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The Ten Worst Disney Sequels
The Ten Worst Disney Sequels
Between 1994 and 2008, in an effort to make more money Disney made direct to video sequels off their classic and beloved movies. Most of these sequel movies were pale imitations of the original movie that recycle plots and characters. Even the not so bad ones still fail to live up to their source material.
However, there some of these movies that just so bad that they insult the original Disney movies and are nearly unwatchable even for sleepy children.
This is a Top Ten List of the Worst Disney sequels. Mostly they are ranked based in how bad they are and how they reflect the original movie.
The Little Mermaid; Ariel’s Beginning
The Little Mermaid; Ariel’s Beginning was the last direct-to-video Disney sequel of the dark ages when Disney sequels were a thing. It came out in 2008 and was a prequel to the events of original Disney movie, The Little Mermaid.
One of the big issues problems with this movie is despite claiming the movie is about Ariel, it's really is about Sebastien and how he got his position as Court Composer, which is not a story that was needed nor did anyone in the world have interest in knowing about. Ariel’s love and curiosity for the human world would have been more interesting and given the title of the movie that story was the promised plot.
The movie also more about Triton getting over his dislike for music and Ariel getting a supposed interest in it with Sebastien being in the middle. There also a villain who while unlikable is actually in the right. Marina del Ray was better at the job than Sebastien. Also the movie gets a very fundamental fact about Manatees wrong in that they do not live in the deep ocean but that is part of what makes a lot of these sequels infuriating.
While The Little Mermaid; Ariel’s Beginning does offer better animation than your apt to find in the Disney sequels the movie story from not being Ariel’s Beginning.
The Little Mermaid II; Return to the Sea
The Little Mermaid II; Return to the Sea is a direct sequel to the Little Mermaid. Released in 2000 is more of unrepentant copy rather than actually sequel with story just reversed. Instead of loving the land, Ariel’s daughter, Melody, loves the sea and becomes a Mermaid.
This reversal makes Ariel in Triton’s role of the parent that just doesn’t understand. Ariel even says some of Triton’s lines from the original verbatim. This is not the only aspect of the original that is copied, the villain is Ursula 2.0 except more inept and wholly unlikable. Her name is Morgana and she is actually Ursula’s crazy Sister, that is a line in the movie.
If the story and the villain are not enough of duplicate, the movie also uses the same animation from the original. For example Melody does Ariel’s signature flip from a Part of your World.
The Little Mermaid II; Return to the Sea masquerades of as sequel but it's a lazy copy that only offered a new material was the duo of a Walrus and Penguin which should not happen except at Zoo show and a Hammerhead Shark in the Arctic which could not happen. That's how uninteresting this movie is, it makes you fixate on animals habitats and not the story or the characters.
The Jungle Book II
The Jungle Book II was one of the few Disney sequels that had a theatrical release along with Peter Pan 2: Return to Neverland and some shorts. It was released in 2003 and follows Mowgli as he adjusts to life in the human village or man village.
Much like the other sequels, this takes a predictably safe route with regards to the story. Mowgli doesn’t like rules and leaves the village to return his old friends in the Jungle. The issue is that Mowgli in the original movie was a blank slate character as he just reacted to more interesting characters. He should not be the main character who has to learn something. Aside from that none of the other characters are interesting or have much of a point, like the movie itself.
There isn't much more to say on this sequel as it's just an annoying little movie with Shere Khan and Kaa being only marginally tolerable characters. It’s better to just go watch TaleSpin if you like the Original movie and want more.
Lady and the Tramp II; Scamp’s Adventure
Much like The Little Mermaid II; Return to the Sea, Lady and the Tramp II; Scamp’s Adventure also follows the offspring of the original I.E Scamp who was briefly seen at the end of the original movie. It was released in 2001 and is par for the course of the Disney sequels, it misses the point entirely of the original.
Stylistically Lady and Tramp was about a dog trying to make sense of the human world from a dog’s view point. This is why we never see Lady’s owners faces and why the called by terms of endearments. However there are more issues than a clash of styles.
Scamp is just annoying and lacks all sense of charm even though he is a puppy. He has a bad ego for no reason and thinks he is tough and talented. But more than that, it is the child/parent in reverse plot, Scamp wants to be a street dog and berates his dad for not understanding him because Tramp lied about being street dog.
Also Scamp’s romance with other puppy, Angel, because it was Lady and now it’s Angel, it very forced and the fact they are puppies makes it board-line creepy.
Whatever charm the original Lady and the Tramp had, Lady and the Tramp II; Scamp’s Adventure spits all over for goofier cringeworthy movie that made puppies unlikable which is unforgivable.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
Beauty and the Beast suffers from a weird issue within the scope of making a sequel. To have a sequel the Beast needs to be a human. People however didn’t like the Beast as a human which flies in the face of the message the original movie, and thus the dreaded mid-quel was born.
Mid-quel for those of you lucky people who don’t know, is a story that occurs at some point in the middle of the original story. This way the Beast can still retain his beastly form and they get to make a bonus movie for a quick buck.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas was released in 1997 and is one of the few holiday movies they made, though Winnie the Pooh movies often center around a holiday.
The timeline of Beauty and the Beast has alway been a little shaky, so whose to say Christmas didn’t occur while Belle was at the castle and the Beast was still cursed. I for my part alway thought it was a fairly short stay but who really knows. All we know about when this story occurs post Wolf attack but before the Beast gives Belle the library, so the relationship between Belle and the Beast is rather rocky.
The plot is Belle wants to celebrate Christmas but Beast hates the holiday because that is the day he was cursed. There is also a Emo organ, played by Tim Curry who likes the curse and wants to keep the Prince a Beast because he now appreciates his music. The animation on the organ is very jarring and doesn’t fit in with the look of the rest of the movie.
The real problem is this a very typical Christmas movie with Beast acting the part of Scrooge or the Grinch but the bigger issue is Belle is reduce to just wanting to make the Beast happy.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II
The idea of a sequel to The Hunchback of Notre Dame is downright comical when you think of the original novel by Victor Hugo but given the many different movie versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame where the good guys live it’s not that far off considering this is the case in the Disney version.
The main reason for why this particular sequel from 2002 exists is only because people feel Esmeralda was shallow for not picking Quasimodo as a romantic love interest given him saving her life, so the sequel corrects this by giving Quasimodo a girlfriend.
While from the Disney perspective of the story, Quasimodo getting a romance is not fundamentally wrong, the sequel doesn’t handle it well. Madeline is introduce as very pretty young women who much like Quasimodo is the victim of emotional abuse of her care-giver. This means Madeline has low self-esteem and Quasimodo says and does whatever he can to get her to like him. He claims he thinks there is more to her than just her looks but never offers any examples to help flesh out the relationship. It all comes off as desperate and shallow which goes against the point of the movie since Quasimodo just thinks she is pretty.
The Fox and the Hound 2
Oh, help me! Give me strength to finish this list
Released in 2006 The Fox and the Hound 2 is actually a mid-quel of the original movie where Todd and Copper are still cute babies and best friends before society separates them forever. Given the bittersweet natural of the original movie and the sadness of the original 1977 novel it should be no surprise that Disney messed this mid-quel up to the point of insanity!
The plot of this movie is that Copper joins a country music band of singing dogs and Todd gets jealous. Just process that, a dog country band!
This movie mere existence ruins the plot of original as we see their childhood innocence and friendship is never in question and yet at one point a band pulled them apart? It's worse too because as adorable as a baby fox and puppy are they can not even distract the viewer from this vapid movie.
Kronk’s New Groove
As an idea, the 2005 sequel to The Emperor's new Groove, Kronk’s New Groove seems like a great idea as Kronk was a highlight of the original movie. The execution of the movie ruins that seemingly good idea.
Kronk’s strength was that he was a good comic foil to Yzma. By separating the duo Kronk’s goofy antic don’t land effectively. Kronk is best in small doses and not as a main character. He also doesn’t change or have an arc ergo he doesn’t have a new groove as he is the same. Your joke title doesn't work movie!
Another issue is that the movie suffers from a three story structure where there are three short stories told instead of semi-fluid narrative. It also is made-up of references to other better movies instead of actual comedy. These movies included but are not limited to, Lord of the Rings, Titanic and Lady and the Tramp.
It's worth mentioning that the Pre-Columbian setting is not even remotely authentic, not that it was in original but the original seems more like reality than this even tries to be. Epcot Manchu Picchu would have more integrity!
Belle’s Magical World
Belle’s Magical World was released in 1998 and is the second Beauty and the Beast mid-quel as well as the last. who thought Mid-quels were a good a idea for a story that takes over a couple of weeks tops? As child I thought it was day given Maurice.
Much like Kronk’s New Groove instead one narrative, there was four stories. This gives Belle’s Magical World a sense that it was more a pilot for a TV show than as a movie.
Each story features a lesson which is seemingly useless given the natural of the mid-quels. Aside from wrecking the the integrity of the original, this movie is dull and takes character that were likable and coming into their character arcs and just stopping it for a new pointless childish lessons, like working together and Seasonal affective disorder.
Atlantis: Milo’s Return
Released in 2003, Atlantis: Milo’s Return is yet another Disney sequel to follow the multi-story structure. The stories do build off each other as the characters find weapons of Atlantis but there is nothing to the characters, they are uninteresting. It is very painful to watch and as well as the stories are forgettable at best.
As is standard is all the Disney sequels, the animation is subpar even compared to the other sequels. The colors are super muted and lifeless, which makes it look boring. It's far and away the worse looking sequel of all the Disney sequels and the most soul-stealing.
This is just garbage compared to original and the original was just average at best.
One positive, the lava dog was cute. The movie should have just been the dog sleeping for hour, that would have been so much better.
Which Disney Sequel on the list is your Least Favorite?
Peter Pan 2: Return to Neverland
Originally this tied with The Jungle Book II but this movie is a little less annoying and at least it had some decent character development.