So, there are 54 Disney Classic movies, with 53 of them available on DVD (I also want to add in here I now own all 53, including some sequels) Number 54 is of course Big Hero 6 and it hasn’t been released in UK cinema’s yet. Out of all 54 of these, there are only about half that have authentic merchandise available to buy because these are considered the “popular” movies. I’m not going to deny that some of them are also some my favourite, such as Frozen, Tangled, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid & Beauty and the Beast. In fact, I love all the Princess movies. But the rest of my favourites are actually what I’d consider some of the most underrated Disney movies. And the top five are what I’m going to share on the blog today.
I actually found it quite hard to narrow it down just to five, so I have honorable mentions to Treasure Planet, because the soundtrack is fab.. and Joseph Gordon Levitt is Jim Hawkins. Brother Bear, again.. the soundtrack is awesome the second movie to feature songs from Phil Collins and “On My Way” is possibly one of my top Disney songs ever. The Rescuers & The Rescuers Down Under. We actually watch both quite often as Little Miss loves all movies with mice in EXCEPT Basil the Great Mouse Detective (I’m actually considering a post about LM’s favourite Disney movies..) and finally, The Sword in the Stone. You know you’ve watched it way too many times when you know all the words to Hockety Pockety Wockety Wack, which both my sister and I do. Anyway, these are the movies that did make my list;
The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Firstly, it’s in Paris and it’s based on a book by Victor Hugo. Although it’s not exactly true to the story (it would not have been suitable for children if it was) I love it’s make over with Disney magic. When I used to go to Walt Disney World as a child there was a show based on the movie, which is actually to this day my favourite WDW show ever, you could also meet the characters. But these days it’s like it doesn’t even exist much to my disappointment. I love the characters, and especially the songs which is why it’s one of the movies I keep going back and watching when I’m bored in the evening. Frollo is possibly one of the most evil Disney villains ever.. you see it more as a grown up because he’s purely out for revenge because Esmeralda wouldn’t sleep with him! Hell Fire is also such a deliciously evil song. This movie was one of my favourites growing up, so much so that two girls in our neighbourhood, my sister and I attempted to put it on as a show. I was OBVIOUSLY Esmeralda (which is why to this day I know every word to God Help The Outcasts haha) and I remember not so fondly attempting to swing around a lamp post one summer… If you haven’t watched this movie in years, I recommend you go back and see it through adult eyes, for me it was even better.
The Emperor’s New Groove. I have no idea why after it’s released Disney completely side swept this movie! I remember it being released and you could get practically nothing in the stores for it, and as far as I know you have never been able to meet & greet any of the characters. Why, I’ll never know. It has some of the best one liners ever. Again, my sister and I watched this growing up so often that we can still quote it. My dad loves it, and “Boom Baby” is still one of his personal catch phrases. While Frollo may have been one of the most evil villains, Yzma had to be possibly the funniest, and the way the characters described her still cracks me up. It had a great all star voice cast, a good if ridiculous plot line, and for all the guys who hate the singing that usually goes have in hand with a Disney movie, no songs! I always feel that The Emperor’s New Groove is so underrated that people forget it’s even a Disney movie and lump it with the Road to El Dorado (another movie I happen to like). I recently watched the sequel Kronks New Groove on Netflix and that wasn’t too bad either. It starred the same cast (something that is so important to me enjoying a Disney sequel) and the storyline was okay.. not as good as the first but I’d definitely consider buying it on DVD.
Hercules. I know for a fact I don’t stand alone in feeling like this is a very underrated Disney movie. My best friend Bee loves this movie and we often talk about how much we hate the fact it’s not considered worthy of merchandise. Like with The Emperor’s New Groove, after it’s released Disney barely acknowledged it despite giving it it’s own TV series (which I recently watched with LM and she loved it). However one of my best ever character meets was with Hercules himself, I definitely swooned. My sister did manage to own a Meg doll.. but I remember desperately wanting a Meg dress and being unable to get one. Meg is definitely up there as one of my favourite Disney females. Her sass and attitude are brilliant. I know Hades is my dad’s favourite villain and like with The Hunchback of Notre Dame the soundtrack is one of the best. I’d put it up there with Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. In fact, aside from For The First Time in Forever, I’d say I Won’t Say I’m In Love is one of my favourite songs. Although the story is so far from the original tale of Heracles that it could be considered a completely different story, I still enjoy it and it’s Greek myth references.
The Black Cauldron. I may be more alone in my love for this underrated classic, but I stand by my choice having watched it recently again on Netflix. Based on The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, The Black Cauldron actually stands second in the series. Having been a huge fan of the books growing up, that’s possibly where the love of the movie comes from. It’s dark, a little bit scary and I wouldn’t dare let LM watch it until she’s much older. It definitely shows a darker side of Disney. But the story is the classic fantasty, a witless hero, rescues a damsel (whom, although she sounds like Snow White, is able to stand her ground) and they embark on a perilous journey together. I love it. In particular Gurgi this fuzzy little creature that turns from a coward into the one who ends up saving the day. And Princess Eilonwy which is possible my favourite name ever. She is definitely the most forgotten of all the Disney princesses, she even has “princess” in her name yet isn’t even counted along with the others.
Tarzan. Like with The Hunchback of Notre Dame this was a movie Disney cared about promoting. You used to be able to regularly meet Jane Porter, Terk and Tarzan around Disney World. There was even a show at Animal Kingdom called Tarzan Rocks! Which was pretty damn awesome.. but over the years it has fallen out of the lime light. You can on occassion still meet the characters but the show is long gone, along with all the merchandise. My sister LOVED Jane Porter and I loved the spin on an old story. But most of all I loved the music. The soundtrack is mainly Phil Collins and it just goes perfectly with the movie. Although I wouldn’t say Tarzan is as underrated as the rest of them I definitely don’t think it gets the recognition it deserves like it has in the past.
What are your favourite underrated Disney movies?