For anyone nostalgic for the ‘90s, 1995 was pretty much the epitome of Blockbuster rental greats. Slumber parties would not have been the same without The Baby-Sitters Club and Clueless, and where would be be today in animation if not for Toy Story? It’s not just kids’ movies that took things to new levels either. Cult classics like Tank Girl and Welcome to the Dollhouse featured women we still fan out over today, while the likes of Friday and Billy Madison have kept us laughing all these years later. So to celebrate the big screen wonders of 1995, we’re taking a look at cosplay inspired by some of that year’s biggest and most influential films; from A Goofy Movie to Judge Dredd and everything in between.
25. Where The Water At?
Photo Credit: Alex
“25 years later, Tank Girl the movie is still a silly irreverent mess of a film,” says Teylor (@teylor_squirrel) a cosplayer who’s been creating looks based off their favorite characters for eight years now. They noted how inspired their style not only in fashion, but as an illustrator was heavily influenced by the movie and comics adding about Tank Girl, “She was the original chaotic badass, and in a hero landscape where women were either brainless sex objects or pinnacles of purity, she was neither. Tank was gross, and irreverent, and funny, traits women rarely got to see reflected back in themselves from cinema.”
24. Finish Him
Photo Credit: Marcus Faria
Video games were cute, fun adventures with Italian plumbers and quick hedgehogs until Mortal Kombat came into the picture. The fatalities alone were wild (for the time), and of course when Hollywood sees a chance to bank on something popular, they make a movie and three years after the game’s initial release, came the movie that ‘90s kids still adore today. ‘90s kids like Jhone (@jhonealmeidaa), an international cosplayer from Brazil who has adored Sub-Zero since he was a kid, “It is too gratifying to represent a character of such expression and with a sensational story.” Jhone considers cosplay a form of cosplay and “a loving way to honor the character.”
23. Do Not Go In There!
Photo Credit: Teknikpatta
When it comes to sequels that surpass the originals, look no further than Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. Jim Carrey is forever one of the comedy kings that reigned supreme in the ‘90s and was at his absolute best when he headed to Africa to try and recover a missing bat. We’re just happy to see Jonas (@hirenkyakyu) having so much fun with this iconic, hilarious scene.
22. Bond, James Bond
Photo Credit: Brian
Justin (@turbo_time_cosplay) attended his first con back in 2016, and has been cosplaying ever since. He’s done a lot over the years, but it’s his homage to Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond we’re focusing on today. His first introduction to the character, this is his Bond not only because of the movie but the Nintendo 64 game that went along with it, “Countless hours with friends playing multiplayer, rockets only, or slappers only, laughing til our sides hurt and yelling at each other.” To do his best Brosnan Bond, he said he just rocked the classic black suit - and if we may add, the Bond-confidence too!
21. A Goofy Crush
When it comes to Disney and the ‘90s, their renaissance, movies like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King and so on always get the limelight. Always. Leaving movies like The Goofy Movie to become sort of the cult classic among giants. I’m not sure why though as the soundtrack alone goes above and beyond thanks to Powerline’s additions. Anyways, what’s great about this 1995 masterpiece is that while not an Oscar-winner like most Disney movies, the cosplay that has come from it over the past 25 years has been delightful. Simple renditions made up of everyday clothing items, paired with some light makeup to give that “goof” look and bam, cosplayers like Melody (@melodiouspowah) are transformed!
20. Riddle Me This
Photo Credit: Themeshoots Photography
Jim Carrey has inspired more than his fair share of cosplays over the years, especially in 1995! From Ace Ventura to The Riddler, which we talked to Erin (@lucky13artcosplay) about since she did such an amazing job on her Riddler cosplay that took a whopping four months to complete. “ I have several cosplays based on characters he has portrayed. As for the Riddler in particular, I’d always wanted to take on a bigger project but was too nervous by the workload to get started. Then a con announced Val Kilmer was going to be a guest and I told myself, ‘It is time!’”
19. As If!
Desmond is Amazing (@desmondisamazing) started doing drag back in 2014, and has always incorporated a cosplay element, “I love challenging myself to see if I can do a good impression of a celebrity, icon, singer, movie star, etc. I think that makes me different from a lot of drag queens who create one drag character. I don't really have a dedicated drag character that I do.” Being that Desmond is Amazing is the youngest cosplayer on the list, and not even born when Clueless was all the rage, one had to wonder how this look came to be. Thanks to movie nights with mom, Desmond is Amazing discovered not only the movie, but Cher Horowitz. Falling in love with Cher’s comedic charm and personality, doing this look was a no brainer!
18. Houston, We Have A Cosplay
Hollywood loves to take real life events and add a little drama to them. Which is what they did with Tom Hanks’ Apollo 13 back in the day. Not a hard cosplay to do, just so long as you can get your hands on an astronaut suit and don’t mind the weight of it all like Petra (@petra.kubatova) here!
17. Sound Revenge
When it comes to movies like Antonio Banderes’ Desperado, Raul (@cosplaybyraul) admits, “They don't make them like they used to.” Being a skilled cosplayer with a few years under his belt, he sewed all the leg chains and buttons, and even crafted the mariachi jacket too. For Raul, his cosplay wasn’t just about the movie but about showcasing his heritage, “It's great to find a Mexican hispanic character to emulate.”
16. What Year Is It?!
This King of the Jungle only spent about $30 on this Jumanji cosplay, but the reactions to it seemed to have been priceless. “This Alan Parrish costume was worn only once at C2E2 2020, and the response was overwhelming and honestly emotional. Robin is still very loved and this pulled on some heart strings and got quite a few tears on the con floor,” says Joe (@joedigusto). A cosplayer who loves to create looks based on things he loved as a child, Joe was happy to bring this character to the con floor because it’s not just a movie that is special to him, but one his children love, and one he know his future grandchildren will appreciate just as much because as he put it best, “Robin’s work isn't going to fade soon.”
15. Welcome to Mega-City One
Photo Credit: David Ngo
With an interest in law, Stephanie (@scuba.steph) said she was blown away the first time she watched Judge Dredd in theaters, “It ended up being one of my favorite movies ever,” adding, “I love that a character exists that is the judge, jury and executioner. Eliminating cops as a whole is such an interesting idea.” With not many women rocking this look, it’s one of her favorites to wear to this day!
14. The Outcast Hero
Photo Credit: Yaroslav Astakhov
Back in the day animated movies came from every which way, not just Disney, Pixar, and the occasional Dreamworks hit. That’s why we have the greats like The Land Before Time series, Anastasia, and Balto. Oh Balto, the mutt in Alaska no one wanted around but who wound up saving a town of sick children. A true story that taught us the importance of medicine as kids. While one could have just tossed on a dog and/or wolf costume, Moin (@_moincosplay_) and her partner here went for a more human approach and the results are stunning.
13. Our Freedom!
Photo Credit: Sean Harry
When textbooks fail to teach history, turn to the big screen. At least when it comes to epic war tales like the one found in Braveheart. This cosplayer served up Scottish warrior realness, complete with the painted face that has been iconic since this movie’s 1995 release.
There are cosplays out there that take a lot of time, money, and energy and we love them. There are also cosplays you can do with what you already have in your closet, and we love those just as much. Take Tony (@polk.madetony) and Delony’s (@deloneylyttle) Friday cosplay for example. They had the right outfits and were able to pull this one off with ease.
11. Happy Rex Manning Day
Lisa (@notpennyscosplay) wanted nothing more than to work at a record store and applied the second she was able to. With that, it’s no surprise that Empire Records holds a special place in her heart, “At one point in the film Eddie says to Mark, ‘Music is the glue of the world.’ It’s always been what I turn to whenever things get overwhelming or the man gets me down.” So when she saw that Johnny Whitworth and Ethan Embry were coming to her local convention, she rocked not only her best Corey cosplay but also her name badge from that first record store job, only she covered one side with ‘Empire’ graphics.
10. Writing Home From Camp Hope
Nathan Lee has been casually cosplaying for what seems like forever, but more so the past decade alongside his sister (@moonlightmotelcosplay). Taking inspiration from the promotional aspects of Heavyweights he paid homage to Josh, who he notes is “one of the funnier kids in the film.” Nathan Lee rocked this Camp Hope cosplay for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, “I love Disney animation but feel the live action doesn’t get enough love. ‘Heavyweights’ is one of the many great ones that I love.”
9. Truth or Date
Photo Credit: morbidb
When it comes to Kevin Smith, John (@johncarlosmcmaster) is a definite fan. He’s done everyone from Jay and Silent Bob with a friend to this one of Brodie from 1995’s Mallrats. A casual, closet cosplay that only superfans of the iconic writer/director/actor would recognize on the convention floor.
8. Dear Diary
Between his time on Growing Pains and becoming every tween and teens crush in Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio did ‘The Basketball Diaries.’ Not the most lighthearted movie on the list, Dollspii (@Dollspii) dug deep for this cosplay.
7. Can I Keep You?
Photo Credit: JX
Almost a decade of cosplaying and Paladin (@paladinmabel) says this Kat Harvey look from Casper is one of her favorites. Not only because of her admiration for the character, but because her dad’s nickname happens to be Casper, and she’s always had a fascination with the aesthetics of a haunted house. Addicted to Kat’s white dress, she set out to make it herself and did just that after recovering from having her wisdom teeth removed. Talk about being dedicated to the craft!
6. She’s a Loner
Photo Credit: Elio Winter
There isn’t a weirdo alive who’s seen Welcome to the Dollhouse and didn’t instantly relate to Dawn Weiner. The middle child, the outcast, the oblivious fashion icon. Dawn Weiner is quintessential to the lives of many, including Leeanne (@leeannraye) who is seen here rocking her best Dawn look, ruffled top and high-waisted pants of course!
5. Counting Sheep
Photo Credit: Marco Novello
While Giorginadee (@giorginadee) has been cosplaying almost as long as Toy Story has been around, she admits that she didn’t appreciate the Pixar classic when it first came out. She only rediscovered it years later when she was packing up to move with her husband and had to decide between her favorite things. In the end her “Woody,” a teddy bear made the cut and it is with her to this day. As for her cosplay, she admits Bo Peep isn’t the easiest to do because while her large skirt looks simple, it’s hard to sew but the result it worth it because of what a great character Bo is, “She has a sweet and cute appearance, but she's strong and a powerful woman/lamp.”
4. Life Hack
Angelina Jolie’s Kate was one of Shodan’s (@shodans_server) first fictional crushes and because of that, she had to pay respect by rocking this look from Hackers, “She's smart, she kicks ass, and she's got fantastic style. I wish I could dress like her every day!,” adding “The makeup design for this look is so cool - red eyeshadow with white eyeliner, very unusual for the era. I love doing characters that have unusual makeup!” While Shodan was only four when Hackers was originally released, this cosplayer admits it’s still one of the best, “It still absolutely slaps - everything from the costumes, the graphics, the SOUNDTRACK - and is cheesy in all the best ways.”
3. Go! Go! Power Rangers!
Photo Credit: Dan Eden
Growing up, Katie (@thatktbcosplaygirl) missed out on Power Rangers because of her conservative Christian household but she admits she’d sneak it in every once in a while. With that, she didn’t see the 1995 movie until 2014 with a group of friends who dubbed it a “good bad movie.” She agrees with that sentiment but loves it all the same. She also loves the casual cosplay the movie presented and the Rangers color coordinated outfits when out of their suits. What’s great about this look is that while it seems simple, it’s far from it! Katie thrifted these Kimberly pieces; cropped the top, dyed the shorts and socks, painted Nike swoosh on the sneakers, made the watch out of craft store materials and even dyed her hair to match Kim’s brown hue.
2. All the Cool Kids Pee Their Pants
Armed with thrift store finds, Selina (@doubleohsquee) and her husband did their best Billy Madison and Miss Lippy because the couple that cosplays together, stays together, right? They love to do couple cosplays, especially characters they feel are underappreciated, and couldn’t deny this one from one of Adam Sandler’s best, “Billy Madison holds up for what it is; a comedy that didn't take itself seriously then and I'm pretty sure no one takes it seriously now. Some jokes fall flat and are insensitive but a movie with a giant penguin running in a meadow towards Chris Farley is still okay in my book.”
1. Colors of the Wind
Photo Credit: Kiet Pham
Irene’s (@cosplaycounselor) has spent the last three and a half years cosplaying strong women and Pocahontas is one of them. With "Colors of the Wind" and "Just around the Riverbend" being two of her favorite songs, and admiring Pocahontas’ kind heart, wisdom, and adventurous spirit - this cosplay is one of her favorites and one she does often. And when she does, she always rocks a new temporary tattoo to match the animated heroine. Irene even admits that perhaps one day she may make it permanent. As for the movie, this cosplayer believes the ideas of this Disney classic are still important today, “The idea of treating everyone with respect despite the color of one's skin is still a conversation we have today.”