10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (2024)

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10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (1)

By Maximilian Leunig

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10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (2)

The 90s were a decade of self-expression, coolness, and occasionally regrettable fashion choices. When it came to the cartoons made in this era, they were the ones that allowed cartoons to be silly and funny again, after the 80s reduced much of the art form to glorified toy commercials. Original cartoons like Ren and Stimpy, Darkwing Duck, and SpongeBob SquarePants helped bring new energy and humor to animated TV and are still revered as classics to this day.

Less frequently discussed but no less pivotal are the cartoons based on movies. Some are dismissed as more cash grabs, while others do a good job of expanding the universe of the films. In some cases, cartoons based on more adult works can help introduce the films and their characters to a younger audience. Many are still fondly remembered and well-discussed in the present, as they provide a valuable window into the past.

10 'The Lion King’s Timon and Pumbaa' (1995-99)

Developed by Bobs Gannaway & Tony Craig

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (3)

Not the most direct continuation of the Disney blockbuster, The Lion King’s Timon and Pumbaa is a comedy show focusing on its breakout characters, wisecracking meerkat Timon (Nathan Lane/Quinton Flynn/Kevin Schon) and kindhearted simpleton Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella). Not really having a giant overarching story, the series followed them traveling to places like Italy, Australia, New York, and Antarctica. Of course, Timon’s smug attitude and Pumba’s stupidity often lead them to fall into trouble with other animals and even human characters.

But this is not to say the rest of The Lion King cast were sidelined either. Simba (Cam Clarke) frequently showed up as a supporting character, and Rafiki (Robert Guillaume), Zazu (Jeff Bennet), and the Hyenas got their own segments. It doesn’t do anything groundbreaking, but it’s fun to see all these characters outside their roles in the movie, for some of them in a far less serious environment, providing a good supporting cast to a show that has fun with one of the great Disney duos.

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (4)
The Lion King (1994)

G

Animation

Adventure

Drama

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Release Date
June 24, 1994
Director
Rob Minkoff , Roger Allers
Cast
Matthew Broderick , Jeremy Irons , James Earl Jones

Runtime
88 minutes

Studio
Walt Disney Feature Animation

Watch on Disney+

9 'Beetlejuice' (1989-91)

Created by Tim Burton

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (9)

While the Beetlejuice movie is a beloved classic, it was this cartoon that cemented his role as the Ghost With the Most, known by 90s kids everywhere. Beetlejuice (Stephen Ouimette) is a ghostly con man, and his best friend is a pre-teen girl named Lydia Deetz (Alyson Court). Together, they make frequent travels to the Neither-world, full of monsters, creepies, and crawlies—but Beetlejuice is too much for most creatures of the night to handle.

Beetlejuice himself is a somewhat different character from his movie counterpart; while still gross, selfish, and creepy, he’s now got a (deeply hidden) good heart, and his jokes are made more out of a mischievous attitude than genuine malice. Lydia is far more positive and upbeat, even if she retains her gothic interests and fashion. But their dysfunctional friendship makes for a great pair, and the creatures and places they visit are interesting to see. With the visual sensibilities that only Tim Burton could provide, it’s a great cartoon if you’re in the mood for a fun, spooky watch.

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (10)
Beetlejuice

PG

Comedy

Fantasy

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Release Date
March 30, 1988

Director
Tim Burton
Cast
Alec Baldwin , Geena Davis , Annie McEnroe , Maurice Page , Hugo Stanger , Michael Keaton

Runtime
92 minutes

Writers
Michael McDowell , Larry Wilson , Warren Skaaren

Studio
Warner Bros. Pictures

8 'Men in Black' (1997-2001)

Developed by Diana Capizzi, Jeff Kline & Richard Raynis

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (16)

The most secret of all agencies is back, protecting the earth from the scum of the universe. Men in Black: The Series follows the events of the movie with one notable change: in this version, Agent K (Ed O’Ross/Gregg Berger) doesn’t retire and continues to be Agent J’s (Keith Diamond) partner. Agent J is also still regarded as a screw-up by the rest of the organization, despite saving the world on a daily basis.

While some of the continuity errors may stick out like a sore thumb (the MIB isn’t even located under 504 Battery Drive in this version), it still provides the sci-fi spy adventures we’ve come to expect from the Men in Black. It even deals with genuinely interesting concepts, including J running into people he knew before joining the MIB and examining how K joined up with them in the first place. Not a perfect adaptation of the movie, but a fun watch nonetheless.

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (17)
Men In Black

PG-13

Comedy

Action

Adventure

Sci-Fi

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Not available

Release Date
July 2, 1997
Director
Barry Sonnenfeld
Cast
Tommy Lee Jones , Will Smith , Linda Fiorentino , Vincent D'Onofrio , Rip Torn , Tony Shalhoub

Runtime
98

Writers
Lowell Cunningham , Ed Solomon

7 'Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures' (1990-91)

Created by Peter Hannan

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (22)

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures follows a similar format to the Back to the Future cartoon, with Bill S. Preston Esquire (Alex Winter/Evan Richards) and Ted Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves/Christopher Kennedy) going on adventures in their time-traveling phone booth, often helped by their futuristic friend Rufus (George Carlin/Rick Overton). The first season, produced by Hanna-Barbera, is a fun cartoon continuation, with Alex Winter, Keanu Reeves, and George Carlin reprising their roles from the movies, giving their animated adventures an authentic feel.

But the second season, produced by DIC Animation, completely overhauled the show, replacing the voice actors, animation, and even the theme song. To its credit, it did attempt to expand on what the time machine could do, taking Bill and Ted to places like classic literature, TV, and other, more cosmic locales. Still, it wasn’t enough to catch on and has somewhat undeservedly become forgotten by audiences.

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (23)
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

PG

Adventure

Comedy

Sci-Fi

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
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Not available

Release Date
February 17, 1989

Director
Stephen Herek
Cast
Keanu Reeves , Alex Winter , George Carlin , Terry Camilleri , Dan Shor , Tony Steedman

Runtime
90

Writers
Chris Matheson , Ed Solomon

6 'Back to the Future' (1991-92)

Created by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (28)

After the events of Back to the Future Part III, Doc (Christopher Lloyd/Dan Castellaneta) and Clara (Mary Steenburgen) have relocated to modern Hill Valley with their sons, Jules (Josh Keaton) and Verne (Troy Davidson). While the series keeps Marty (David Kaufman) and Doc in the spotlight, it places a greater emphasis on Doc’s sons' adventures through time. Jules takes a great deal after his father, wanting to become a scientist, whereas Verne acts much more like a typical 90s kid.

The animated setting allowed for a greater number of time-travel adventures compared to the movies. Now they could go to times such as the far future, the pirate age, the civil war, and even meet a few dinosaurs. While the writing wasn’t nearly as strong as the movies, it still had a fun sense of adventure and an educational approach towards science, thanks to segments hosted at the end of each episode by Doc and Bill Nye, the Science Guy.

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (29)
Back to the Future

PG

Adventure

Comedy

Family

Sci-Fi

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

Release Date
July 3, 1985
Director
Robert Zemeckis
Cast
Michael J. Fox , Christopher Lloyd , Lea Thompson , Crispin Glover , Thomas F. Wilson , Claudia Wells

Runtime
116
Writers
Robert Zemeckis , Bob Gale

5 'Aladdin' (1994-95)

Created by Tad Stones & Alan Zaslove

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (34)

Premiering with the direct-to-video movie The Return of Jafar, Aladdin followed the events of the original movie, with the titular Arabian hero (Scott Weinger) adjusting to his new life as a prince. With the help of his love Jasmine (Linda Larkin), monkey Abu (Frank Welker), magic carpet, former enemy Iago (Gilbert Gottfried), and, of course, the Genie (Dan Castellaneta), he also battles new enemies, including Mozenrath (Jonathan Brandis), Abis Mal (Jason Alexander), and Mirage (Bebe Neuwirth).

Aladdin was based on the classic 1001 Arabian Nights stories, so providing new adventures inspired by those stories is a logical way to continue the series. The new villains work well within the humorous yet adventurous tone, and the film’s vaudevillian sense of humor is kept intact. While Dan Castellaneta couldn’t fill the shoes left by Robin Williams during his feud with Disney, he still captured the essence of the character, bringing his experience voicing Homer Simpson to great effect.

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (35)
Aladdin (1992)

G

Animation

Adventure

Comedy

Family

Fantasy

Musical

Romance

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Release Date
November 25, 1992

Director
Ron Clements , John Musker
Cast
Scott Weinger , Robin Williams , Linda Larkin , Jonathan Freeman , Frank Welker , Gilbert Gottfried

Runtime
90 min

Writers
Ron Clements , John Musker , Ted Elliott , Terry Rossio , Ed Gombert , Burny Mattinson

Studio
Walt Disney Pictures

4 'Godzilla: The Series' (1998-2000)

Created by Jeff Kline & Richard Raynis

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (40)

While the 1998 Godzilla remake is loathed by most Godzilla fans, many have expressed a much kinder attitude toward this spin-off. After the previous Godzilla devastated New York, the creature left one last egg behind. When it hatches, it imprints on Dr. Nick Tatapolous (Ian Ziering), forming a closer relationship with humans compared to his predecessor. When the creature grows quickly to his predecessor’s size, he becomes an ally to humans against other giant mutated monsters that begin rampaging across the world.

Godzilla: The Series is a dramatic improvement from the film that preceded it. This incarnation of the giant radioactive lizard managed to come into his own as a protective monster. If nothing else, this Godzilla can actually unleash his atomic breath this time. While neither the animated series nor the live-action film are wholly accurate depictions of the king of the monsters, the animated version at the very least has the cool monster action the film was sorely missing.

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (41)
Godzilla (1998)

PG-13

Action

Sci-Fi

Thriller

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Release Date
May 20, 1998

Director
Roland Emmerich
Cast
Matthew Broderick , Jean Reno , Maria Pitillo , Hank Azaria , Kevin Dunn , Michael Lerner , Harry Shearer

Runtime
139 Minutes

Writers
Dean Devlin , Roland Emmerich

Studio(s)
TriStar Pictures , Centropolis Entertainment , Fried Films , Independent Pictures

3 'Jumanji' (1996-99)

Developed by Adelaide Productions

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (47)

Long before Welcome to the Jungle and The Next Level brought viewers inside the world of Jumanji, it was this animated spin-off that brought audiences inside the game. It begins with the same set-up as the film, with Judy (Debi Derryberry) and Peter Shepard (Ashley Johnson) discovering a mysterious, magical board game called Jumanji. But instead of the game coming into their reality, in this series, the kids are trapped inside the world of the game.

Now, with the help of fellow captive Alan Parish (Bill fa*gerbakke), they must fight for their lives, try to complete the game, and get back home. Jumanji: The Animated Series showed the beautiful but often dangerous world of the titular game in all its animated splendor, with an adventurous tone, a genuine sense of danger with new enemies such as The Stalker (Richard Allen), and an overarching plot that was surprisingly resolved at the end of the series.

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (48)
Jumanji

PG

Adventure

Family

Comedy

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Release Date
December 15, 1995
Director
Joe Johnston
Cast
Robin Williams , Jonathan Hyde , Kirsten Dunst , Bradley Pierce , Bonnie Hunt , Bebe Neuwirth

Runtime
104 minutes

Watch on Tubi

2 'Mighty Ducks' (1996-97)

Created by Marty Isenberg, Robert N. Skip, & David Wise

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (54)

Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series, among the last animated shows produced for Disney Afternoon, is extremely loosely based on the sports comedy film The Mighty Ducks. Except while that film was about a group of normal, human hockey players, this series follows a group of anthropomorphic ducks from an alternate dimension obsessed with hockey (to the point where the asteroids are shaped like pucks). Now they must protect the Earth from their alien enemies, the Saurians, while winning hockey at the same time.

Bearing practically no resemblance to its source material apart from utilizing a duck-themed hockey team in Anaheim, California, it certainly made for a radical departure beyond what audiences would have expected from a cartoon based on the original film. Still, it attempted a new direction for the franchise, and the combination of Tony Jay and Tim Curry as the lead villains is genius-level casting.

Mighty Ducks

Animation

Action

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Not available

Not available

Release Date
September 7, 1996
Cast
Brad Garrett , Jennifer Hale , Dennis Franz , Clancy Brown , Ian Ziering , James Belushi , Tim Curry , Tony Jay
Main Genre
Animation

Seasons
1

1 'The Mask' (1995-97)

Created by Duane Capizzi

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (56)

Stanley Ipkiss (Rob Paulson) is a meek, mild-mannered banker with a secret: he has an ancient mask that transforms him into a wild, crazy, cartoony superhero. Despite The Mask being somewhat more interested in having a party than being a hero and not having the best relationship with the police, he still manages to keep his heart in the right place, especially when dealing with villains such as Dr. Pretorius (Tim Curry), Lonnie the Shark (Glenn Shadix), and Skillit (Jason Marsden/Benny Grant).

The Mask has always felt like a superhero born out of a Looney Tunes cartoon, so jumping into an animated format was a match made in heaven. While less outwardly adult than the film and far less gory and adult than the comics it spawned from, it still had enough innuendo that kept the Mask’s gentlemanly anarchistic edge intact. It even got a crossover episode with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, putting two animated Jim Carrey characters onscreen together.

10 Animated '90s TV Shows Based on Movies (57)
The Mask

PG-13

Comedy

Crime

Fantasy

Romance

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Not available

Release Date
July 29, 1994

Director
Chuck Russell
Cast
Jim Carrey , Peter Riegert , Peter Greene , Amy Yasbeck , Richard Jeni , Orestes Matacena

Runtime
97 mins

Studio
New Line Cinema

NEXT: 12 Nostalgic '90s Cartoons You Definitely Forgot Existed

  • TV
  • Animation
  • Beetlejuice (1988)

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