Looking back now, it feels like growing up in the '90s was the golden age of childhood. I spent my days waiting for the newest Disney Channel movies to premiere, writing in my diary, and discovering the magical world of Harry Potter. My household was mildly strict, so I wasn't allowed to watch movies or television during the week. However, every Friday without fail, my dad took us to the video rental store where we could pick out the latest VHS releases. Yes, that's right: VHS releases, not DVDs. Which means there are some obscure '90s movies that are easy to forget about, especially if they never got a DVD re-release.
It was seems archaic, but that's how I was introduced to movies, and that's how I fell in love with them. There are some films from my childhood that have stayed with me forever. I watch Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York every year around the holidays without fail, and I admit that I know all of the dialogue by heart. And, still, there are others that resonated with me so much as I child that I could never forget them and what they meant to me. Here are 11 obscure movies only 90s kids will understand. Some of them are timeless, some of them have been forgotten by the annals of history, and some of them will just flood you with feels.
1. Harriet The Spy
I didn't throw out my orange VHS of Harriet the Spy until a few years ago because I was obsessed with it. The film follows a precocious child Harriet, who spies on everyone and writes down their secrets in a notebook. The movie is fantastic, but extremely odd, especially since Harriet ate tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches everyday for lunch. It's a film that shows you how powerful and painful secrets can be.
2. Hocus Pocus
If you've ever wanted to see SJP before she was Carrie Bradshaw, then here is your chance. With Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy at her side, Hocus Pocus is about a coven of witches who try to cast a spell so they can remain immortal forever. The music is magical, and their minion Billy the corpse is pretty terrifying.
3. Space Jam
I'm still not very clear on Space Jam's plot, but it involves Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes. It was a great effort on Warner Brother's part to mix live-action and animation, and, even though the plot is somewhat nonsensical, it's fun to see some of NBA's greats share screen time with Bugs Bunny and his friends.
Everyone knows the story of Cinderella, but this film is still my favorite rendition of it. During the 1990s, Brandy was one of the biggest stars around. With hit singles and a hit show, she was the natural choice to play Cinderella. The cast of the film was extremely diverse, which was fantastic, and I won't even get into how amazing the music was. After all, Whitney Houston played Cinderella's fairy godmother.
5. Richie Rich
We all know Macaulay Culkin from My Girl and the Home Alone films. However, he was also Richie Rich, the boy who had a McDonald's in his mansion. Still, despite all of his wealth, poor Richie had no friends until he set about trying to actively meet them. Richie Rich is a fun way to see what was considered extravagant in the '90s, and it has a nice message too.
6. The Swan Princess
Usually it's the prince that gets turned into a frog, beast, or some other animal in fairytale. The Swan Princess turned that on its head. Princess Odette gets kidnapped and turned into a swan by an evil scourer, and she has to find her way back to to her prince and her castle with the help of her forest friends. Things keep getting more interesting for Odette in the film's sequels.
If you're a dog lover, then you'll love Beethoven and all of its sequels. Beethoven is adopted by the Newton family as a puppy. However, as he gets older, he gets much bigger. While the kids and Mrs. Newton love and dote on the giant St. Bernard, his relationship with Mr. Newton leads to tons of mishaps.
8. Uncle Buck
The late John Candy was a comedic legend, especially as the less than responsible Uncle Buck who is tasked with taking care of his brother's children for a week. Knowing nothing about child-rearing leads to some hilarious setbacks. The best part is that there is more Macaulay Culkin — and giant pancakes.
9. A Goofy Movie
If you're a '90s kid, then you know all about Goofy's son Max. Like many of us during our childhoods, Max was just trying to get in with the cool crowd, which is no easy feat when Goofy is your dad. The best thing about A Goofy Movie was music sensation Powerline played by '90s R&B Sensation Tevin Campbell. You know you still know all the words to "Stand Out."
10. A Little Princess
A Little Princess is actually an extremely sad film about a wealthy girl who loses everything when her father goes missing in the war. Despite its sad tone, the film is beautiful and captures the wonder and mystique of childhood.
11. Smart House
I get the tune from Smart House stuck in my head on a regular basis. Smart House is the story of Ben, who wins a smart house for his family. Run by a robot named Pat (who is the '90s version of Siri), the house is super cool at first, but then it begins going haywire as someone else begins encroaching on its territory. Smart House is still one of the best Disney Channel Original Movies ever.
There were a ton of fantastic movies that came out of the '90s that I still love and watch today. Don't these ones just make you nostalgic for a time when your life was just a little bit simpler, and the word was just a little more innocent?
Image: Paramount Pictures