If you grew up in the '90s, there's no questioning how golden the era was, whether you're talking about music, fashion, or movies. But your kids, well, they might not understand just how awesome the '90s or any of its accoutrements really were. Which is why it's your duty as a parent to clue them in, and share the wealth of nostalgia with them. And when you sit them down to marathon all of your favorite '90s flicks, you'll come across a few movie characters from the '90s that every parents has to explain to their child.
The '90s were a special time, and though the CGI and storylines may not be as flashy as they are nowadays, there are some epic characters deserve their rightful time in the spotlight. Chances are your kids will stumble across at least a few of these classic characters on their own and, as a parent, you'll be ready to explain how and why they became so iconic. Because sharing pieces of your childhood that you loved with your kids is a wonderful way to teach them about your past. Not to mention, they'll finally understand why you add "woof" to things you don't like. (Thank you, Kevin McAllister.) Read on to find all the beloved movie characters of the '90s you should share with your children.
1. Dr. Ellie Sattler From 'Jurassic Park'
Tossed in with a bunch of male scientists, Dr. Ellie Sattler stole your heart, and stole the scene where she finished Jeff Goldblum's analogy about men and dinosaurs. It's easily one of the greatest '90s movie moments of all time, and just one of the many moments Sattler holds her own throughout the movie, proving that she's just as good of a match as any man when it comes to dinosaurs.
2. Falkor From 'The Never Ending Story'
If you explain to your kids that Folkor is a kind, loving, inspirational, luck dragon, and not a regular dragon, they'll be 5 percent less likely to have wild and vivid nightmares about The Neverending Story.
3. Forrest Gump From 'Forrest Gump'
There are innumerable life lessons in Forrest Gump, from how to treat others, to having faith in yourself, to doing what you love. Both the film and the titular character had an enormous effect on a generation, and your kids can gain a thing or two, even decades after its release.
4. Miss Eva Ernst From 'The Witches'
Yes, she's absolutely terrifying. In fact, it's easy to forget that The Witches is a Roald Dahl story, because the Miss Eva Ernst is just that scary. But like every Dahl story, every villain is there to help further the story, and to help create a world where children triumph against all odds.
5. Cole Sear From 'The Sixth Sense'
This is one that you may just have to explain to your children. Because the first time I saw this, I had no clue what was happening. Innocent little Cole Sear sees dead people, and he's pretty sure it's going to ruin his life. I'm sure you could turn this into a lesson on overcoming adversity, but really, this film was just an epic moment in the '90s that your kids should for sure know about — some day.
6. Cher Horowitz From 'Clueless'
The voice of a generation, Cher Horowitz is a '90s icon that nobody can ever forget. Your kids may not understand the valley girl lingo, or the aggressive nods to all things '90s, but they will understand the classic teenage trope of love, family, and the struggles of high school.
7. Jack Dawson From 'Titanic'
Though kids these days may never understand your love for Leonardo DiCaprio, teaching them about Jack Dawson is good crash course in Leo Love 101. The allure of Jack Dawson in the '90s was strong. And even though many people think he shouldn't have died according to the physics of that door in Titanic, it made for an epic love story.
8. Ellis 'Red' Redding From 'The Shawshank Redemption'
In prison for more than 30 years, Red became a sort of gang leader for the long-lifers in Shawshank, and takes Andy, the movie's protagonist, under his wing. Though he's denied parole many times, he continues to work toward his freedom. An eye opening look at prison culture and rehabilitation, Red is a character you won't soon forget.
9. Vivian Ward From 'Pretty Woman'
Though showing your kids Pretty Woman at a young age is probably frowned upon, Vivian is a pretty epic character that your kids (daughters, especially) should be introduced to at some point in their lives. Vivian proves that she's more than just a pretty face, and that you never know when opportunity's going to knock on your door.
10. Kevin McAllister From 'Home Alone'
It's every child's dream to have the house all the themselves while their family goes on vacation. Though Kevin McAllister's luck in having this childhood reign of freedom is completely unrealistic, especially in this day and age, it's still pretty magical to pass on to your kids.
11. Edward Scissorhands From 'Edward Scissorhands'
Though Edward Scissorhands might be the stuff of nightmares if watched too early, it is a beautiful movie. Slightly macabre and quirky in a way only Tim Burton knows how to pull off, Edward Scissorhands himself is an interesting character, who proves that you should never judge a book by its cover.
12. Kat Stratford From '10 Things I Hate About You'
The ultimate angry 90's girl role model, Kat Stratford was a hero for every girl in the '90s who didn't quite fit the mold. And even though she rebelled to the opposite side of the spectrum, she came back around towards the end of the movie, proving that sisters who are opposites don't have to hate one another.
13. Tyler Durden From 'Fight Club'
Another flick that's best saved for teenage years, Fight Club will introduce your kids to Tyler Durden. One of the wildest movie characters of the '90s, Durden is one of the best cinematic examples of becoming your own worst enemy.
14. Will Hunting From 'Good Will Hunting'
Will Hunting is a janitor who happens to be a genius. His story is impressive, heartbreaking, and incredible all at the same time. Though this movie should probably be shelved until your kids are into their teenage years, Will Hunting is someone they should know and love.
15. Truman Burbank From 'The Truman Show'
The original master of reality television, Truman Burbank's story is poignant, and a complete social commentary on how society wants to view and handle peoples lives. Perfection is not real, and Truman worked hard to fight for a life of his own. Your kids may not quite understand all of the implications The Truman Show has the first time they watch it, but with a little help, they'll view Truman as a hero in his own right.