What's the best year for movies in all of cinematic history? It's up for debate. 1939 gave us classics like The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, while1968 brought The Graduate, Planet of the Apes, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, among others. Many film fans would argue for 1977, which had Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Saturday Night Fever, but still more would throw their support behind 1994, when Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, The Lion King, and Forrest Gump hit the screen. But personally, after seeing how many memorable movies are turning 25 this year, from Thelma and Louise to Hook, I believe that 1991 deserves to be in the running, too.
Looking back, it's easy to see that 1991 was one of the very best years for cinema, responsible for so many movies that shaped the childhoods of so many adults today — although it may be hard to look back on the films of '91 and realize that they're all turning 25 (!) this year. Viewing the number of amazing releases from '91, nostalgia kicks in, and suddenly I'm a kid again, watching Beauty and the Beast , My Girl, and tons more. Take a look at the list below and remember your favorites, all of which came from an incredible year at the movies.
1. White Fang (Jan. 18)
Ethan Hawke moves to Alaska and becomes BFFs with a wolf. It's freakin' adorable.
2. The Neverending Story II (Feb. 8)
Lots of sequels hit in '91. This one had teen heartthrob Jonathan Brandis facing off against an evil witch to save Fantasia.
3. The Silence Of The Lambs (Feb. 13)
Speaking of fierce heroines... hello, Clarice. How I saw this movie as a kid, I'll never understand. But Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lector voice has forever bored itself into my brain.
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze (Mar. 22)
Five words: Go ninja, go ninja go!
5. Thelma & Louise (May 24)
I applaud Thelma and Louise just as much for its awesome representation of girl power as I do for bringing Brad Pitt into the world of movies.
6. City Slickers (June 7)
Billy Crystal and his city buddies are truly funny in this fish-out-of-water comedy, but was anyone else's favorite character Norman, the baby cow?
7. Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (June 14)
Kevin Costner as Robin Hood and the incomparable Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham made this movie so fun. Plus who can resist the sweet, sweet stylings of Bryan Adams?
8. The Rocketeer (June 21)
A forgotten masterpiece. Billy Campbell becomes a rocket-pack sporting 1940s superhero and woos a perfectly vampy Jennifer Connelly.
9. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (July 3)
Arguably the best Terminator movie there is, this second installment made Sarah Connor a badass, and the Terminator a sympathetic character. Plus that liquid metal T-1000 was pretty cool, and the special effects hold up surprisingly well today.
10. Point Break (July 12)
An FBI agent going undercover to track down surfer bank robbers? This movie is ridiculous. But without it, we wouldn't have Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to win Best Director at the Academy Awards.
11. Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey (July 19)
Notably inferior to the first but still wicked fun, Bogus Journey finds our time traveling heroes traversing the afterlife, with the Grim Reaper for a sidekick.
12. The Man In The Moon (Oct. 4)
A wee Reese Witherspoon starred in this coming-of-age story for girls that taught us that crushes on much older people don't always work out for the best.
13. An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (Nov. 22)
Fievel and the Mouskewitzes head west and encounter more cats. The first film was a classic that made everyone cry. This one was a fun, action-adventure comedy that gave Fievel's sister Tanya some much-needed screen time.
14. Beauty And The Beast (Nov. 22)
The first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, this is truly one of the best. With stunning animation and a fierce, book-loving heroine, what viewer could resist?
15. The Addams Family (Nov. 22)
Who could have guessed that one of the goofiest couples of the '60s would turn into one of the sexiest couples of the '90s?
16. My Girl (Nov. 27)
If you didn't fall head over heels in love with either Macauley Culkin and/or Anna Chlumsky in My Girl, I'm pretty sure you don't have a heart.
17. Hook (Dec. 11)
"A tear for every happy thought." Robin Williams grows up and discovers that he was once Peter Pan. I'm not crying, OK?!
18. Father Of The Bride (Dec. 20)
Steve Martin and Martin Short should team up until the end of time. This comedy about a guy dealing with his daughter's marriage is one of the few that holds up all these years later.
19. Fried Green Tomatoes (Dec. 27)
The movie version of Fannie Flagg's great book toned down the lesbian relationship between its main characters, but it remains an anthem for female empowerment and friendship.
25 years ago, so many incredible, memorable movies came out. Feel old now, don't you?
Images: Warner Bros., Disney, MGM(2), Giphy (17)