In our countdown to the upcoming Animation Addicts Podcast episode featuring Disney’s 1973 feature, Robin Hood, we thought it would be a good idea to go down memory lane and take a look at a handful of Disney Classics that just don’t get that much love. Long overshadowed by movies like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Tangled, these movies lie dormant in the Disney Vault, only brought back to our memories when Disney decides to re-release them on home video.
These ten Disney movies are pretty good, just not engrained in the public consciousness that strongly. So without further ado, The Rotoscopers bring you:
TEN OVERLY UNDERRATED DISNEY CLASSICS
1. FANTASIA (1940): One of the more popular films on this list, Fantasia is a gorgeous conglomeration of classical music and high quality animation. Soaring sequences, eye-popping colors and dazzling moments make this a true classic. Too bad the masses find it high brow and inaccessible.
WATCH IT FOR: A sequence where Mickey Mouse dons an iconic blue hat.
2. ROBIN HOOD (1973): Disney’s anthropomorphic adaptation of the Robin Hood legend features foxes, bears, lions and snakes. It’s a light, breezy film with just enough romance, action and fun songs to keep you entertained. Just ignore the fact that Baloo and Kaa from The Jungle Book have supporting roles in this one.
WATCH IT FOR: A chicken playing badminton.
3. THE ARISTOCATS (1970): The jazz music is enough reason to watch this one. There’s something for everyone- be it the engaging story or the adorable kittens.
WATCH IT FOR: Everybody Wants To Be A Cat. Enough said.
4. TREASURE PLANET (2002): This space-age spin on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic book “Treasure Island” has plenty of dazzling, breathtaking sequences to keep the sci-fi fan in you happy. It also has a heart at the core. Makes you wonder why it bombed at the box office.
WATCH IT FOR: A ship! Flying! In space!
5. THE RESCUERS (1977): This fun-filled tale with mice, seagulls and alligators is actually one of the best Disney films of the 70s (if not the best). Although you may not immediately love the sub-standard animation and mediocre songs, the movie will definitely be one you want to revisit.
WATCH IT FOR: The “Rescue Aid Society” song.
6. THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG (2009): Disney’s 2009 hand-drawn effort takes the story of The Frog Prince and turns it on its head. We also get our first ever African American princess, Tiana, who is a worthy role model for today’s young girls. Although the movie was a financial disappointment, it is another gem in Disney’s crown- of course overshadowed by a certain princess movie featuring 70 feet of hair.
WATCH IT FOR: The articulate portrayal of 1920s New Orleans.
7. THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE (1986) This awesome Sherlock Holmes-inspired movie starring an all-animal cast was one of Disney’s brightest spots of the 80s. Memorable characters like Basil and Ratigan make this a very underrated classic.
WATCH IT FOR: A climax which includes a mouse, pedaling a propeller, in front of Big Ben. Only in Disney movies.
8. THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1996) Disney was considered the last studio to adapt Victor Hugo’s dark, gothic tale set in Renaissance Paris. The resulting animated movie is equally dark, scary and tragically beautiful. Although you’d be hard pressed to remember more than a couple of the songs long after, the movie is gorgeously animated and well executed. Just ignore the wisecracking gargoyles.
WATCH IT FOR: Esmeralda’s stirring performance of “God Help The Outcasts”
9. THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE (2000) Arguably Disney’s funniest animated classic ever, The Emperor’s New Groove is wacky, whimsical and has no dearth of laugh out loud moments. At the same time, it has a great story and is overall just a great film. Also: enjoy Disney’s kookiest villian to date.
WATCH IT FOR: “I’ll turn him into a flea! A harmless little flea! And then I’ll put that flea in a box. And then I’ll put that box inside of another box. And then I’ll mail that box to myself. And when it arrives- ah ha ha ha!- I’ll smash it with a hammer! It’s brilliant, brilliant, BRILLIANT I tell you!” – Yzma.
10. THE SWORD IN THE STONE (1963) This adaptation of the King Arthur legend tends to get overlooked all the time. It’s funny, sweet and although it doesn’t match the high standards of preceding movies like Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians, it has fun, humor and heart in the right amounts.
WATCH IT FOR: A hilarious wizard’s duel between Merlin and Madam Mim.
So those are our picks. What are YOUR most underrated Disney movies? Show them a little love: watch them today!
Don’t miss the upcoming episode of the Animation Addicts Podcast with The Rotoscopers, featuring Disney’s Robin Hood, this Friday!