Throwback kid’s movies that are good for adults, too


Danielle Kessler

Here are five nostalgic movies from the ’90s and 2000s that can be enjoyed by kids, teens and adults. Graphic by Danielle Kessler

Have you ever watched a movie that was one of your favorites as a kid or teenager, but it’s just not as funny or entertaining to watch as an adult? In no particular order, here are five nostalgic movies from the ‘90s and 2000s that can be enjoyed by kids, teens and adults alike.

“Finding Nemo” (2003)

This is an adventure movie that’s not grounded in any historical or scientific accuracy. It’s just a father clownfish desperately trying  to find his son with the help of other sea creatures he meets along the way. There’s no room for the critical minds of adults to try to pick out scientific inaccuracies (except maybe for marine biologists) because this movie is so much fun, with a healthy dose of kid-friendly suspense.

“Hocus Pocus” (1993)

The story of this Disney Halloween movie holds up well for adults, and there are a few risqué jokes along the way that went over our heads as kids but we smirk at now — like when the bus driver tells the three Sanderson witch sisters that giving them children “might take a couple tries.” There are some historical points I found myself fact-checking out of curiosity. Max uses the headlights of a car to try to trick the witches into believing that dawn came early due to the beginning of daylight saving time and they will soon turn to stone. I checked what day daylight savings time started in 1993 and it was indeed Halloween. Overall, this is still a Halloween favorite of mine for its mostly-solid plot and slight scariness in the form of jump scares that might have everyone in the room screaming. There is a sequel brewing, but the release date hasn’t been set yet. “Hocus Pocus 2” will be available exclusively on Disney Plus.

“The Iron Giant” (1999)

In this movie, a young boy named Hogarth finds a robot that the government is out to destroy because they believe it is controlled by communist Russian spies. This hits close to home for the boy because the government official looking for The Iron Giant is renting a room in Hogarth’s house. I can’t speak to the historical accuracy of the 1950s time period the movie is set in, since I’m not very familiar with the era, but in an objective perspective, this movie is still enjoyable to watch.

“Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey” (1993)

A rowdy American bulldog named Chance (voiced by Michael J. Fox), a sage golden retriever named Shadow (voiced by Don Ameche) and a persnickety Himalayan cat named Sassy (voiced by Sally Field) escape the rural farm their owners have left them at while they are on vacation and embark on a long, challenging journey to reunite themselves with their family. This is a live-action movie, so the fact that the animals are not animated cartoon characters gives this film a somewhat more grown-up feel than an animated pet movie like “Balto” (1995) or “Lady and the Tramp” (1955).

“The Land Before Time” series (1988-2016)

I couldn’t get enough of these movies when I was young. The characters are endearing and the adventures of these young dinosaurs are captivating. There are some cute nicknames used instead of the proper names for species. Little Foot is an Apatosaurus but he’s referred to as a “long-neck.” This is a solid animated kid’s movie series that’s slightly educational but also fun, cute and more concerned with being family-friendly than being scientifically accurate.

Kelsey Ogle can be reached at [email protected]