter of an old warrior, who disguises herself as a man so she can take her father's place and serve in the Imperial Army. Aside from gifting us with "I'll Make a Man Out of You," aka one of the best Disney karaoke songs of all time, Mulan includes some amazing commentary on equality and gender stereotypes.

8. The Mighty Ducks (1992) 

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 7+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Emilio Estevez, Joss Ackland, Lane Smith
  • Run time: 104 minutes

When powerhouse lawyer Gordon Bombay gets in trouble with the law, he's sentenced to community service. His task? To coach a disorganized minor league hockey team. The comedy-drama has some mild adult jokes, but it deftly tackles the importance of loyalty, teamwork and good sportsmanship.

9. The Parent Trap (1998)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson, Lindsay Lohan
  • Run time: 128 minutes

We can all agree that watching Hallie and Annie play pranks on Meredith Blake is pure comedy gold. Plus, we could never get tired of seeing the duo scheme and switch places to get their parents back together. Jillian Quint, Editor-in-Chief of PureWow, says, “The kids had a hoot keeping track of who was who. And it's a good pump-everyone-up-for-camp summer movie.”

10. The Addams Family (1991)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 12+; Rated PG-13
  • Who's in it: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd
  • Run time: 99 minutes

They're kooky, mysterious and spooky, but that's the least of the Addams family's worries in this classic comedy. When a man claiming to be Fester Addams, a long-lost relative, turns up at their door, Morticia starts to think he might be a fraud, thanks to his suspicious behavior.

11. Free Willy (1993) 

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Jason James Richter, Lori Petty, Jayne Atkinson
  • Run time: 112 minutes

Even if you're not fascinated by killer whales, Free Willy will tug at your heartstrings. It tells the story of a troubled orphan named Jesse, who meets and bonds with an Orca whale being held captive at an amusement park. After learning that the owners have evil plans for the creature, Jesse comes up with a plan to free Willy.

12. A Goofy Movie (1995) 

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Bill Farmer, Jason Marsden, Jim Cummings, Kellie Martin
  • Run time: 78 minutes

Although Max is determined to impress his longtime crush, Roxanne, he realizes that going on a cross-country fishing trip with his clumsy dad will make it even harder to win her over. Still, the father-son duo embark on an unforgettable adventure that ultimately strengthens their bond. Alexa, play "I2I" by Tevin Campbell.

13. The Sandlot (1993)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 9+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Karen Allen, Denis Leary
  • Run time: 102 minutes

Set during the summer of 1962, The Sandlot follows a young baseball prodigy who embarks on a series of adventures with his team. This includes facing off against a guard dog called the Beast, going to a traveling fair and having an awkward run-in with a lifeguard at the local pool. Quint says, “We had to do a little bit of explaining about why it's not OK to French kiss a lifeguard against her will, but otherwise, it's an adorable family film, with so many great one-liners.”

14. Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 8+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Rick Moranis, Marcia Strassman, Lloyd Bridges
  • Run time: 89 minutes

Three years after Wayne accidentally turned his kids into miniature people in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, he accidentally turns his youngest child, Adam, into a giant baby—thanks to his latest creation, the industrial-sized growth machine. The film has the same light-hearted tone as the first installment, and the special effects still hold up.

15. The Witches (1990)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 9+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Jasen Fisher
  • Run time: 91 minutes

Roald Dahl fans are in for a treat with this spooky adaptation of his 1983 novel. After moving to England to live with his grandmother, an orphaned boy must find a way to stop three evil witches from turning all young children into mice. Quint says, “My daughter loves The Witches. It was a little scary upon a first watch, but provided you're prepared to let them sleep with the light on, it’s so worth it.”

16. James and the Giant Peach (1996)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 5+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Paul Terry, Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss, Jane Leeves
  • Run time: 102 minutes

If you're looking for a musical fantasy flick that's innovative and delightfully offbeat, then James and the Giant Peach ought to do the trick. Directed by Henry Selick, the movie follows a young orphan who enters a giant peach and embarks on exciting new adventures with a group of anthropomorphic insects. It effortlessly blends stop-motion animation with live action, and it tackles themes like friendship and bravery.

17. Fly Away Home (1998)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 8+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Jeff Daniels, Anna Paquin, Dana Delany
  • Run time: minutes

Inspired by the true story of Bill Lishman, who made history as the first person to conduct an aircraft-led migration of geese, this heartwarming adventure follows Thomas, a young inventor whose daughter takes in an orphaned flock of birds. Together, they teach the geese how to fly and strengthen their father-daughter bond in the process. 

18. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 12+; Rated PG-13
  • Who's in it: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein
  • Run time: 120 minutes

Daniel Hillard, a divorced father, misses his kids so much that he comes up with an elaborate plan to spend more quality time with them. Unbeknownst to his family, he takes on a new persona as the kind-hearted “Mrs. Doubtfire” and poses as their new nanny. How long can he keep up this ruse?

19. Mighty Joe Young (1998)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 7+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Bill Paxton, Charlize Theron, Rade Šerbedžija
  • Run time: 116 minutes

To protect Joe, an orphaned mountain gorilla, from dangerous poachers, Jill teams up with a zoologist and moves him from Africa to an animal conservancy in California. Unfortunately for them, a vengeful poacher follows them to the U.S., and he's determined to capture Joe.

20. Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1997)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 4+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Whitney Houston, Brandy Norwood, Whoopi Goldberg, Bernadette Peters
  • Run time:  85 minutes

Is it possible for a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage? According to Whitney Houston, it certainly is. In this modernized twist on the popular fairytale, the Grammy winner stars as the Fairy Godmother of Cinderella—a young woman whose life takes an unexpected turn when she meets the charming Prince Christopher at a special ball.

21. Toy Story (1995)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 5+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles
  • Run time: 84 minutes

Nothing beats seeing our favorite toys come to life and embark on fun-filled adventures. In this first installment, Woody goes above and beyond to outshine his owner's new favorite toy, Buzz Lightyear. But their relationship takes a turn when Buzz discovers that he's a toy. (P.S., the Oscar-nominated film spawned three equally epic sequels and a spin-off film.)

22. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 7+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey
  • Run time: 76 minutes

When Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, gets bored with the spooky holiday, he ventures into Christmas Town, and gets inspired to create his own version of it. The Oscar-nominated film boasts a bit of romance, catchy tunes, humor and stunning stop-motion animation.

23. Smart House (1999) 

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 5+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Katey Sagal, Ryan Merriman, Katie Volding, Kevin Kilner
  • Run time: 82 minutes

It's the movie that will make you think twice about moving into an advanced smart home. The '90s DCOM follows 13-year-old Ben, who's thrilled to move into a computerized home with his family after winning a contest. However, things take a dark turn when the home's virtual assistant, Pat, turns into an overbearing mother.

24. Jurassic Park (1993)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 12+; Rated PG-13
  • Who's in it: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum
  • Run time: 127 minutes

Who could forget the story of terrifying dinosaurs coming to life on a remote island? Lucky for us, the suspense and special effects still hold up. Quint says, "Jurassic Park was the first PG-13 movie I ever watched with my kids, when they were eight and six, and everybody loved it. Yes, it's scary and there are a few swear words, but in the words of my daughter, 'As long as you know a guy gets eaten off the toilet, you'll be fine.'"

25. Kiki's Delivery Service (1990)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 5+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Minami Takayama, Rei Sakuma, Kappei Yamaguchi, Keiko Toda
  • Run time: 102 minutes

Directed by Academy Award-winner Hiyao Miyazaki, this coming-of-age anime film follows Kiki, a 13-year-old witch who uses her magical abilities to launch a delivery service. The heartwarming film is brimming with imagination and features a charming cast, so it's sure to be a hit with the family.

26. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 5+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Michael J. Fox, Don Ameche, Sally Field
  • Run time: 84 minutes

When their owners go on vacation and leave them at a ranch, a bulldog, a golden retriever and a cat suspect that they've been forgotten. Eager to return home, they leave the ranch and embark on a journey through the wilderness to get back to their owners. Kids will appreciate the adventure and funny exchanges between the animals.

27. Anastasia (1997)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd
  • Run time: 94 minutes

Anastasia is on a mission to find her real family, while two selfish con men are out to collect a cash prize for returning a missing member of the royal family. When they finally cross paths, the trio are in for the ultimate surprise. Watch for the dazzling animation, strong storytelling and fascinating Russian history.

28. A Little Princess (1995)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 7+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham, Liesel Matthews
  • Run time: 97 minutes

Inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel of the same title, A Little Princess revolves around Sara Crewe, a young girl who's forced to work as a servant and live in the attic of an all-girls boarding school after the headmistress learns her wealthy father was killed in combat. The touching fantasy drama, which tackles themes of perseverance and courage, will inspire viewers of all ages.

29. Hook (1991)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 10+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts
  • Run time: 142 minutes

Williams stars as the adult Peter Pan, a workaholic lawyer and family man who has no memories of his past. However, he's forced to go to Neverland and battle his old foe, Captain Hook, when he kidnaps his children. In the process, Peter not only regains his memories, but he also learns the importance of family.

30. The Santa Clause (1994)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 5+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold and Wendy Crewson
  • Run time: 97 minutes

When Scott Calvin, a marketing director, accidentally kills a man dressed as Santa Claus, he puts on the festive suit and heads to the North Pole—unknowingly signing up to be the next official Santa. The holiday classic spawned two sequels and a follow-up Disney+ series, so you can continue to enjoy Allen's antics after you finish the first installment.

31. A Bug’s Life (1998)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 5+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Dave Foley, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John Ratzenberger
  • Run time: 99 minutes

When Flik, a misfit ant, accidentally causes trouble for his colony, he enlists the help of some flying insects to help them face off against a dangerous gang of grasshoppers. While there's suspense and a few light scares, A Bug's Life includes plenty of humor and boasts memorable characters.

32. Hercules (1997)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 7+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Roger Bart, James Woods, Susan Egan
  • Run time: 99 minutes

Meet Hercules, a demigod with super-strength who must earn his place in Mount Olympus by learning to become a hero, all while his evil uncle, Hades, tries to destroy him. Aside from the star-studded voice cast and catchy, gospel-inspired musical numbers, Hercules raises solid questions about what it means to be a hero.

33. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 8+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: Tom Hulce, Tony Jay, Demi Moore
  • Run time: 97 minutes

Based on Victor Hugo’s classic book, the Disney musical centers on Quasimodo, a physically deformed bell-ringer who's kept isolated at the Notre Dame cathedral. When he finally sneaks out, he gets shunned by society because of his looks. Fortunately, he crosses paths with a kind Gypsy woman and gets the rare opportunity to take a stand.

34. Babe (1995)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated G
  • Who's in it: James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski
  • Run time: 91 minutes

This underrated gem revolves around an adorable little pig named Babe, who's determined to find his place in the world. After being offered as a prize to a kind farmer, Babe befriends a border collie and learns that he has a knack for herding sheep. But will he gain the support of the rest of the animals?

35. Little Giants (1994)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Rick Moranis, Ed O'Neill, Shawna Waldron
  • Run time: 107 minutes

When his daughter gets rejected by the local youth football team, Danny launches a new team of misfits in hopes of outshining his brother—who happens to be the coach of the original peewee football team. A bitter rivalry ensues as both teams compete to represent their hometown.

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The 83 Best Family Movies of All Time

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...