My Ten Favorite Films to Grow Up in the 90s

I may or may have not been a strange child. Probably just a slightly peculiar girl. I loved the Thundercats [1], I had a Spider-Man onesie with feet and mask included, and I once dressed up as Raphael for Halloween. Disney Princesses begone! I wasn’t going to be The Little Mermaid or Sleeping Beauty when I could be Lion-O with a SWORD!

Ohh… I loved swords. And martial arts. And dinosaurs. You see where I might be going? My dad brought a lot of tapes home, they had Disney’s Silly Symphonies on them, or sometimes they had Warner shorts; all of them were in constant play on Betamax and then VHS. Some of those tapes I loved to play way too much, and this is a countdown for them.

10. Gremlins


You can find ANYTHING in Chinatown. Even furry creatures that turn into crazy icky monsters when fed and sprinkled with water. Except for the fact that they turned into crazy icky  monsters with a particular sense of humor, I wanted one of those furballs. And I don’t even like animals. They were all so cute and squishable, and for lack of a better word:



YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

11 Responses

  1. aw man I had nearly all the Disney animated movies in clamshell-package VHS. And we also had quite a few of the Disney sing-along videos. My favorite was the Disneyland video.
    I replayed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so many times. I watched the sequels too haha. I liked the subway home in the second movie.
    There were also musicals like The Sound of Music and The King and I. And I think I watched Oliver! once or twice but more often replayed some cheap animated version of Oliver Twist.
    My copy of E.T. was some black and green VHS?
    and lots of classic cartoons. So many of them were really sad, like the ’40’s Casper shorts and “Somewhere in Dreamland.”
    Can’t remember others right now.

    • amy says:

      @Diandra Rodriguez, how come we grew up with really SAD cartoons and now kids is all about escapism and flashy stuff???

      I was obsessed with TMNT 1 + 2 I remember that I used to be soooooo scared when the turtle and the puppy got turned into mutants. I think it was the scene with the “box room” that started shaking. I would always close my eyes in that scene.

      And I love LOVE LOVE Sing Along Songs xD “now you at home can sing along with your favorite Disney songs!” The VHS tapes I had were Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Heigh Ho, and the only formal copy I had was Topsy Turvy xD

      I also loved the Holiday one.

      • @amy, I think a lot of these sad cartoons are older (“Somewhere in Dreamland” is from the 1930’s) and had more staying power than much of the happy fluff produced in their time and ours. And then parents look at the cartoon cover and think, oh, this looks okay for the kids! So then the kids watch it and go, what are these sad emotions I’m feeling?!! oh no the cute kids/fox/ghost!

  2. James says:

    Lots of great picks here! Gremlins is still an annual Christmas movie for me :)

    • amy says:

      @James, I don’t think cable shows Gremlins often. But Home Alone is almost a yearly showing. Almost as ubiquitous as Hocus Pocus is for Halloween. xD Possibly three or four showings of it during that week.

  3. Camiele says:

    Oh my god… EVERYTHING on this list just took me back like nobody’s business!!! HaHa. I remember I actually saw Gremlins 2 first and it like made my flesh crawl and my teeth stand on end! I saw the first one and almost melted into the floor because, I mean… GIZMO!!!

    OH MY GOD THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER!!! Just… EVERYTHING!!! HaHa. It was one of my favourite Disney films. It was that, Sword in the Stone, and Ferngully!!! Every time we visited my grandmother, that was what I wanted to watch, no questions asked!

    Tha Addams Family was just the PERFECT franchise. I think the 90s had it right in that regard for a couple films. It as Sister Act and Addams Family that just had the most incredible first film and sequel combo. Like, they got it down PERFECTLY! Plus… RAUL JULIA!!! The man was just BEYOND everything in life… HaHA.

    And the ORIGINAL Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the ONLY one that matters. Even with the sequels, the point is even with those rubber body suits, you have to admit, they were pretty friggin badass! And also every permutation after it was just so “kiddy.” I mean, Raphael had REAL inner demons, dude. And Casey Jones… just… dude was a boss without even trying! Plus April was just completely hot (well… that’s just me, but whatevs). That movie is just too good for words.

    And then… Bruce Lee… because he could possibly be the greatest actor of all time and I don’t even care who says otherwise… HaHA.

    So… yeah, this list. It was just my childhood. The 90s was just…. *siiiigh* I miss it… HaHA.

    • amy says:

      @Camiele, I hear ya! Both Addams and Sister Act are usual TV repeats whenever they’re on. I even watch Sister Act in either the original language track OR the Latino dub- because, it’s just as brilliant. LOL

      And I loveeeeeeeee this bersion of the TMNT BECAUSE of it’s puppet quality. When I went to Miami for the first (and only) time, I took a photo with Raphael, and it was like you know- real hahahaha. The thing about it was that it felt so real xD I’m sure CGI has come a long way, and that they may be able to model something that would feel like being there… but in a few years, that would already look outdated.

      • Camiele says:

        @amy, EXACTLY!!! EVERYTHING YOU JUST SAID!!! What was so brilliant about TMNT and, in fact, so many of the films back in the 90s (and before) is that you had to CREATE everything. There WASN’T this technology, therefore everything was just imagination and HUNDREDS of hours. In that way, even the puppet-like costumes had a human element and made you believe these characters were real because it was all created by human hands and ingenuity. The brilliance of technology is also its greatest tragedy: so much genius to come up with ways to push the boundaries; however, you lose a lot of the soul of what makes certain things so special.

        • amy says:

          @Camiele, well, to be fair and honest- modelling a creature on a computer also takes hundreds of hours and computer power. At least, back to a couple of years ago, you still had to make a clay model that is then scanned onto a computer where it will become a wireframe of millions of movable parts. So in essence, CGI is still created by human hands… it just happens to be processed digitally.

          But it’s true, there’s a fuzzy warm feeling of knowing that you could go on set with the TMNT and run into one of them and hug it, and touch it. And it’ll be right there.

          It takes me back to Free Willy and Free Willy 2 – in the first one, they of course used Keiko (RIP TOT). However, for the second one, they used animatronics. The actor had said that, even though they looked so similar on screen, Keiko in its essence was humid- or, I guess, organic, than the latex cover the animatronic had. Flashforward to our days, it’s all done in CGI, so the actor doesn’t have that experience of touching the skin fo any sea mammal, real or fabricated. They probably have a green ball and people yelling at them saying “pretend the whale is opening its mouth and you’re caressing the tongue” xD

        • amy says:

          @Camiele, now studio tours are more like “this is the model that was used for XXX for such and such movie.” Before it was like “and THISSSSSSS is the suit that was used by XXX to play such and such in the movie!” So yeah, there’s a certainnnnnnnnnnnnnn ZING missing~~~

  4. Camiele says:

    @amy, Precisely. And, you’re totally right about modelling something on a computer. I don’t want to knock those who take the hours and effort and sweat to go through ever aspect of making a character become who it is. It’s sort of one of those things where it’s hard to truly understand what goes into it. But I also feel, like you said, there’s a certain something missing… even between actors and say a huge Orca allowing you to pet her. *siiiigh* I just miss how personal film used to be. Not so much for those making it, because that would be unfair of me to say. But just as a viewer, you just see something missing when EVERY SINGLE ASPECT is CGI, you know?

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