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These films turned 25 years old in 2020

By Kara Santos Published Dec 29, 2020 3:06 am

Do you still remember the biggest films that originally came out in 1995? While it may be hard to believe, that was actually a quarter of a century ago. That year brought us some memorable blockbuster hits as well as misses, but looking back at the films sure brings back a wave of nostalgia for simpler days.

Take a walk down cinematic memory lane by rewatching these movies that turned 25 years old this year for your next movie night.

Jumanji

Jumanji’s story centers on a supernatural board game that brings real-life jungle adventures to life with every turn players take. Originally released on December 15, 1995, this fantasy adventure loosely based on the 1981 children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg starred Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, David Alan Grier and Bonnie Hunt.

Though the wild premise received mixed reviews at the time it was released, the film became the 10th highest-grossing film of the year, resulting in an animated television series, the spinoff film Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005) and modern sequels Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) and Jumanji: The Next Level (2019).

The full-length original film is available on YouTube, while the sequels are currently streaming on Netflix.

Toy Story

To infinity and beyond! Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang all turned 25 years old last month. We first met the lovable characters of Pixar’s animated film Toy Story when it first premiered on Nov. 19, 1995 and have been guilty of giving away old toys ever since.

Considered a landmark in cinematic history, Toy Story was the first film to be produced solely with computer animated effects. The crew of toys that come to life when not under the watchful eye of their owner, Andy, ended up spawning three more major films over the years, namely Toy Story 2 (1999), Toy Story 3 (2010), and Toy Story 4 (2019), as well as television specials.

All of the Pixar animated movies can be streamed on Disney Plus.

Waterworld

The American post-apocalyptic action film starring Kevin Costner envisioned the earth in the distant future where the polar ice caps have completely melted, and the sea level has risen over 7,600 m (25,000 ft), covering nearly all of the land.

The most expensive film ever made at the time, Waterworld was released to mixed reviews, but managed to become profitable from video and other post-cinema sales. The film has managed to live on in other forms, including a novelization, video game, and three themed attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Singapore, and Universal Studios Japan called Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular, all of which still exist as of 2020.

Waterworld is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

This American superhero film was released on June 30, 1995, a couple of years after the premiere of the superhero children's television series of the same name. Much like the television series, the Power Rangers movie used concepts from the Japanese Super Sentai series Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, Gosei Sentai Dairanger and Ninja Sentai Kakuranger.

The film starred an ensemble cast including Karan Ashley, Johnny Yong Bosch, Steve Cardenas, Jason David Frank, Amy Jo Johnson, and David Yost, alongside the villains cast from the original series and Paul Freeman as Ivan Ooze.

While extremely campy by today's standards, the whole Power Rangers franchise is now considered a 1990s pop culture classic, spawning a large line of action figures and other merchandise. A reboot was released in 2017, but it performed poorly in the box office.

Empire Records

The American coming-of-age comedy-drama followed a group of record store employees over the course of one exceptional day as they try to stop the store from being sold to a large chain.

Directed by Allan Moyle, the film starred a largely unknown ensemble cast including Anthony LaPaglia, Maxwell Caulfield, Debi Mazar, Rory Cochrane, Johnny Whitworth, Robin Tunney, Renée Zellweger, and Liv Tyler.

The film generated mostly negative reviews and major losses at the domestic US box office upon its release on Sept. 22, 1995, but has since become a cult hit, and was responsbile for launching the careers of several of its stars.

Empire Records is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Clueless

As if! The year 1995 also gave us the classic Clueless, a teen comedy loosely based on Jane Austen's Emma. The film starring Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Stacey Dash and Brittany Murphy chronicled the lives of Beverly Hills high school students and is considered one of the best teen films of all time. From the fashion to the lingo, this film has had a lasting impact on pop culture that endures even 25 years later.

The film was followed by a spin-off television sitcom that ran for three seasons, a series of books, and even a musical version that debuted off-Broadway in 2018. Paramount Pictures has announced that they are currently producing a remake/reboot with a modern update that will focus on the character Cher's best friend Dionne as the lead.

Clueless is available to watch on YouTube.

Pocahontas

On June 16, 1995, Disney gave viewers Pocahontas, an American animated musical, historical, romantic drama film loosely based on the real-life Native American woman. The film portrayed a fictionalized account of her historical encounter with Englishman John Smith and the Jamestown settlers that arrived from the Virginia Company.

Pocahontas was the sixth film produced and released during the period known as the Disney Renaissance (1989 to 1999) which followed commercial successes Aladdin (1992) and The Lion King (1994). While Pocahontas was highly successful at the box office, it did not receive the same accolades as other Disney films released earlier in the decade.

Pocahontas is available on YouTube.

The Net

Technology sure has changed in 25 years. Remember the good old days when the fate of the world depended on a floppy disk?

The Net's story focused on Angela Bennett, a computer programmer who stumbles upon a conspiracy hidden on a disk, putting her life and the lives of those around her in great danger.

The harrowing action thriller film starring Sandra Bullock along with Jeremy Northam and Dennis Miller, was released on July 28, 1995. While the premise was interesting for its time, the film did not manage to capture the same thrills as Bullock's previous film Speed, released the previous year. The Net spawned an American spinoff TV series starring Brooke Langton as Angela Bennett, which was cancelled after one season.

The Net is available on YouTube.

Mallrats

Mallrats is an American romantic buddy comedy film written and directed by Kevin Smith and starring Jason Lee, Jeremy London, Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani, Ben Affleck, Jason Mewes, Joey Lauren Adams, Michael Rooker, and Smith himself. This is the second film in the View Askewniverse (a fictional universe created by Smith and featured in several films, comics and a television series), with characters Jay and Silent Bob prominently featured.

Despite failing at the box office and receiving a lukewarm critical reception, Mallrats has since become a cult classic. A sequel called Twilight of the Mallrats is currently in development.

Mallrats is available to watch on YouTube.

Apollo 13

One of 1995’s biggest films was Apollo 13, the American space docudrama film directed by Ron Howard and starred Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Ed Harris and Gary Sinise.

The film that embedded the phrase,”Houston, we have a problem," as part of pop culture, dramatized the failed 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission, which was adaptated from the 1994 book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger.

Released to cinemas in the United States on June 30, 1995, Apollo 13 received critical acclaim and was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, though it ultimately lost to the next film listed below.

Apollo 13 is currently streaming on Netflix.

Braveheart

Braveheart took home the crown for “Best Picture of the Year” 25 years ago. The epic historical fiction war film was directed and co-produced by Mel Gibson, who portrayed William Wallace, a late-13th-century Scottish warrior.

Released on May 24, 1995, Braveheart received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances, directing, production values, battle sequences, and musical score. The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won five including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and Best Sound Effects Editing. A spin-off sequel, Robert the Bruce, was released in 2019, with Angus Macfadyen reprising his role.

Braveheart is currently streaming on Netflix.