Romper

The 11 Most Important Movies From The ‘90s And Early '00s That Parents Can't Wait To Show Their Kids

There are many things I look forward to introducing my young child to, like summer camp, bicycles, and sriracha. I don’t have a precise timeline for when I think he’ll be ready for these milestones, but I trust that his dad and I will be prudent and exercise caution to ensure that he’s emotionally and physically ready (especially when it comes to hot sauce).

We haven’t officially introduced him to movies yet, either. He’s pretty little, so we’re still trying to avoid blatantly sitting him in front of a television. Though, when the big day arrives, it will undoubtedly be a huge deal. I’ve got a few kid-friendly favorites at the ready (Disney animated classics, holler), but there’s a whole slew of PG and PG-13s that I have waiting in the wings for when he’s old enough and mature enough. In addition to my own favorites, there’s a plethora of options from the ‘90s and early 2000s that my fellow Millennials and I hold dear to my heart like Kevin did Winnie and Zack did Kelly. We might have a much longer list of movies we want to share with out kids in general, but these — theeeesssse gems — are the absolute essentials. We pretty much plan to sit our kids down at various stages of their childhood, force them to watch these films, and then watch their faces the entire time to gauge their response (and if the response is not the "correct" response, we might have to reconsider whether or not they are allowed to live in our homes anymore).

'Hook' – 1991, PG

Brief Summary: Peter Pan managed to grow up, which wasn’t supposed to happen. Also, Captain Hook is still mad at him.

Scene I’m most looking forward to watching with my kiddo: Roo-fee-ohhhhhhh

When I think he’ll be ready to see it: when we know he won’t be inspired to start imaginary food fights

'A League of Their Own' – 1992, PG

Brief Summary: Women played baseball during World War II, showed the entire world that they are way more amazing than the rest of us will ever be, and inspired girls everywhere to join sororities because sisterhood and singing and matching clothes

Scene I’m most looking forward to watching with my kiddo: THE ENTIRE THING

When I think he’ll be ready to see it: whenever he has his first history lesson that covers the 1940s

'3 Ninjas' – 1992, PG

Brief Summary: A ninja thinks it’s a good idea to teach kids how to use weapons.

Scene I’m most looking forward to watching with my kiddo: Rocky loves Em-mah-lee

When I think he’ll be ready to see it: when we can trust him not to use jelly beans to hurt people

'Jurassic Park' – 1993, PG-13

Brief Summary: Geniuses brought dinosaurs back to life; They are vicious.

Scene I’m most looking forward to watching with my kiddo: the pretty, scenic parts where we first see the dinos, and everything is pleasant

When I think he’ll be ready to see it: Not for quite a while. However, probably earlier than when I saw it because compared to newer flicks, the effects just aren’t as mind-blowing.

'Empire Records' – 1995, PG-13

Brief Summary: Some attractive young people work in a record store that may or may not be closing, a half-pirate/half-pop singer stops by and drives the ladies bananas

Scene I’m most looking forward to watching with my kiddo: Sugarhigh!

When I think he’ll be ready to see it: When the Gwar scene will make sense, so hopefully not for a long, long time

'Clueless' – 1995, PG-13

Brief Summary: A charismatic rich girl cheerfully gossips and meddles with her friends life while using her impressive vocabulary

Scene I’m most looking forward to watching with my kiddo: Anything with Paul Rudd, because by the time my little is old enough for this one, I think Paul Rudd will still be looking the same

When I think he’ll be ready to see it: Probably around junior high, and hopefully not sporadically

'Titanic' – 1997 PG-13

Brief Summary: Leonardo DiCaprio emotes on a giant historical boat that sinks, but not before he draws Kate Winslet like one of his French girls

Scene I’m most looking forward to watching with my kiddo: the first third of it

When I think he’ll be ready to see it: when he’s confident in his swimming abilities

'10 Things I Hate About You' – 1999, PG-13

Brief Summary: Julia Stiles is grouchy, Heath Ledger is charming, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is adorable

Scene I’m most looking forward to watching with my kiddo: This one is a special case because the high school where this was filmed is actually went to school in real life, and I (along with many of my classmates) got to be an extra in the film. So, the prom scene has a special place in my heart.

When I think he’ll be ready to see it: When he can sing all the words to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”

'Lizzie McGuire Movie' – 2003, PG

Brief Summary: Lizzie goes to Italy and meets two pop singers, one is good and one is bad

Scene I’m most looking forward to watching with my kiddo: THE FINAL JAM IS AMAZING

When I think he’ll be ready to see it: as soon as he’s sick of High School Musical 3, which I plan to make him watch obsessively

'Mean Girls' – 2004, PG-13

Brief Summary: Innocent-looking Lindsay Lohan gets feisty after infiltrating a group of popular ladies

Scene I’m most looking forward to watching with my kiddo: Let’s be honest, this one is more for me than it is for him. I’m looking forward to watching the whole damn thing while he plays on the floor next to me.

When I think he’ll be ready to see it: Whenever we figure out something to keep him occupied and engaged for 90-ish minutes. And then again before high school because he needs to be warned about cliques (god help him).

'Napoleon Dynamite' – 2004, PG

Brief Summary: intense awkwardness in small-town Idaho

Scene I’m most looking forward to watching with my kiddo: the talent show scene, no contest

When I think he’ll be ready to see it: when we can teach him the choreography

Image: Touchstone Pictures