what is this post-apocalyptic kids movie?
December 22, 2011 2:27 PM   Subscribe

What is this post-apocalyptic kids TV movie I saw in the 90s or early 00s?

I saw this movie on TV and I think it was a made-for-TV movie, could be mistaken. I would've seen it on Nickelodeon, Disney, or another kid-oriented basic cable channel, around 1996 - 2000ish. It took place after some sort of apocalypse.

What I remember of the plot is that some kids, probably siblings, are trying to find this mythical, lush, oasis place that weathered whatever caused devastation to civilization (dunno if it's ever explained in the movie). There are some post-apocalyptic society scenes, I remember tents, and some fire or explosions? I think they meet some sort of mystical type woman? They also make friends with at least one adult who is trying to find the promised land place with them too - I think he dies or otherwise doesn't make it with them. At the end they make it, I remember finding it kind of a let-down because there's no one else there - it wasn't a thriving civilization or even comfortable camp of survivors, it was like, an empty, but green, park. They do cartwheels with excitement, then the movie just ends.

What movie is this? I tried some googling and looking up made-for-TV movies of those channels from the 80s and 90s, but no luck.
posted by fireflies to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Could it be a segment of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome? The protagonist is rescued from the desert by a tribe of children living in an post-apocalyptic oasis. And there are certainly explosions.
posted by dws at 2:31 PM on December 22, 2011

Forgive me if this is an obviously wrong suggestion for whatever reason, but was it possibly Waterworld? There's only one kid in it, but the description of the deserted garden they arrive at at the end reminded me of Waterworld. And it has explosions as well.
posted by jrb223 at 3:31 PM on December 22, 2011

Response by poster: Definitely not Mad Max - I wouldn't have been allowed to see that at the time (I was around 10 I think) and my dad watched part of it with me (he would've noticed the non-kid-appropriate parts of a Mad Max movie and made me watch something else). I'm pretty sure that cartwheel bit I mentioned was at the very end, too.

It was probably inspired by the Mad Max trilogy though, like many apocalyptic movies. I also remember it being lower budget than Mad Max.

I don't think it was Waterworld, because I don't remember much water, but it could've been! My dad enjoyed the movie too, whatever it was, and Waterworld sounds like something he would like. I also may have missed the first 30 minutes or so of the movie, if that helps. I will see if I can get Waterworld from my library or something. Was it kid-appropriate? (My parents were really vigilant about that stuff, so if it wasn't, I would've been stopped from watching it.)
posted by fireflies at 3:40 PM on December 22, 2011

The Girl from Tomorrow? The miniseries aired ~1992 on (I think) PBS, but apparently there's a cut down, movie-length version that might have aired someplace else more recently.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:06 PM on December 22, 2011

I grew up in the 90s and somewhat remember a movie with that description. I tried searching around and couldn't find anything either with a description like that.

I have found a list here of post-apocalyptic movies. Hopefully a name on that list in the 80s/90s era might ring a bell.
posted by jwmollman at 4:36 PM on December 22, 2011

Oh--I really should have pointed to Part 2, which has the post-apocalyptic theme.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:41 PM on December 22, 2011

Response by poster: Oh man, I was really hoping it was Girl From Tomorrow - but I looked up clips on youtube and it's not. Looks totally bizarre though, so glad to know about it! I found youtube clips of Waterworld and that's not it either, though it does look like it ripped off a lot of the plot points. I think what I saw was probably rated G or PG. Once I read "miniseries" though I did start to think that maybe it was a miniseries and not a movie - maybe it's just power of suggestion, but it's certainly another direction to look in...

I did look through those wikipedia lists and it doesn't seem to be on there. I think it might be too obscure for wikipedia, whatever it is - their lists seem to just have major / influential / good movies. I found some lists people made on imdb of post-apocalyptic movies that aren't on wiki's list. (And still no luck!)

I might be overstating the explosions because they are what stick in my mind (I like explosions). I think that maybe the mystic lady or whoever made something explode, in some impressive way, in a tent city? I dunno, it's not much to go on, I realize.
posted by fireflies at 7:52 PM on December 22, 2011

posted by ellenaim at 7:59 PM on December 22, 2011

Seconding SolarBabies.
posted by emjay at 7:39 AM on December 23, 2011

Hmm, Waterworld was PG-13,which I suppose is a strike against it. I looked around for images from the ending, too but couldn't find anything useful. It was broadcast on ABC in 1998, though, which puts it in the right period for you to have seen it on TV...
posted by jrb223 at 12:24 PM on December 23, 2011

Response by poster: It is definitely similar to Solarbabies. It's possible I saw just one season of Solarbabies and thought it was a whole movie/mini-series, but it looks like there's more tech in Solarbabies (what I can find on youtube, anyway) that what I saw - in what I saw, there weren't vehicles, tanks, or anything like that, the characters just walk. I also thought for a hot second it might be Tank Girl, and it also seems similar to the Tribe, but it's none of those. Unfortunately it seems like it's just a really unoriginal movie or miniseries, which is making it hard to find! The costumes are very Mad-Max-ish, except, like, G-rated. Also no dragons or dinosaurs (which are in some other movies I've found while searching). There might be some sort of supernatural element, like maybe magic is sort of real? (If so it makes fire? I think?) But I'm not sure!

If anyone else happens onto this thread looking for a different post-apocalyptic movie... this post has some promising kid-oriented apocalypse movies (though none are the one I'm thinking of!) and here there's a really thorough list of apocalyptic movies of all types.
posted by fireflies at 4:24 PM on December 23, 2011

Long shot, but is it The Odyssey? Some of the stuff you mentioned doesn't fit but ...
posted by RobotHero at 9:30 AM on January 3, 2012

Best answer: Doom Runners? Wikipedia says it was broadcast on Nickelodeon in 1998.
posted by alyxstarr at 1:55 PM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: it's doom runners! yay!
posted by fireflies at 5:26 PM on January 17, 2012

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