A Trip Down Memory Lane: Mid ’90s Movies and TV Shows

It seems our generation was in between two extremes when it came to kid friendly entertainment growing up.

We didn’t have our cartoons only available on Saturday morning like our parents had, but we didn’t have the over saturation that younger generations have nowadays with 20 different channels that run children’s programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We would like to think that the mid ’90s and early 2000s was the happy medium with some of the best shows and movies. So, let’s pretend it’s #ThrowbackThursday and highlight some of the classics from our childhood.


Airtime: Television series, 1990-2006 and movies, 1998, 2000 and 2003

Does it hold up? Oh definitely. Before a little square sponge took over the world, Rugrats was the original titan of syndicated programming and made the Nickelodeon channel a household name. While not every episode is a home run the show is still full of charm and humor, as are the movies! Just don’t talk about “All Grown Up”– we’re still pretending that never happened.

Moment of Nostalgia:  In the opening wedding scene of “Rugrats in Paris” when Chucky doesn’t have a mom to dance with – blindsided with the feels.


The Mighty Ducks Series

Release Dates: 1992, 1994 and 1996

Does it hold up? While the overall quality drops off in the two sequels, the first film is still a great underdog story. For many youngsters in the mid-to-late ’90s, the Mighty Ducks was their first sports movie. The ensemble cast is memorable, and Emilio Estevez’s Gordon Bombay is one of the best movie characters of the 1990s.

Moment of Nostalgia: “Quack….Quack…Quack” never did I think that the sound a duck makes could be one of the best chants ever.


Space Jam

Release Date: 1996

Does it hold up? This movie was definitely a big deal at the time, combining both the biggest basketball star of all time, Michael Jordan and one of the most popular cartoons of all time, Looney Tunes. However, this movie does suffer from the nostalgia rose-tinted glasses; Jordan is a poor actor and the movie feels dated. Worst of all the movie breaks the cardinal rule of making Bill Murray not funny. Still, it has it’s moments and is worth watching again.

Moment of Nostalgia: The final game against the Monstars. It’s predictable and cheesy, but still enjoyable.


Dexter’s Laboratory

Airtime: 1996-2003

Does it hold up? There were a lot of classic shows from Cartoon Network that I could’ve put here, like Powerpuff Girls and Courage the Cowardly Dog. But Dexter was my favorite growing up and I’ll still watch it if I find it while channel surfing. It’s one of those instances where some of the humor makes more sense now that I’m older, since I can understand more of Dexter’s science ramblings.

Moment of Nostalgia: “Omelette du fromage” from the episode where Dexter tries to learn to speak French. If you’ve seen the episode, you know exactly what I’m talking about.


Kim Possible

Airtime: 2002-2007

Does it hold up? Personally I find the show slightly hit and miss. It had decent action and some pretty good characters. The big problem I had was that I never found the leads, Kim and Ron, to be very interesting. But when I ask people about classic shows on the Disney Channel, this one is always mentioned. It definitely had positives, the villains were entertaining and who doesn’t love the naked mole rat, Rufus?

Moment of Nostalgia: That pager beep, the sound that was the definition of “things are about to go down.” Also speaking of loving the naked mole rat, his rap song is both ridiculous and hilarious.


Toy Story and Toy Story 2 

Release Dates: 1995 and 1999

Does it hold up? Not a doubt about it. What’s there to say about these stories that hasn’t been said? The characters are classic, the plots are classic, the jokes are, you guessed it – classic. I don’t think there will ever be a time that the adventures of Woody and Buzz won’t hold up. The movies made Pixar a household name and created the masterpiece that is Toy Story 3.

Moment of Nostalgia: “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” the best Randy Newman song ever made, and you all know the words to it. Or maybe Sid, because who didn’t have a little psycho like that in their neighborhood? And if you didn’t, it was probably you!