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  • Writer's pictureLoren Javier

FIVE Underappreciated Disney Animated Films

I was recently talking to a friend about how it drives me crazy that Disney pays all this attention to certain animated features while virtually not talking about others. It got me thinking about FIVE Disney Animated films I think are definitely underappreciated.

Photo: Disney

Home On The Range

When they announced that Home On The Range would be Disney's last traditional hand drawn animated movie (it actually wasn't as they would release two more years later), I thought this can't be it. Without watching it, I wrote the film off because I felt Disney was betraying the art form in favor of fancier computer animated features (which I've now grown to appreciate) and that they lost the magic. I didn't end up watching it years later and I'm kicking myself for having taken so long. I love this film. The story is sweet, the art is beautiful in its stylization and the music is great. I know they dressed up Big Thunder Ranch with a Home On The Range theme, but you never hear anybody talk about the film. I love to take this movie out every so often to enjoy. It deserves much more credit than it gets.

Photo: Disney

Meet The Robinsons

I think Meet The Robinsons is such an underappreciated film, which is a shame because I could definitely see Tomorrowland attractions based on this movie. The future is alive today! I think the story is a unique one for Disney. Having three nephews who are adopted, I appreciated the message about family being the one you build. But aside from that, it's just such a fun film that captures as well as it can the charming illustrations of William Joyce. The scene where Lewis tries to get back to the garage and meets all the members of the family. So off the wall and funny! Its also got a great soundtrack, including a cover of the classic "There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" by They Might Be Giants. And, the film has one of the most fun and sympathetic villain in the Bowler Hat Guy.

Photo: Disney


Bolt was another film I didn't watch in the theater. I'm not exactly sure why. I love dogs. I love superheroes. Why wouldn't I see a movie about a superhero dog? Bolt came at an interesting time. It could be seen as the end of a bit of dead time for Disney. It was shortly after this that Disney would begin a new era in animation where it would start superseding Pixar. And I think this is why this film is mostly ignored. And it's sad because the movie is quite touching. I love this film. The animation of Bolt is amazing in that he moves and acts like a real dog. I love the way the build the relationship between Bolt and Mittens. It should be appreciated more becuase you could see the significant advance in Disney 3D character animation. And, come on, how can you not love a superhero dog?

Photo: Disney

Emperor's New Groove

Emperor's New Groove came just after the golden age of Disney animation in the late 80s and 90s. I think, by this time, the country was less enchanted by Disney films. It was preceded by Dinosaur which was not terrible, but not great. It lacked a spark. But, Emperor's New Groove was the spark times two. There is so much energy in this film that it is one of the funniest and off the wall in the Disney library. Yzma has to be one of my favorite Disney villains. Eartha Kitt's performance is nothing short of brilliant. Paired with Patrick Warburton's Kronk, you have movie magic. And, its got a soundtrack by Sting! I think an Adventureland attraction based on the roller coaster to Yzma's lab would be amazing. This is definitely one of the most underappreciated.

Photo: Disney

Winnie The Pooh

It's a real shame what happened to 2011's Winnie The Pooh, which would really be Disney's last traditional hand drawn animated film. The movie received very little fanfare and even less marketing. And, to top it off, it went up against one of the most highly anticipated films of the decade - the last installment of the Harry Potter series. It never had a chance. Despite its positive reviews, Winnie The Pooh was swept under the rug. It's sad because the film captured the spirit of the original shorts. It was loaded with charm. And it had a great soundtrack written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and performed by Zoey Deschanel. Thankfully, people got to know it in video release, but I still think people forget it was ever released in the theater.

What films do you think are underappreciated? 

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