If you’re a huge Disnerd like me, you’ve probably heard of a good chunk of these movies, but there is a large number of people in the population who have never even heard of them, let alone associate them with Disney. Without further ado, here are fifteen Disney animated movies that people tend to forget about.
1. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
This movie is hardly considered a classic even though Walt Disney himself made it. In this movie, we see remakes of two classics: The Wind In The Willows and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Both have intriguing stories, but there are dark undertones to some of it. I recall this movie’s version of the Headless Horseman clearly in my mind, but I had no idea that was from this film until I was much older.
2. The Sword in the Stone (1963)
The Sword in the Stone was Disney’s rendition of the story of King Arthur. It is more of a prequel than a remake because the original story isn’t the most kid-friendly. The Sword in the Stone does have some nods in the Disney parks, but it is otherwise forgotten by the general public.
3. Robin Hood (1973)
I consider this a highly underrated movie. It shows the adventures of Robin Hood, but all the characters are anthropomorphic animals. It’s funny and quirky and has a lot of fun moments. I think we can blame Walt Disney’s death for the lack of remembrance towards this movie because the animation company went through a bit of a slump after he died. Robin Hood is also a lesser-known classic, unlike The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.
4. The Rescuers (1977)
This was one of the first Walt Disney films to get a sequel. The movie itself had a very original idea: two mice work with the United Nations as rescue aids. Cartoons like that were hardly made by Disney at the time.
5. The Black Cauldron (1985)
6. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
Basil is truly the mouse who saved Disney, but he is not remembered by most people. This Sherlock Holmes adaptation was the movie that made enough profit for Disney Animation Company to animate the movies that spearheaded the “Disney Renaissance” like The Little Mermaid. Without it, we wouldn’t have movies like The Lion King and Aladdin, and for that, we should be thankful.
7. Oliver & Company (1988)
I don’t know about you, but I never expected Disney to remake Oliver Twist. This movie is sweet and heartwarming. It also has one of the most underrated songs in Disney history.
8. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
Disney may not have made a Latina Disney princess movie, but we should all agree that the best Disney prince is Kuzco. Leave it to Disney to turn a short story about a naked king into a hilarious movie about an emperor turning into a llama. This was the start of Disney experimenting with more unconventional plot lines after their renaissance. Even though this movie is phenomenal, it was, unfortunately, under-marketed due to another South American tale made by a competing company (The Road to El Dorado).
9. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Many others agree that this movie is underrated. It’s about Dr. Milo Thatch setting up a team to find the lost city of Atlantis and the conflicts that arise along the way. It reminds us of the movie Avatar in a lot of ways.
10. Treasure Planet (2002)
This science fiction rendition of a classic pirate story does not get enough love.
Brother Bear beautifully showcases Native American culture, the bond and grief among brothers, and how a man grows into an adult by becoming a bear (Disney had to add something whimsy in there).
12. Home On The Range (2004)
13. Chicken Little (2005)
Disney sure found a way to make this story interesting. Adding aliens to this “sky is falling” film was a good idea and they managed to make the plot complex and engaging. I think it’s the odd, early-2000s 3D animation that turned people off from this film.
14. Meet The Robinsons (2007)
I think this movie is even more underrated than Atlantis: The Lost Empire, which has become a cult classic in its own right. Meet The Robinsons is about an orphan who was never adopted. He spent his entire life at the orphanage and decides to create an invention to recover a memory of his birth mother in the hopes of finding her. Things get complicated when another boy, claiming to be from the future, comes to his science fair. This movie has a lot of funny scenes in between the action and adventure. It shows the true meaning of family and the way things come together, in the end, is very creative. It deserves more hype.
15. Bolt (2008)
I don’t really know why this movie fell out of the limelight because it was pretty popular when it first came out. It’s about a dog who thinks he has powers because he is a character in a crime-fighting spy show. When he escapes the movie set, he soon finds out that he doesn’t actually possess superpowers and must journey back to his owner.
So, did I miss anything? What are some Disney movies that you think are highly underrated?