Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Top 5 most popular 90s Disney films

If there's only one thing any 90s kid will remember about, well, being a 90s kid, it's Disney films. Disney was going through some sort of super phase and managed to churn out tons of great animated cartoon films at exactly the right time for us 90s kids.

I've compiled a list of the most popular ones. However, please note that it's actually incredibly hard to find out what people's top Disney films are, so I went to wikipedia and found some stats on how well they did at the box office and in dvd sales, which more or less does the job.

5. Pocahontas (1995). All time worldwide box office revenue- $346,079,773.

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that Pocahontas had done so well. I certainly loved it anyway, it was my favourite Disney film as a kid. This story was very, very loosely based on the true events of the first English settlers who went over to America, clashed with the Native Americans and a guy and a girl from each side fell for each other. It's all a bit Romeo and Juliet and to be honest, probably too grown up for little kids, especially little boys. However, there's no denying that it's a magical story with stunning visuals and this is probably what captivated audiences then and continues to do so today.

4. Beauty and the Beast (1991). All time worldwide box office revenue- $424,477,231.

I'm not surprised at all that Beauty and the Beast has done so well. It's got all the right ingredients to make it as a successful Disney film: fairy tale plot, cute secondary characters, catchy sing and dance scenes. The story is set in olden day France and tells of selfless Belle who takes the place of her father under house arrest to 'the beast' and teaches him the error of his ways. It's really quite magical and has something in it that everyone in the family will like, which is always a bonus.

3. Tarzan (1999).  All time worldwide box office revenue- $448,191,819.

Does anyone actually remember Tarzan? No? Thought not. Well actually some of you younger folk might, or anyone that got dragged along to see it at the cinema with their kid brother/sister. On the whole I'm not really sure why it did so well. In fact I'm not even sure if I've seen it at all.

2. Aladdin (1992). All time worldwide box office revenue- $504,050,219.

I knew this would be high up on the list. I remember all the hype about it at the time and the fact that literally everyone was going to see it. I thought it was alright I suppose, nothing to write home about though. Except for one thing: Robin Williams. His voice work as the genie is possibly the best thing he's ever done. Along with that, the action and lamps and wishes and everything else makes Aladdin the second biggest hit.

1. The Lion King (1994). All time worldwide box office revenue- $951,583,777.

Now this was a movie. Obviously everyone thinks this too as it is by far the most popular Disney film of the 90s and probably all time. It's taken tons of box office money, won loads of awards and continues to be featured on hundreds of 'best of' lists today. It certainly pulled out all the stops: the legendary Elton John did all the music (who can forget 'Circle of Life'), and an A list cast including Woopi Goldberg, Matthew Broderick and Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr Bean) were recruited to do the voice overs. But it's the epic story that grabbed viewers attention the most. Who can forget the tale of Simba, the lion cub who was forced into exile while being tricked into thinking he killed his father by his evil Uncle. It really grabbed at viewers heartstrings and has earned its rightful place as the reigning number one on the list!

Honorable mentions go to-

The Little Mermaid (1989). All time worldwide box office revenue- $211,343,479.

I was shocked when I discovered The Little Mermaid didn't make as much as some of the others in the box office, so I'm including it in the honorable mentions section. It wasn't actually released in 1989 which means it isn't technically a 90s film, but no one cares about tiny little insignificant details like that. Any true 90s child will remember it and how good it was, so all go out and buy the dvd so we can increase its rating!

Toy Story (1995). All time worldwide box office revenue- $361, 958, 736.

It's not traditionally animated, which is why I didn't include it in the above list. However, I thought I'd include it now because you can't write a post about 90s Disney films without including Toy Story, it's just not right. It was of course an amazing film and featured two of possibly the best kids film characters ever, Woody and Buzz. It was also the first film to be made entirely using that fancy CGI stuff which every kids film seems to be made of now.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Thomas the Tank Engine, Postman Pat and Fireman Sam and why 90s preschool TV is so much better than it is now!

Call me old fashioned, but I really don't think kids TV is what it used to be back in the day. Today out of curiosity, I turned on my TV to the kids channels. Not any old  kids channels, these were CBeebies and Nickelodeon. I mean one of them is made by the BBC, so they should be showing only top quality programming. Instead what I got was something called 'Grandpa in my Pocket'. Then next up, 'Peppa Pig'. To be honest, I don't really have a clue what 'Peppa Pig' is about. But what I do know is there's too many pigs and pink and it's too much of a cartoon. What I also know is that none of those programmes can hold a candle to all that stuff we got to watch in the 90s.

'Thomas and Friends'
One of these of course was 'Thomas and Friends' which followed the adventures of Thomas and some of the other trains in the station. Thomas (the blue one, just in case you used to live under a rock) was the nice one, Percy (the green one) was the mischievous one, and James (the red one) was the sometimes mean one. One great thing about the show was that Ringo Starr used to do the narration and voices, which for a kids show is pretty cool. At some point, even James Bond himself, Pierce Brosnan did the voice over.

Another great thing about the show was its catchy theme tune. Two other shows that had a catchy theme tune and were just as cool were 'Postman Pat' and 'Fireman Sam'.

'Postman Pat'
'Fireman Sam'

Both of these shows were incredibly similar as they were both about guy who had a job (postman or fireman) and had a lot of dealings within his town. Pat was very English, and Sam was very Welsh.

The good news is that all of these shows are still going today. The bad news is that they are now much worse. 'Thomas and Friends' and 'Fireman Sam' are now made using CGI, so they don't have that old school magic to them.

But the real news is Postman Pat. The Royal Mail stopped sponsoring it, as they apparently felt the character no longer fitted with the company's 'corporate image'. (what?) They probably should have just stopped making the show, but instead the creators gave Pat a new fancier job of head of the Special Delivery Service (again, what?). And with this new job comes new responsibility. Basically, the show now consists of him delivering 'special deliveries' in his new van and...a helicopter (?). The theme tune is even different, no longer referring to his 'bright red van', instead going, 'special delivery service, Pat's on his way...' To be honest it's all a bit confusing as Pat still looks like a village postman, yet he's flying around in helicopters like he's in MI5. Maybe he's having a midlife crisis...

Here's the damage:

But at least all three shows are still going today in one form or another, so kids have more to watch than just this:

'Grandpa in my Pocket'. I won't try and make fun of this, I think the picture covers that.

Here's some more:

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Toy scooters

Toy scooters, or 'kick scooters' which is apparently the official name, were pretty hot stuff back in the late nineties. For about a year or so pretty much every kid had one of these. Even quite a few adults had one. That is until like every good fad, they disappeared into obscurity never to be seen again.

However, unlike many good fads, they were actually useful. For the window in time in which these things were in fashion they were the ultimate tool for getting out of walking, but still getting exercise. And what's more, the exercise was fun! Parents capitalised on this of course, making sure the scooter was used to and from school, on trips to the supermarket, and on long, long, long family country walks.

Something about the design of the scooter screams millennium. Sleek, silver and different from anything else, they were very much a product of their time. Which is probably why they've come and gone. However, seeing as they were less hassle than a bike, lightweight, compact and eco-friendly, it's hard to see why these scooters ever went of fashion. Surely they'd be perfect for the city professional getting around town?

Err, perhaps not.  

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The tamagotchi

Do you remember the tamagotchi? The instant pet that required no cage cleaning, no hairs sticking to the furniture, and no messy little 'surprises' left on the carpet? In other words, a parent's dream. However, the one thing our old folks didn't bank on, was just how real our disappointment would be when our little electrical pet died. Which was a lot.

Yes, if you didn't constantly feed, play with and look after your tamagotchi when it was sick (yes, they sometimes got sick), then your pet wouldn't go through the next stage of growing up and would ultimately die. Seeing as trying to keep one of these alive required round the clock supervision, they were banned from schools. Teachers, already fed up with the usual 'can I go to the toilet Miss', clearly didn't have the patience for , 'Miss, can I go and feed my tamagotchi'. Obviously, this led to the poor little tamagotchis being neglected even more.

If you didn't look after your tamagotchi right, they would grow up to be bad little tamagotchis.

One thing's for sure, there's no denying that tamagotchis were cute. I say bring 'em back. They were fun, great company and came in all different colours!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Were you a 90s Child?

Did you spend Saturday mornings in front of the TV watching Live and Kicking? Drink milk from a cartoon at school break time? Dance around at school discos to The Spice Girls? If the answer's yes (or at least yes to the first two, if you were too cool even then to listen to The Spice Girls), then chances are you were a 90s kid.

It could be argued that the 90s, on the whole were a great decade. The big hair and over the top rock of the eighties was well truly buried, and the noughties hadn't quite arrived yet with their bombardment of mindless reality TV shows. The 90s were different. On their good days they had a bit of taste. Legendary bands were formed, classic TV shows were made. The Teletubies was first aired! (see, even the cheesy 90s stuff was pretty good).

But possibly the best thing of all about the 90s, was being a 90s kid. We had it good. And even if we didn't, how would we know any better? We were kids, anything involving action and bright colours was good.

This blog is 100% unashamedly committed to bringing you anything 90s related. Whether you were given it for Christmas, remember it from after school TV, or were staying up waaaaaaaaay after your bedtime, as long as it's from the 90s, you might see it on here.

Note- In recent times, whilst being firmly rooted in the here and now, I have also become somewhat preoccupied with the 90s. My screensaver is from Dawson's Creek. Nirvana is playing on iTunes. I just rented Urban Legend. (I am just too cool, people) I'm also bored. So this is the result...