The 90s were a great time to be a kid. Tons of great movies came out during this time that I’ve been dying to show my little one now that she’s finally at an age where she can appreciate it. Unfortunately, the deeper I dive into some of the most nostalgic classics no one talks about anymore, the more I realize a lot of these movies suck.
The following is a list of all the 90s movies I’ve found so far that, sadly, suck. Whether it’s the fact that time has made it forgettable or the fact that it’s always sucked, and I was just too young to realize it depends on the entry. Let’s dive in and run down a list of nostalgic classics readers might’ve completely forgotten about.
Even as a kid when I watched Blank Check, I couldn’t help but think that Preston had some absolutely boring ways to spend a million dollars. I also never really understood why the guy who gave him the money assumed he was part of the big money laundering scheme. Turns out this movie makes even less sense as an adult, I wouldn’t recommend watching.
The Flintstones‘ biggest problem is that it’s more geared toward adults than children, and even as a film for adults, it’s not a very good one. Sure, rewatching this one gave me nostalgia thinking of the McDonald’s promotion and how cool I thought that was, but it ultimately wasn’t worth it. This may be one of the funniest Rick Moranis movies, but far from the best.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
As the world is reminded how cool the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are in the 2020s, let’s not forget the stranglehold they had on children in the early 90s. Unfortunately, this time-travel-heavy sequel is easily the worst movie the Turtles ever made.
The Big Green
The 90s gave way to many classic sports movies for kids, but this one is on the lesser end of them. Despite having stars from The Sandlot, The Big Green just doesn’t have the same energy, nor does it stand the test of time compared to other movies like The Mighty Ducks.
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Adults who saw Star Wars: The Phantom Menace knew it was garbage when it came out, and even stars like Ewan McGregor struggled with the poor reviews. 90s kids were none the wiser at the time, and even to this day, some may look at it with rose-colored glasses. Be that as it may, there’s really no denying this is one of, if not the worst, Star Wars movies.
Eddie Murphy’s Dr. Doolittle is an example of Hollywood making a remake for a movie that really didn’t need one in the first place. Sure, having the ability to talk to animals is cool, but The Wild Thornberrys pulled this one off better than this remake ever did.
There are a lot of things that are cool about Space Jam, including the fact the greatest basketball star in the world teamed up with the Looney Tunes. Being cool doesn’t exactly equal a good movie, however, and most people who loved this movie in their youth will find it doesn’t hold up upon rewatch. Even the basketball game itself, outside of that final play, is kind of weak.
Little Big League
I’m not sure a story about a normal owner of a baseball team would be all that interesting, let alone one where a kid takes over. As silly as the premise may be, a story following a sports owner turned manager just isn’t that appealing, especially compared to the litany of superior 90s baseball movies.
Leave It To Beaver
Leave It To Beaver was another misguided attempt by Hollywood to revive the past, and for some reason make little to no modern updates in doing so. It might’ve impressed the older crowd who grew up watching it in the late 50s and early 60s, but it was a dud for kids and most critics.
Escape To Witch Mountain
It’s not often that the quality of a made-for-TV movie outdoes a previous theatrical iteration, and this one did not buck that trend. Outside of the fact it stars a young Elisabeth Moss, there isn’t much of a reason to try and seek this version out, which isn’t even available on DIsney+.
The Jungle Book
No, not the latest live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book by Jon Favreau, we’re talking about the 1994 live-action to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the book. Time, paired with the movie taking creative liberties beyond the source material, has made this movie obsolete and unworthy of a watch, despite some solid reviews from critics at release.
Dennis The Menace
Dennis The Menace is based on the comic strip, but in execution, it feels like an attempt to replicate the success of Home Alone. As such, the movie tries to reach the bar of one of the most iconic films starring a child actor of all time and ends up being largely forgettable.
Jungle 2 Jungle
Yet another Disney remake makes the list, and this one might be the worst of them all. It’s a low point for both Tim Allen and Martin Short, who have far better movies on their resumes to look toward. Aside from being culturally insensitive in the modern day, it’s just a pretty stupid and boring movie.
Muppets From Space
Some would argue there is no bad Muppets movie. I would argue that this is by far the worst made, so much so that it’s worth skipping when compared to the other offerings out there. It’s a shame too, because a Gonzo-centric story really should be the most interesting story the franchise ever told, but it’s actually pretty bland.
The Indian In The Cupboard
Compared to Toy Story and Small Soldiers, The Indian In The Cupboard just doesn’t scratch the same itch for the “toys coming to life” genre. This is a premise that should be fun, but instead, it’s pretty depressing and strangely filled with death. That theme has a place in kids movies, but probably not so much in a toy movie.
In the same vein as many remakes of classic television, Lassie‘s biggest failing is doing anything to really modernize the premise in any way. Despite having Saturday Night Live‘s Lorne Michaels as a producer, the movie feels like a bore and more at home in the 1950s like the original run.
Air Buddy might be one of the cutest movie pets we’d love to adopt, but the movie Air Bud is better in thought than execution. Sadly, the premise of a dog that plays basketball is way more entertaining in the images you come up with in your head than what’s seen in this movie.
Shaquille O’Neal was, and still is, an American treasure. Unfortunately, his acting skills left something to be desired in Kazaam, a film so bad it might make Space Jam look Oscar-worthy. Of all the things Hollywood could make the larger-than-life superstar into, why go with a genie?
Trading Mom is just a bizarre movie where children try out different variations of their mom after being ungrateful for the one they have. The premise is fun at first, but immediately kneecapped by the subplot of child services getting involved, which limits the entertainment. Sissy Spacek gives a great performance regardless, as she has in most of her films.
Dunston Checks In
There are so many 90s movies about an animal that Dunston Checks In gets lost in the mix compared to the much more quality features like Babe, or Free Willy. The movie centers on the premise of a monkey being in a hotel, and really doesn’t evolve into anything too much deeper than that. Fun for kids, but far from premium offerings.
My Girl 2
Even actress Anna Chlumsky is tired of talking about My Girl, and that’s considered a children’s movie classic. It was always going to be hard for My Girl 2 to live up to the same standard, A sentimental film about Vada learning about her mother wasn’t quite as groundbreaking as the loss of a friend, and didn’t hit the mark for audiences.
My Favorite Martian
For the year, I was convinced My Favorite Martian was a fever dream I concocted until I saw it was available to stream with a Disney+ subscription. Christopher Lloyd and Jeff Daniels should be an iconic pairing for an unforgettable film, but unfortunately, it just doesn’t click. It’s good for a few laughs, but not a ton.
George Of The Jungle
George of the Jungle might be the only 90s movie to convince children to run into trees, which landed Brendan Fraser in trouble with their parents. The movie doesn’t have much going for it other than that, however, though its inclusion of “Mr. Boombastic” did make me a young fan of Shaggy.
Home Alone 3
In hindsight, Home Alone 3 never stood a chance. The franchise that spawned two Christmas classics was unable to have lightning strike a third time, and I think it’s pretty obvious why. Macaulay Culkin was what made the franchise so special, and without him included, this franchise may never find its footing again.
It pains me to put a comedy legend like Leslie Nielsen on blast with this painful movie, but man is Mr. Magoo bad. It turns the clever deadpan comedy Nielsen is so good at for slapstick comedy, and the result is a mostly forgettable movie that felt so borderline offensive to people with vision problems that Disney tacked on a disclaimer at the end of the movie.
Inspector Gadget is one of those cartoon franchises you’d think could’ve had the potential to live on indefinitely like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers, had the first attempt to bring it to movies not been so bad. Surprisingly this is a movie where the sequel did better than the original with critics.
There’s only one pig that ruled the 90s and his name was Babe. Gordy was the lesser film of the two, bringing in lower positive reception and the general consensus over time that it wasn’t anywhere close to Babe in terms of quality. There’s no real nostalgic reason to watch this one as an adult unless you like suffering.
If you’re someone who has a nostalgic love for Baby Geniuses, it’s probably because you were too young to appreciate what a truly awful movie it is. Unfortunately, the people who greenlit this one were not as smart as the babies in the movie.
Honey, I Blew Up The Kid
If you’re someone who finds a giant baby absolutely hilarious, you might want to argue the quality of Honey, I Blew Up The Kid. Personally, I think it’s a bit of a one-note joke that continues throughout the entire movie and doesn’t have much more going on than that.
Summertime Switch is one of those classic mixup movies where a spoiled kid is put in a camp for troubled kids, and the troubled kid gets a taste of what an upscale summer camp experience is like. A pretty predictable story, even if you haven’t seen it, so not much of a reason to watch.
Man Of The House
Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Chevy Chase collaborating in the 90s should’ve been a box office hit we still talk about to this day. Clearly, this movie is largely forgotten in the modern day. For movies about divorced kids coping, maybe Mrs. Doubtfire is the better call.
Madeline was and still is such a classic children’s book that it’s kind of shocking a live-action adaptation with a heavy hitter like Frances McDormand involved has just faded into obscurity as years have gone on. Perhaps the reality is the book was always a tad boring, and as such, so is the movie.
Love it or hate it, these are the nostalgic 90s movies that suck at the end of the day. Be sure to check on CinemaBlend’s upcoming movies for this year and beyond, though be warned, I’m sure a few decades from now, some young punk will be writing an article talking about how they sucked.