Crushin on All Things 1994

So around seven years old is apparently when I started to pay way more attention to my surroundings because when I looked back at the music, movies, and television that came about in 1994 – my list of favorites was insanely hard to whittle down. Anyone who knows me knows I hate sports but put them in a movie with a down-on-their-luck, ragtag group of kids and I’m suddenly the guy who paints himself during a snowstorm to show my support for SPORTS! We talked about this with Steve Madole this week as he is not only a fan of these movies as well, but took it a step further to be a youth sports coach when he got older.

That being said, so many greats came out this year, including ‘3 Ninjas Kick Back.’ It, alongside ‘Blank Check’ helped my imagination soar but I also was somehow mature enough to take in ‘Forrest Gump’ that year. Well, not really. I had no clue as to what was going on with Jenny’s whole ordeal at the time, but for some reason, I was still enthralled with this story, and ‘Forrest Gump’ – to me – is still the best movie ever created. That being said, I did want to highlight some others…

But before I get into my favorites, some honorable mentions are ‘The Critic’ (which is even better today), ‘All That,’ Mariah Carey’s Christmas album, all that Ace of Base gave us, and, of course, “Stay (I Missed You)” from ‘Reality Bites’ by Lisa Loeb. All of those were amazing but, again, whittle I did, and below are my favorite things about 1994. 

The Lion King 

Growing up during the Disney Renaissance it’s impossible to ignore the greatness Mickey Mouse was tossing around in the ‘90s, especially when it comes to ‘The Lion King.’ Disney decided to combine African wildlife with Shakespeare and the end result was one of their most beloved. From the opening scene…I was hooked! Plus, Simba was voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas. This pretty much meant that I was required to fangirl the fuck out of an animated lion. And while Sebastian from ‘The Little Mermaid’ does sing my favorite Disney songs, ‘I Just Can’t Wait to Be King’ is 100% in my top 10 of all time. 


Coming-of-age movies are my favorite, but, sadly, they are often heavily white. Hollywood rarely delivers these teen angst tales with some melanin. Ironically enough though, one of the movies that helped lay the foundation for this genre in my heart was about a young Black girl. It wasn’t a happy-go-lucky film by any means, but I remember seeing the box at the local video store as a kid, and my mom saying, “This looks good, let’s get it.” It’s still a movie we bring up in conversation here and there, and will forever be one I admire for its impeccable storytelling. 

Green Day ‘Dookie’

It’d be another six or so years before I listened to a pop-punk record but in hindsight, there is something about Green Day’s ‘Dookie’ that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I told my guy, Green Day sounds like a shaky VHS. It has this sound that will forever evoke the ‘90s to me and for that, I had to include it here. 

The Little Rascals 

All of the reasons I loved ‘The Flintstones’ movie are the same as to why ‘The Little Rascals’ was on repeat in my home back in the day.

Boyz II Men ‘II’ 

There is no ‘90s R&B without Boyz II Men, and this album is just one of many things you can count as evidence to back up that statement. 

D2: The Mighty Ducks

There is no bad ‘Mighty Ducks’ movie but for me, there is one that outshines them all and that’s  ‘D2.’ We got a handful of additions to the team, including Aaron Lohr’s Dean Portman who I’m pretty sure was at least 23 years old. We also got Kenan Thompson, who would debut on ‘All That’ not too far after the release of this movie. Then, of course, he went on to be not only a ‘90s kid icon but a ‘Saturday Night Live’ powerhouse. Back to ‘D2’ though, because this movie just went above and beyond and I think that’s not only because we shook things up with team additions, but because we got to see the team outside of their colder climate and in Los Angeles, which when you’re a kid in a small town – LA seems like the end all be all of cool. Now having lived there, I can say…it’s fine.

The Magic School Bus 

My dad often likes to joke (or relay the truth) that while my brother never once asked him to read him a book, I was never without that request when he walked in the door. For a long time, it was a busted copy of ‘101 Dalmatians.’ To this day my parents loathe everything to do with that movie because of one of my first obsessions. With that, I grew to love educational programming. Whether it was taking in facts watching ‘Jeopardy’ with my dad or being glued to PBS, I was ready to learn from the small screen I adored so much, and part of that was because of ‘The Magic School Bus.’ Ms. Frizzle really took those kids on the wildest adventures and I was there wide-eyed just enamored by every second. 

Little Giants

There is only one kids’ sports movie that I love more than ‘Little Giants’ and I talked about it last week. So yes, this is my second favorite of all time and that’s well, for so many reasons. First off, Icebox. I can’t ever write enough about what seeing tomboys in movies did for me as a kid. Especially since she was the one to get Junior Floyd in the end! Devon Sawa, what a hunk, right? ‘Little Giants’ also gave us one of the best underdog stories ever. As a fat, unathletic child – this team was a whole ass mood – from the tomboy to the overweight to the nerd. I felt purely represented. Except when they won. That just doesn’t happen in real life. At least to me!

Beck “Loser” 

Speaking of losing, if one were to boil down my essence into a mixtape of a dozen or so songs Beck’s “Loser” would be the title track. Even as a kid in 1994, I didn’t feel as though I was nearing the finish line as the winner of this shit called life and that sentiment remains to this day. “Soy un perdedor…” 


If you’ve never seen or heard of ‘North,’ it stars Elijah Wood as a kid who thinks he’d be better off with a different family so he tries a bunch of new ones. Throughout the movie he learns that more often than not, the family you got is the one you’re supposed to be with. As a kid I didn’t quite grasp the message because I thought, nah – I do not belong with these people but as I got older and saw various families via friends and acquaintances I realized ‘North’ was right. At least for me. There is no way I would’ve been able to handle a family that wasn’t my own. I mean, I would’ve taken one with more money but, you get it.


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