Jesse and Willy in 'Free Willy'.
Warner Bros. | Warner Bros.

Forgotten '90s Movies That Are Perfect For Family Time

I've said it so many times but the '90s really was a decade like no other when it came to movies. It seemed like every weekend some future-hit blockbuster was debuting in theaters.

But among the giants, there were also those who for one reason or another, didn't get their deserved acclaim or possessed the same amount of staying power. So for the sake of remembering, here are 15 forgotten '90s movies that are perfect for family time.

'Little Giants'

Rick Moranis and Ed O'Neill in 'Little Giants'.
Warner Bros. | Warner Bros.

Let's get one thing straight — Rick Moranis is a comedic genius, the likes of which we aren't likely to ever see again. This endearing underdog story is packed with laughs and was way ahead of its time.


Tony Perkis in 'Heavyweights'.
Disney | Disney

Are there aspects of Heavyweights that haven't aged particularly well? Without question. However, at its core, this is still an incredibly heartwarming film that also happens to showcase some of Ben Stiller's best work. If you thought White Goodman was villainous, just wait until you meet Tony Perkis.

'Camp Nowhere'

Scene from 'Camp Nowhere'.
Buena Vista | Buena Vista

Camp Nowhere stars Christopher Lloyd as disgraced teacher Dennis Van Welker. After being approached by a group of kids looking to enjoy their summer to the fullest, Dennis agrees to help them pull off the con of the century by creating a fake summer camp.


Captain Hook and Jack Banning in 'Hook'
Giphy |

"You can fly, you can fight, and you can crow." — boy, do I ever love that line. The fact that this movie stars Robin Williams as Peter Pan should be more than enough to get you to watch it. This movie is '90s gold.

'The Secret of NIMH'

Nicodemis and Mr.s Brisby

Warning — The Secret of NIMH is not for young children. It's violent, chilling, and unsettling. But if you've got older kids in the house, they will absolutely adore experiencing this hauntingly beautiful work of animation

'The Sandlot'

Ham and Smalls in 'The Sandlot'.
Giphy |

I feel like you're not a real '90s kid unless you've watched The Sandlot at least 30 times. This is the movie that made me fall in love with the sport of baseball and the one that also taught me some of my very first swear words.

'Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm'

Batman interrogating crook in 'Mask Of The Phantasm'.
Warner Bros. | Warner Bros.

In the battle for the cowl, people tend to throw around the same names over and over again. Is it Keaton or is it Bale; Battfleck or Battinson? It's as if they forgot altogether that Kevin Conroy exists and that Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is the best solo Batman movie ever made.

'Beethoven's 2nd'

Beethoven and George Newton in "Beethoven's 2nd'.
Universal Pictures | Universal Pictures

That's right, I'm officially saying that Beethoven's 2nd is a far superior film than its predecessor. It has a better overall storyline, far more slapstick comedy, as well as a litter of adorable St. Bernard puppies. What more could you ask for?

'Angels In The Outfield'

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 'Angels In The Outfield'.
Giphy |

Angels in the Outfield is a film that's sure to tug at your heartstrings and have you reaching for the box of tissue. This movie stars a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt alongside a slew of other notable actors — including Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd, and Matthew McConaughey.

'Iron Will'

Will and Gus in 'Iron Will'.
Buena Vista | Buena Vista

I don't know how or why but Iron Will is the one film I feel like no one else, other than myself, has actually seen. It's mindboggling because this gritty tale of survival and determination in the face of adversity has everything you could ask for. It's like Cool Runnings meets Alive.

'3 Ninjas'

Rocky, Colt, and Tum Tum in '3 Ninjas'.
Buena Vista | Buena Vista

If you are a male ages 32 to 36, then you're likely already familiar with the antics of Rocky, Colt, and Tum Tum. This franchise sailed off a cliff at a certain point, but the first movie still holds up against scrutiny and is bursting with nostalgia.

'D2: The Mighty Ducks'

The Bash Brothers in 'D2: The Mighty Ducks'.
Giphy |

D2: The Mighty Ducks is one of those rare and brilliant examples of a sequel surpassing the original. Were it not for D2, the world might never have come to know about the knuckle puck or the anarchistic artistry of the Bash Brothers.

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'

Raph, Mikey, Leo, and Donny in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'.
New Line Cinema | New Line Cinema

The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was way ahead of its time. Instead of going the safe route and making a popcorn flick that appealed solely to kids, TMNT wasn't afraid to play in the darkness — and it wound up paying dividends.

'The Land Before Time'

Little Foot and his mother in 'The Land Before Time'.
Universal Pictures | Universal Pictures

Don Bluth is one of the most important figures in the history of animation. His films include All Dogs Go to Heaven, An American Tail, as well as his opus — The Land Before Time. Not to sound cliche, but this film is a classic.

'Free Willy'

Willy jumping over Jesse in 'Free Willy'.
Giphy |

Free Willy is a lasting example of what happens when a great song and a spellbinding film collide. Michael Jackson's immortal "Will You Be There" is the icing on the cake of what is surely one of the defining films of the decade.