Do any old -- let's say pre-1990 -- kids movies hold up for adults?

Oh yeah, how was that? That’s been in my queue for a while and I wondered how it held up to other vintage retro grandpa Disney stuff like Candleshoe, The Journey of Natty Gann, and Flight of the Navigator.

The Cat from Outer Space is terrible. Kids movies back then were made for kids. Disney didn’t care if parents had to suffer through them. I recommend leaving them in your memory where they belong. :(

But if anyone knows of any exceptions, I would love to hear what they are!


I think there’s two questions here: do movies that you personally have nostalgia for from that time (when you were a kid) hold up, and do movies that you’ve never seen (or have no nostalgia for) hold up.

I re-watched Tron not that long ago, and I still enjoyed it. I do have nostalgia for that, of course.

I think Dragonslayer is still pretty good. I have some nostalgia for that.

The Black Hole

The Princess Bride

Dude, I’m not sure Dragonslayer is a kids movie. I mean I saw it as a kid but I can also tell you I was pretty traumatized by it. There’s some gnarly shit that happens in that movie. Still, it’s fun to see Peter MacNicol in a starring role as a young man.

OK, but in the spirit of the thread - if we consider The Princess Bride a kids movie then I’m confident in saying it holds up. I showed it to my kids and they weren’t as immediately impressed with it as I might have hoped, but they found it an amusing diversion. I think the Love Bug movies are still pretty fun, though they’re definitely lightweight. Now that I think about it there are a bunch of movies I remember really enjoying, like Pete’s Dragon, that I have no idea whether they hold up. I’m kind of afraid to find out.

Hmm this seems like one of those questions that my initial knee jerk reaction ‘of course some are terrible, but there are definitely good ones’ runs into the cold hard reality of trying to think of them.

Also how strict do you define kids movie? Would something that was appropriate for kids, but not really a ‘kids movie’ fit? Take a modern example, Into the Spiderverse. I would say this is fine to watch with kids, but not a kids movie. More kid friendly.

Home Alone and Honey I Shrunk the Kids (do not speak of the sequels, they do not count) I would say still hold up. Home Alone is very carefully constructed and not the slapstick trap filled movie of memory, but has rather a lot more going on and has intentional elements to set up and pay off at the end. Honey I Shrunk the Kids is also a film that does failry well, and as a parent didn’t loathe the time I spent watching with the kids.

They are also 1990 and 1989 respectively, so are really toying with the delineation.

Absolutely brilliant, holds up wonderfully, but would you say it is strictly speaking a ‘kids movie’ instead of ‘family movie that is kid friendly’?

I know it may seem I am splitting hairs, but it is a valid distinction, says the guy with 3 kids under 8.

I mean, a guy gets tortured to death in Princess Bride, not normal kid’s movie fare.

But he gets better! And it’s not quite as gruesome a death as say, being eaten alive by baby dragons.

It is… poorly paced. Not bad, per se, but the pacing and direction is a bit rough in spots. In the same vein Mary Poppins holds up much better, Bedknobs and Broomsticks as well. Both are not what I would consider great, and for a kids entertainment perspective I actually think the new Mary Poppins Returns with Emily Blunt is a more enjoyable experience for all, but they do hold well enough.

Why I put my definitional question! I wouldn’t call it a kids movie, but rather a good family friendly movie (torture scene included even) that a kid can enjoy and appreciate still.

Oh yeah, Mary Poppins! I showed that to my kids and they absolutely laughed their little asses off. That bit where they’re drinking and giggling and floating up to the ceiling was the funniest thing I think my kids had ever seen, judging by their reaction.

Wonderfully terrible.

Speaking of drinking and floating up!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, still holds up, nightmare inducing tunnel and chocolate river suction tube scene included. It is still as good as it ever was, even if it is likely to give younger kids nightmares (as it did me when I first watched it as a child).

Certainly holds up better than the modern version with Johnny Depp.

Good question, but almost by definition a kids movie isn’t going to appeal to adults no matter the decade.

I watched Goonies recently for the first time as an adult… and no. It’s got the Spielberg genius of kids talking over each other that for some reason isn’t a thing in any other movies, but the plot is pure boys own and holds no appeal beyond nostalgia.

Speaking of, Disney+ is FULL of wonderfully bad and fun to watch movies like this. Unidentified Flying Oddball, all of the Herbie movies (especially the sequels, god damn), The Shaggy Dogs, The Witch Mountains, just tons of great stuff.

Maybe someday they’ll get Condorman.

He is NOT an agent of the CIA! He is a writer of comic books!

Holy shit, Condorman. I remember begging my mom to take me to see that, but no go. I think I got one of those picture book novelizations instead.

For some reason it’s on Prime.

OMG that blurb does NOT do the movie justice. AT ALL.

Condorman was watched a number of times second only to Princess Bride in my household. Many scenes and lines are engraved indelibly on my brain :)