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Waaaaay back in May, I told you that we were going to be having Family Movie Nights at ButterscotchSundae headquarters. I shared with you a list of family-friendly sports movies, and I was so excited about our plan! I was so far down the path, I’d started weighing the pros and cons of buying my own popcorn popper.
And then, alas, it was summer.
We skipped Family Movie Night over and over and over again, and on the weeks that weren’t skipped we watched things like “Hotel Transylvania” and “The Descendants.” But now it’s finally my turn to choose again! So pop some corn and tear open your SnoCaps as I present to you: A selection of my favorite family films from that most glorious age of cinema, 1990s.
Home Alone (1990)
Is “Home Alone” a great movie about child abandonment and endangerment, or is it the greatest movie about child abandonment and endangerment? That’s hard to say, but it certainly has to be the slapstickiest. Twelve-year-old me found this one to be a laugh-a-minute riot.
“Home Alone” is available as a digital rental or purchase from Amazon.
“Hook” is a weird twist on “Peter Pan,” in which Peter grows up to be a total square, Jimmy Buffett is a pirate, Violet Crawley is Wendy and someone has named their child Rufio and he responds by going all “Beyond Thunderdome” meets a troll doll.
I suggest this one with a caveat: My kids love “Peter Pan,” and they did not like “Hook” at all. Your kids are probably more reasonable.
“Hook” is available on Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.
My Girl (1991)
Macauley Culkin was the boy king of the early ’90s, wasn’t he? I remember this movie as a delightful romp that suddenly shocked the tears right out of my ducts. I was 13, though, so I probably stuck the popcorn bucket over my head to hide my tears.
“My Girl” is available as a digital rental or purchase from Amazon.
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
As much as I loved “Mrs. Doubtfire” when I was a kid, I was a little hesitant to include it in my list. It’s kind of a creepy story, and it would probably be a viral sensation if it happened in real life. Regardless, it’s Robin Williams and he’s equal parts manic and charming, so it made the list despite being pretty darn weird.
“Mrs. Doubtfire” is available as a digital rental or purchase from Amazon.
Free Willy (1993)
I’m a sucker for a sentimental tale of human-animal friendship, so of course “Free Willy” is on the list. My brother was a jaded, world-weary 10-year-old the first time we saw it, and I remember hearing him gasp at that final leap to freedom.
I can only hope my children will be equally as awed.
“Free Willy” is available as a digital rental or purchase from Amazon.
Fly Away Home (1997)
Speaking of animal-kid buddy movies…
I’m generally not a fan of birds, but “Fly Away Home” stars the always-adorable Little Anna Paquin, a scruffily bearded Jeff Daniels and Dana Delaney of “Animaniacs” theme song fame. The plot — about healing and family — is sweet, too boot. I’m not sure Poppy and Pete will be into it, but I plan to give it a shot.
“Fly Away Home” is available for free streaming via Prime and as a digital rental or purchase and Amazon.
This adaptation stays true to Roald Dahl’s dark and sometimes-scary humor. Be warned that, as with pretty much every Dahl story I’ve read, a lot of the adults in this story are truly despicable. In the end, though, kindness and gentle hearts win the day and the rotten folks get their comeuppance.
And also, parts of it are uproariously funny.
“Matilda” is available as a digital purchase as Amazon.
The most important issue, though, is what are the pros and cons of owning a popcorn machine?
Fresh, delicious popcorn all the time.
Rockford thinks I’m not serious about this.
So. What’s your favorite ’90s movie? And why should Rockford definitely get me a popcorn maker for my birthday?