I tend to be a very nostalgic person. It makes me so happy to sit and reminisce over old family photos, videos, my college yearbook, and to talk about old times with friends and family.
I’ve noticed that this tendency in me has increased since having children. I absolutely love sharing things from my childhood years with my boys. And what’s even better, is that they enjoy it as well. Makes my heart smile.
One area in which this happens a lot is television shows and movies. I know that may seem silly, but it’s true. Since we’ve been in quarantine, we’ve been letting our boys watch a movie before bed almost every night. They’ve also been getting some extra TV time as well. So I’ve decided to take advantage of this time and show my boys the beloved television shows and movies from the 1980s and early 1990s.
When I look at the television programming and movies that are out for kids today, sometimes it makes me sad. I feel like a lot of it is just not as good as the programming I had growing up. There are so many shows out now that do NOT have any good lessons to them, or teach our children right from wrong (I mean, even He-Man always had a lesson at the end of each episode, teaching our children the right way to act).
In fact, I’ve seen quite the opposite. I mean, I’ve had to stop a show before and tell my kids that what they just saw on the TV is not acceptable behavior. Kids lying, stealing, sneaking out of the house, being downright rude and mean to friends and their parents, all with no punishment or consequences. And, don’t even get me started on the violence.
Television and movies in the 80s and 90s was just different. So much different! And I’m not worried my kids are going to pick up bad habits from watching any of those shows and movies. That’s why I’ve been more than happy to bask in the nostalgia and share my love of those classics.
And you know what I’ve discovered along the way? My children LOVE my old 80s and 90s favorites. My husband and I have even showed them some older family black and white movies, and they have loved those as well.
If you’re a fan of 80s and 90s television as well, here is a great way to get started on your own nostalgic journey with your children.
Disney + Is Your Best Friend
I have been pleasantly surprised to discover the sheer volume and diversity of what is on Disney +. So many of my old favorites are there! I mean, you have access to pretty much anything Disney you could possibly want. From vintage Mickey Mouse to current Marvel movies, and everything in between. (The lists below are just some of our favorites. Not an extensive list by any means.)
As far as television shows go, some I’ve shared with my boys are:
Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, Duck Tales, Tale Spin, X-Men, Darkwing Duck, The New Adventures of Winnie-The-Pooh, and EVERY Mickey Mouse cartoon ever created.
In regards to movies, here are some of our family favorites:
The Parent Trap (1961 & 1998 versions), The Shaggy Dog and The Shaggy DA, Escape to Witch Mountain and Return From Witch Mountain (1970’s), Flight of the Navigator, The Love Bug (and it’s sequels), The Absent Minded Professor, Willow, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Freaky Friday (1976), Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
When we got our Amazon Fire TV Stick, it opened up a world of entertainment. My kids hardly know what to do with so many options. What’s great about the Fire Stick is that you get access to a TON of TV and movie apps – not just for public access and cable channels, but many others I had never even heard of before. And, you don’t have to have Amazon Prime to use it. However, if you have Prime, your viewing options will be greater.
One of my boys favorite apps on the Fire Stick is called Tubi. They have a bunch of shows and movies from the 80s and 90s we all watch together. Some of them are Alf, GI Joe, Inspector Gadget, Thundercats, and Scooby Doo. So much fun!
Check Websites of Major Networks
One thing I’ve noticed from scrolling through network websites is they offer more shows on their site and apps than just what is currently airing. Many of them offer “classic” television shows and movies as well.
For example, on NBC’s website (and in their app) you can find Saved By The Bell (my personal favorite), Punky Brewster (what 80s girl didn’t love that show?!), Charles in Charge, and Knight Rider.
CBS All Access is one you have to pay for, but they also offer a variety of shows. Some of them are 90210, The Brady Bunch, Heathcliff, Family Ties, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, and Danger Mouse. Now, while you do have to pay for this streaming service, you can also get a one month free trial. And, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…they don’t like it when you want to cancel your free trial. They want you to stay in hopes that you’ll eventually purchase the service. So, when you go to cancel your free trial, you will very likely receive a second month for free. It happened to me.
Local TV Channels
Believe it or not, there are some local television channels that offer classic TV shows. In fact, MeTV is a channel solely dedicated to classic shows. We love it and watch this station quite frequently. Here you can find shows like Leave it To Beaver, The Flinstones, Saved By The Bell, Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, Webster, and Different Strokes.
You Can Find Pretty Much Anything on YouTube
There are so many options on YouTube, it’s ridiculous. If you look hard enough, you can find full episodes of some of your favorite shows. Even those old 80s Nickelodeon shows like Today’s Special, Eureka’s Castle, and You Can’t Do That On Television. You can also find old favorites like Jem and the Holograms, He-Man, She-Ra, Transformers, Care Bears, and more.
You’re waiting for me to say Netflix, aren’t you?
Here’s the thing about Netflix…they change content so often that even if you do happen to find an older show, it won’t be there for long. At one point, Netflix had a slew of 80s shows all at once. There was Jem, He-Man, She-Ra, and even GI Joe. But all of them were gone the next month.
The other thing about Netflix is that they make their own shows. So while you might find She-Ra, Pound Puppies, The Care Bears, and Sabrina The Teenage Witch, they are all updated versions. And, in my opinion, not as good as the originals. This 80s and 90s girl will always prefer the original versions over the remakes!
Now, if you’re looking more for movies than television shows, Netflix does offer a lot in that department. For example, all of the Back To The Future movies are there, and family favorite E.T.
So there you have it! My guide to finding your inner 80s and 90s child, and sharing that with your kids. I hope you enjoy sharing these favorites with your family as much as I do with mine!
What is something you get nostalgic about? Share in the comments!